Studying foreign languages is important for everybody. We have many reasons to study them. We need it for travelling abroad, for reading foreign materials (books, newspapers and magazines), for business communication, for preparing to further studies, for corresponding with our friends or for cultural reasons (watching films, visiting concerts and exhibitions, understanding songs etc.)
The largest number of people speak Chinese, but the most important language for the world communication is English. We use English expressions more and more nowadays. In computer programmes and games, at international meetings, during sports matches, cups, championships and the Olympics.
For the inhabitants of our country it is a necessity to study foreign language because only around 14 million people speak Czech all around the world, that is why we have to study them if we want to make ourselves understood. We study mainly English but also German, French, Spanish and Russian. We begin to study them at school. When I was eleven I started to learn German and at the age of eight I started to study English. There are many elementary schools and even kindergartens with foreign language teaching. There are even some secondary schools where students study all subjects in a foreign language.
In our school, English, German, French, Spain and Russian are taught. I learn English and German. We can also make use of native lecturers from America, Britain and Canada. Our lecturer comes from Canada It is a nice young woman. Her name is Koren.
Besides schools there are various language courses both for children and adults, either state of private. There are also some TV courses (American English, Business English) and many textbooks and cassettes from abroad are available now but they are too expensive. In bigger cities we can apply for a language school or we can take lessons from a private teacher.
It is very important to try to study foreign languages so that people all around the world can understand one another. That is why an artificial language appeared 100 years ago. It is called Esperanto but it is not a living language.
The countries where the majority of population speaks English as their mother tongue are called The English - Speaking Countries. They are: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ireland, The United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Besides these countries there are large areas where English is spoken as a second language (e.g. India, Pakistan, The Republic of South Africa and other African countries). Generally speaking, English is spoken in the USA, Ireland and in the Commonwealth countries.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of Britain and 47 her former colonies (together more than one milliard people). It developed in the 1st half of this century when Britain gave self-government to her dominions. Founding members were Britain, Canada, Newfoundland, Australia and New Zealand. Later the Commonwealth included many African, Asian, South American and Caribbean nations. The Queen of England is the formal head in 17 member states - dominions (e.g. in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The English language is of Germanic origin. There are five main types of English which differ in pronunciation, spelling. vocabulary and grammar. They are: British English, American English, Australian English, Indian English and African English. Here are some vocabulary differences between British and American English: Flat x Apartment, lift x elevator, post x mail, cinema x the movies, shop x store, postman x mailman.