English as a foreign language

The English Language


English is the first language of most of the people in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and dozens of smaller countries and dependent states throughout the world. It is the official language, or at least one of the official languages, of about 15 countries in Africa. In India, it has the title of “associate official language” and is generally used in conversation between people from different parts of the country. In many other countries throughout the world, it is the unofficial second language. English is the mother tongue of about 375 million people – far less than Chinese, and about the same as Spanish.

But the number of people who speak English with at least some degree of proficiency is likely to be twice as large and, it extends in large numbers to every corner of the globe, which is unique for a language in this world.

English is taught as a first language at international schools, and it is together with Cantonese the first or respectively second foreign language at local schools in Hong Kong.

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