How important is my english

English skills: how important are they?

Hand on heart: How often do you speak English in everyday life or at work? Still be English skills required in many job advertisements. Many applicants last spoke English at school. Often during school time people complain about why one or the other will be needed later. At the latest, when you want to go abroad, this question is superfluous: With English as a world language you get at least a lot further than with German or even without any language skills. How important is knowledge of English and to what extent one speaks of which knowledge ...

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Importance of English skills in the world of work

The language-oriented education company Education First (EF) publishes an annual study that assesses the English language skills of all countries worldwide compares with each other. This EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) has been measuring the English proficiency of adults using online tests for a number of years, thus gaining important insights.

The English Proficiency Index shows the different proficiency levels of each country, but also the importance that English as a world language comes to: Globalization increasingly requires the command of this language. Large corporations such as Siemens, Daimler and Deutsche Bank already use English as a corporate language.

No wonder when you consider that merely 30 percent of the employees of the 1000 largest companies are native English speakers - communication with these 30 percent has to work somehow. English is the greatest common denominator.

The sixth EF EPI is currently available, which includes test data from 72 countries from 2015. Based on 950,000 adult participants examined the relationship between English proficiency and economic and social indicators such as profitability, innovation and connectivity.

The main results of this study included:

  • Competitiveness: Knowledge of English has a strong influence on economic competitiveness. This applies to companies as well as to individuals, on a national and international level. Overall, more dynamic, innovative business environments can be observed.
  • Income: The better the knowledge of English, the higher the income, the better the quality of life. The participants with the best English proficiency earned an average of US $ 41,000 annually, participants from countries with poor English proficiency earned an annual earnings of US $ 7,500.
  • Gender: Regardless of the age group, it can be observed that women around the world have a better command of English than men; this result confirms older EF EPIs.
  • Age: However, age plays a role in the EF EPI research to the extent that young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have the best English language skills in the world.

Incidentally, Germany comes in ninth place in this study, i.e. still within the top ten. The best countries are the Netherlands and traditionally the Scandinavians, Denmark (2nd place) and Sweden (3rd place). For the very good knowledge of English according to the competence levels of the EF EPI speaks:

  • Nuanced and appropriate use of language in social situations
  • Effortless reading of demanding texts
  • Negotiating a contract with a native English speaker

According to these competency levels, Germany has next to Austria (incidentally in 8th place) good English knowledge, this means:

  • Giving a presentation in the workplace
  • Understanding television broadcasts
  • Reading a newspaper

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Words for English proficiency in the curriculum vitae

The curriculum vitae provides information about the training and professional experience you have gained in the course of your working life. Another important point is the additional skills, such as language skills. The difficulty for many workers is to find one as possible realistic self-assessment to express.

The easiest way to get around is English language skills Certificates like TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test).

Especially if no language tests have been completed, there are usually no certificates attesting to a level of knowledge. At the same time, there is no official definition of how such knowledge of English should be declared.

Formulations such as "good", "fluent" and "expandable" are quite vague and require explanation. It is usually divided as follows:

  • Basic knowledge

    You have mastered the elementary, everyday words in English. Most of this knowledge comes from school and is enough to introduce yourself, to ask for directions while on vacation and to be able to follow slow conversations.

  • Good English knowledge

    Conversations and phone calls are no obstacles. The speaker can express himself much better, for example when it comes to familiar work areas, but personal interests and experiences can also be reported in English.

  • very good knowledge of English

    With this language level, a speaker can easily express himself on complex texts or abstract topics. Subject-related conversations and discussions are also not a major challenge; conversations with native speakers are problem-free for both parties.

  • Business fluent in spoken and written

    The differences between this level of English proficiency and the last level are marginal: Who Business fluent in word and writing in his résumé indicates that he probably grew up in an English-speaking environment or lived there for a long time: The use of the English language is possible in all contexts - in professional and social life, the speaker does not look for vocabulary, but expresses himself intuitively.

  • Native speaker / native speaker level

    This language level enables the speaker to understand all the information recorded without any problems. This includes understanding nuances of meaning even in complex issues.

Usually, applicants are advised to design their résumé and the application in a generally benevolent manner. To make yourself bad would of course be counterproductive, so you don't attract the attention of an employer. However, when specifying your level of English, you should also include your future job consider.

Anyone who presents to a large international corporation must expect the HR manager in the middle of a conversation changes to English. Anyone who has previously stated that they have fluent English skills should also be able to "switch" effortlessly, otherwise it will be embarrassing.

Knowledge of English ensures business success

An EU study comes to the conclusion that knowledge of English is a essential factor for small and medium-sized companies are when it comes to business success. Anyone who speaks a foreign language can therefore not only receive better information about the business field, but also new ideas about production, raw materials, marketing and trade channels.

Although not all of the companies surveyed were able to provide information about the amount of the sums, the study shows that, due to a lack of communication options, orders worth several million euros lost went.

According to the information provided by 37 companies surveyed, the total value of the orders can be estimated at 8 to 13.5 million euros, a further 54 companies even stated that they had missed orders worth 16.5 to 25.3 million euros. Incidentally, cross-border business activities are problematic not just the lack of English skills, but also the lack of intercultural competence.

With this in mind, companies already have one interest that their employees have a command of English. This can be promoted through further training by the employer, for example as part of an educational leave.

Motivated employees who want to refresh and expand their English skills can benefit significantly through language travel deeper into the matter enter.

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