English is not just a language, it’s a communication tool!
Canada is a country of immigrants with a population made up of 21.9 percent. Toronto is one of the most linguistically diverse cities in the world. There are about 200 different languages spoken. We love this diversity. While we want every language of the world to flourish and sustain, we also need to connect with each other. English is the ‘Lingua Franca’ of business, travel, and all kinds of communication to survive in a multi-linguistic environment. Around the globe, the population is 7.5 billion, 1.5 billion of which speaks English. And, most of these people are not even native English speakers.
English will continue to grow because of the pervasive soft power of information technology, internet, art, culture, media, sports etc. English is synonymous to better opportunities in life.
So, it is unavoidable not to learn English. For example you are a doctor, Cloud Engineer, Data Scientist, System Administrator, or SAP consultant, you need the communication skills to do your job effectively. If you want to immigrate to Canada, study in Canada, apply for PR, take a professional certification, or even apply for jobs, whatever the situation – you must have the English skills. Even when it comes to becoming a Canadian citizen, you must show that you have an adequate knowledge of English.
Not only in Canada, English is the official language of 53 countries. It is the language of science, programming, diplomacy, tourism, medical, IT, showbiz, movies, songs, social media, websites, etc. Better English increases your chances of getting a better job.
You can start and improve your English skills today. You are never too young or too old to start. Don’t worry about accent, it is your cultural identity; it is not wrong! There are many types of English: Canadian, British, American, African and so on but there is no such thing as perfect English!
Now, how could you learn English?
If you are in Canada, take the opportunity to learn passively from the English-speaking environment. Of course, you can try the traditional ways of listening to the radio, watch English movies and programs on the television, use cue cards, read magazines, children’s books or newspapers. You can also try modern resources. There are thousands of free resources available online, there are chat-rooms, forums and community sites, there are blog platforms to connect with other English-speaking people.
The above informal methods are very useful but if you need to measure your improvement in any formal benchmark, it is better to enroll in an English language course and take a test. In a formal institution, a trained professional will review your skills on all four modules – reading, writing, speaking and listening. They will also help you figure out what is the best learning method for you.
After taking a course, you may plan to take IELTS test. But, remember that sometimes test score may not show your genuine skill. Also, bear in mind that beginners make the fastest progress; it takes longer to improve from upper intermediate level.
All you need to do is to continue to learn English. A short break will decrease your skill. In Canada, don’t miss the opportunity to experience cultural diversity by making friends from different nationalities and connect using the English language skills you’ve learned.