English is widely spoken and serves as a global lingua franca. It is estimated that around 1.5 billion people speak English to some degree, including both L1 and L2 speakers*. English is the primary language in many countries, and is often used as a second language in numerous countries for communication purposes, business transactions, and international relations. English has a significant presence worldwide and is used as a first or second language in various contexts.
English is the first language for approximately 360 million people and is widely learned as a second language by millions of people around the world. Many countries include English as part of their educational curriculum, and it is often taught as a compulsory subject. This has resulted in a substantial number of L2 English speakers who are proficient in the language.
English serves as a common language for communication between people from different linguistic backgrounds. In international business, diplomacy, academia, and the entertainment industry, English is often used as the language of communication when people from diverse linguistic backgrounds come together.
The prevalence of English on the internet and in global media further contributes to its widespread use. A significant amount of online content, including websites, social media platforms, and entertainment, is predominantly in English. This exposure to English-language media has influenced language learning and proficiency worldwide.
The global spread of English continues to evolve, and variations in estimates can occur due to factors such as population growth, language policies, and migration patterns. One thing is for sure, English is vitally important for millions if not billions world-wide.
*L1 refers to a speaker’s first language, and L2 refers to a second language which they speak. An L2 English speaker is someone who speaks English but for whom English is not their first language. An L1 English speaker is someone who speaks English as their first language.