If you have stumbled upon this post thinking it’s some kind of a game and you wanted to know what the score is, I am afraid it is quite not what you are thinking, since you are here let me see if you can answer the following question : “ what is the world’s most spoken Language?” If you guys are thinking English, well I would say a good guess but it’s not correct. The answer lies within this page. Learning English as a second language or learning English as a Foreign Language which methodology would be correct for me? Many students come up with this question we are happy to address it because our students do understand that if they want to attain speaking proficiency they have to learn English as a language and not as a subject. Choosing is a method is fine but going in the right direction is vital.
Here you can find the difference between English as a second language and English as a foreign language, understand which method would suit you best.
How did English as a Second Language & English as a Foreign Language come in to existence?
From sign language to the good structured languages their only functions are to aid people in expressing their thoughts and opinions. Although English isn’t the most spoken dialect, it has its own importance in the present world and most developed countries in the world have taken up English as their native Language. Hence the bifurcation of English as a second language and English as a foreign language came into existence.
English as a second language (ESL)
English has been the secondary language in many nations which were once colonised by Great Britain, nevertheless not every territory conquered has adhered to this rule. It has been a very controversial subject since most of the countries have inadvertently admitted that English has been their native language even though most of their population speak their mother tongue more commonly than English. Hong Kong is one such country which has declared English as their native language even though the majority still converse in their mother tongue.
In some cases like the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand they are already termed as native speakers, yet the people residing have great command over more than one language, and English is one of them. This makes the process of teaching English as a second language (TESL) as an integrated course with their common curriculum. In many countries teaching English as a second language certification is offered after a student completes a course in levels such as basic, intermediate and advanced. All the more in some countries teaching English as a second language is part of their syllabus wherein TESL certification is part of their grades. Whereas countries like Ireland and Uk have no other languages being spoken by the natives which makes them the true native speakers of English and the teaching is done just for those who are non natives and with a higher command in some other language. This is termed as TESOL (Teaching English to speakers of other languages).
English as a foreign language (EFL)
EFL – English as a foreign refers to the teaching of the language in a region which is termed as non English speaking region. These are the countries which are the exceptions aforementioned in ESL. Either they are taught English as a foreign language in their native land or they have private sessions to learn. This is in order to prepare the people for international exposure and global outreach. Although few countries are open to the fact that it is necessary to learn English and they have made it a mandatory subject in schools, few countries refuse to acknowledge it still. India is a great example of a non-native country which has incorporated the language to a greater extent in its educational system thus developing the skills of a commoner to compete on a greater scale.
The Difference between ESL and EFL
Generally in ESL the people in the course are of diversified backgrounds and they have to be taught English in a native speaking country whereas in case of EFL the course is attended by people of the same region and their teaching is done in their own region. It is just the region in which the language is taught makes a difference. The amount of exposure received by the a person stationed in a English speaking country is much more than the other people hence his growth will be exponential when compared to the non-natives.
There are a variety of exams which tests your command over English and grades you based on multiple factors, precisely Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. They play a vital part in career expansion of a person from a non-native region to a native speaking country. To name a few, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) they are vital in seeking admissions to universities in any country which has courses in English.
The Indian way
Tracing the link to the Indian scenario, it is considered as EFL as our native language is not English. Although debating what our native language is a whole new topic to be discussed, we have had cold war with in the quadrants of India for several years regarding this topic. The Centralised board of education has made it mandatory for schools abiding by their syllabus to teach the subjects in English. But the ones affiliated to the state government have been opposing this idea and continuing to teach subjects in their own mother tongue. This brings about a marginal variation between the children taught in CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and state board as they have been propagated two very different ideas.
Effective learning is achieved by the constant practise which follows. Most schools are only worried about the performance of their pupil in exams rather than teaching them the essentials to survive in the outside world, they show interest in the reading and writing aspect of the language and leave out the spoken and grammatical feature. This is reflected in the child when he stammers a lot to give a speech in a public place or to indulge in a conversation with others in a social gathering.
This is not only the case in India, most countries population has been accustomed to converse in their mother tongue and have found it difficult to learn a foreign language. Although it is patriotic in a way, the current trends of the world and globalisation has made it a common demand that a person knows more than one language in order to expand his working territory. To cater a broad spectrum of people knowing multiple languages is a vital skill and no harm in learning new things and new culture.
Since you have come to the end of the discussion as promised the most spoken language in the present world is Mandarin. Around 1.1 billion people converse in Mandarin which is closely followed by English (983 million).