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ABOUT LEARNING AND USING ENGLISH

As it is known about 300 million people are said to speak English as their mother tongue. Where do all these people live? They live practically in all continents. English has the advantage of a geographical distribution such as no other language has. It is the native language of the people in Great Britain, Ireland, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, of the majority of people in Canada and of part of the white minority in the Republic of South Africa. Besides that, there are many people who speak English as a foreign language or as their second language. It is difficult to count them all, but according to official reports there are at least 150 million of them. These are nations which either have no single language to cover the whole country, or which still find it necessary to use English as an official language. One thinks, for example, of former British colonies such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and other African countries and, of course, India and Pakistan.

There are some differences between English and American English. In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, too, English has developed under local influences and has its own characteristic features. But basically the English spoken in all these countries is the same language.

All people in the United Kingdom don t speak the same kind of English. There are local varieties in both British and American English. Thus besides the form that is spoken by the educated people, say in London and Oxford, we can mention Scottish and Irish English. Also the pronunciation is different in various parts of the country according to local dialects. The differences between British and American English are: in spelling grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary.

Our students can learn and choose from among 5 languages. These languages are: English, German, French, Spanish, Russian. It is a big advantage for our students that they can learn the most important languages spoken almost all over the world. English and German are learned by majority of our students. We also start to learn business correspondence in the 3rd form, therefore we have special text-books in which we can find basic types of commercial letters.

Good knowledge helps us to study foreign technical literature. The importance of studying foreign technical literature is often talked about, and rightly so, because every expert ought to be informed about the latest scientific developments in other countries. Reading technical literature is sometimes said to be difficult. But is it really so? In any case, it is easier than, for instance, reading newspaper articles. The grammar of technical texts is usually simple, and the only difficulty seems to be the great number of technical terms met with in each branch of science. Fortunately, many of these words are international. Such words as apparatus, nuclear, cybernetics, laboratory, chemistry, biology, geography, psychology, etc. can be easily understood in silent reading. But you can hardly be expected to read them aloud correctly if you are not told how to pronounce them because in English there are no rules of pronunciation that can be relied on.

English is the most international of language. This is not because English is used by a greater number of speakers than any other languages, for it is easily outnumbered in this respect by Chinese. But the fact is that English remains the most international of languages. It is understood more widely than any other language. It opens the door to world scholarship and world trade. Millions of men and women in four continents have English as their first language and millions in every part of the world use it as their second of foreign language.

This gives us some idea of the importance of English and shows both the United States and Britain that the language is not the possession (property) of these two nations alone. It is also the property of the Canadians and the Indians, the Australians and the New Zealanders, the Nigerians and many others. It belongs to all those use it including us the students and the teachers of our school.

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