The Real Value of ESL English Lessons

One of the most interesting historical developments in the history of language is the way that English has taken “center stage” as the world’s first truly international language. Other languages have tried to take on that role. For many centuries, Latin was the universal language of learning and of scholarship in Europe. But that was only in Europe. Latin made no impact in most of the world, including Asia and Africa (not to mention North and South America or Australia, which Europeans did not even know existed). Back then, of course, being an English lessons online tutor was not yet invented. Today, Chinese has more native speakers than any other language, but those native speakers are limited to people who live in China or to Overseas Chinese. Non-Chinese people rarely speak the language (although I have been speaking it since my teenage years). Despite the fact that more than one billion speak Chinese, you do not see it as a “world language.” When I say “world language,” I mean a language that is accepted as a “lingua franca,” which is a technical linguistic term meaning “common language,” or a language that people without a common language would use to communicate with each other.

Here is an example of a “lingua franca.” Two people meet and do business. One is from Japan and the other is from Italy. What language will they speak together? They will probably speak English. They will probably speak Chinese. Arabic comes close to being a “lingua franca,” but only within the Muslim world. Someone from Indonesia meets someone from the United Arab Emirates: They will probably speak Arabic to each other. Their common bond is, of course, their religion, and Arabic is a religious as well as a secular language.

For this reason, ESL English lessons have become very, very popular, especially in the last 50 years since the world has become more interconnected. This is the era of globalization. Globalization means many things to many people, but one thing it always means is that people from the “four corners” (actually an infinite number of corners!) meet and mix, work and play, buy and sell, learn and invent – together. And what language do they speak? English.

An English Lessons Online Tutor Is Your Passport to the World

It is no accident that this age of globalization and the growth of ESL English lessons has come at the same time as the Internet. The Internet really is the largest engine driving the ability of people from all over the world to mix and mingle more than they have ever done in history.

The term ESL is an interesting one. Wikipedia has a very long and detailed entry about the development of this term: English as a second or foreign language

ESL is a set of initials that mean English as a Second Language. Nowadays, that term is considered rather old-fashioned, because many people, in the course of their lives, learn not only one language, but three or four or five! Even if English is your fourth or fifth language (which could easily be the case for a Swiss person who speaks German, French, Italian, and Swiss German), your English lessons online tutor will still call his or her classes ESL English lessons. So this term remains in common use.