It used to be – and not that very long ago – that the list of most important languages in the world to know would have been quite small. French, English, Spanish, and German would have made the list, plus a handful of others depending on where in Europe and Asia one lived. Accordingly, these were the languages most in demand by students across the world looking to extend their linguistic repertoire beyond their mother tongue either for career or cultural/personal reasons.
But of course, the landscape of global power and business has changed dramatically, with the past decade characterised by the striking ascent of China (and the growing importance of other BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa) and the surging youth populations in Africa (e.g., one in four people aged 15–24 will live in the continent by 2030, according to the United Nations) and the Middle East (where the population is expected to double to over 1 billion inhabitants by 2100).
English remains, by far, the world’s most studied language. But these factors have, to say the least, extended the consideration sets of many prospective language learners across the world – and thus increased the range of opportunities for language providers in a growing list of countries. READ MORE