So my sister got an Italian exchange student over, and it baffles me how little English she speaks.
I’m not being mean here or anything, and she can still make herself understandable, but holding a small discussion isn’t exactly the easiest.
And this is weird, in my opinion. I can be understanding of my parents not speaking English very well, but someone a few year younger than me? How? Isn’t this supposed to be the internet generation already? Well over half of the internet is in English, so how can you not pick up the language as you go?
Technology aside, isn’t English the default second language taught in schools? Actually, I can debunk this pretty easily. Sure the subject’s there more often than not, but does it really teach you how to converse in English? Grammatical rules and some useful sentences is sadly often as far as you get.
Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of an English enthusiast though. I speak it fairly fluently (though my pronunciation is so-so and spontaneously spoken sentences tend to contain some grammatical errors), and use it frequently, no, almost all the time in my day-to-day life. I have all my devices, from laptop to cellphone, configured to display everything in English. The websites I frequent are all in English and it’s a language I use to communicate to people with over the internet all the time.
Others may have chosen not to take it this far. They will have everything in their native language, visit only local websites, and rarely ever converse with strangers across the globe. This lack of immersion severely limits their learning process. (Seriously, nothing it more important to learning a language than immersion, encountering and using it daily.) But why? They probably don’t really need to. Most won’t visit forums or anything similar, so there’ll be very little need for communication, and they can’t be bothered setting their devices to “English” since hey, native is easier.
If you haven’t really mastered English yet, or started learning it for that matter (which is something that won’t ever be applicable to anyone reading this, because hey, it’s in English) go do so right now. It is never too late, and since it’s so widely used it really broadens your horizons. I have traveled faraway placed thanks to my ability to speak the language, and I would’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities, fun times and friends if I couldn’t understand dick of what they were all saying.
Go forth and come back enlightened.