The English language is today the most dominant language in business, education and influence. With this in mind, does it not make sense that people who comprehend English fully are wanted in business and service today? Even in little Norway, English is fully integrated into the education, daily life and business of the average person. Norwegian employers therefore have a need for employees that are able to speak and use English as a tool for communication. Granted the desire for greater English comprehension increases, it is only natural for there to be a change in what role English plays in our life. But is English really that useful?
English is all around you. Despite the fact that you might not live in a country where English is the primary language, you still see, hear and read your daily dose of English through various means. English is used in movies and other entertainment, social media and the Internet are in English, and you see English in the media and in school. Seeing as these few examples taken from a sea of uses for English make up a big part of some people’s life, it would be expected for there to be a decent overall understanding of English.
However, is this always the case? As it turns out, most people know how to speak English fairly well by the time they reach upper secondary school and they subsequently improve from there, but there are still few non-natives that have an absolute mastery of the language, or in technical terms, a comprehension level of C2. This means that while the average person can make themselves understood, it’s not always that they can describe, discuss or reflect upon a matter with more than a few simple phrases off the top of their head, which all go into your general comprehension, as well as coming across as mature and competent. For this reason, I ask: Why are we generally good at this language, but so few of us can take it above and beyond, to native or close to native level?
It is likely your adventure in English did not really begin before you started school. You have English all around you, but it is at school you start learning the basics of the language. It is however limited how much time one can devote to English weekly, and as such, the more important chunks of language learning are included, while the lesser important ones, the ones that make the difference between being great and being exceptional, are more often excluded. Oftentimes, the English learnt in schools is oriented towards a work life, with terms and...