English is GREAT - Part 2

Richard finds out about all the different kinds of English and talks to some of the hundreds of thousands of students who come to Great Britain to learn English every year.


I’ve come here to the British Council who work hard to build cultural relations between Britain and the rest of the world, and the English language is a big part of that. Let’s find out more.

The British Council provides resources for people learning English, and also teachers of English. Martin Peacock is the Director of Global English Product Development.

Richard: Martin, tell me about English as a global language.

Martin: OK, well many people talk about English as being a global language. And the reasons for that are the widespread use of English. It’s used in education, it’s used in science and technology and, importantly, English is also used in business.

Richard: Are there many global languages?

Martin: Well, no, not really. I mean there’s ‘the’ global language which is English in the sense that English is used in these many different contexts; there’s only one. There are other languages which are used very widely and spoken by many people in many different places: Cantonese, for example, a variant of Chinese, is spoken in many different places so it’s global in a geographic sense and it can be global in the numbers, but in terms of the use in different areas of education, science, research, English is the only global language.

Richard: Are there different types of English?

Martin: Well, yes, there are lots of different types. There's different accents of English. I come from the north of England, where I have a particular accent. So within England itself, within the UK, there are many variations in English pronunciation and that extends globally, so you see English in America and used in Australia, which is different in accent and also in usage as well.

Richard: And what about the impact of technology on a language?

Martin: In the past, new words were coined by people - it might have been in a speech or a newspaper article or in a book - they were written down and then other people adapted them and used them, and that could be quite a slow process and new words might come into a language over a long period: 10, 20 years. So technology allows languages to evolve much more quickly.

Richard: So technology can change the language, but in what way does it help people to learn the language?

Martin: Well, it helps in many ways. In the past, students in locations in other countries didn’t have access to much genuine English; they may have a book or an odd newspaper, but what the Internet allows them is to read and often to read and translate languages like English on a massive scale.


People learn English for different reasons and knowledge of the language is often important in fields like medicine, business and computing. English is becoming more and more important in order to communicate in the international world.

English opens doors to employment, education and mobility. And it helps teachers and learners engage across the globe. One of the best ways to learn English is to study in Britain. But what is it actually like to learn English here?

Clare: My name is Clare, I am 26 and I come from Italy. My course at the North West Academy was very good. I studied grammar, conversation and also words linked with my work placement. The teacher was very good. She has always been available for problems during the lessons and outside the lessons.


Over 600,000 learners a year come to Britain to help achieve their ambition, to experience modern UK life.

Maximiliano: My name is Maximiliano. I’m 23 years old and I’m from Venezuela. Everyone here is very friendly. When you tell them that you’re a foreigner, everyone is very welcoming, like everyone tries to speak with you, everyone, like, tries to just stay close to you and ask you about your experience, how your life is in your own country. And that actually helps you a lot, like, when you’re not a native speaker.

Alexander: My name is Alexander. My surname Igurov. I’m 24 years old. I’m come to the UK from Russia, from Moscow. I’m studying here business English. Sometimes we have general lessons about social English. I’m engineer in the building company. I will use English in my job. I think it will help me to improve my career.

Anthony: My name’s Anthony, and I just turned 24 last February and I’m from Malaysia. The people here are very nice. The place is amazing and learning here is a really different experience, so just come over and check it out.

Well, they seem to be enjoying learning English. And what I’ve learned is, is that the English language is more exciting than I’d first realised. And maybe, just maybe, in the future, I won’t have to worry quite as much about my grammar and spelling.

Task 1

Order the events in the video.


Task 2

Choose the right answer.


Task 3

Put the right word in each space to complete the sentences.


Task 4

Be careful - not all adverbs need -ly! Add -ly if it is needed.


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Submitted by Ramazan Altınışık on Fri, 18/09/2020 - 11:18

One of the reason that makes English widely used in global is about industrial and commercial necessarities between countries.All of instutions and structures that are based on our global trade were associated during 19th century industrial revolutions. You always have a chance to speak with someone whose main language is english.

Submitted by AnnyMarkina on Sat, 25/01/2020 - 16:25

Thanks a lot for a wonderful series of Great videos! I really enjoy watching them and practicing my English. Could I ask about this sentence from the Transcript, please? “There's different accents of English.” Why is there “there’s” not “there’re” form?

Hello AnnyMarkina

I'm very glad you enjoyed them! In informal speaking, people often say 'there is' when really 'there are' is the most correct form. I'd recommend you use the correct form, but it's good to know this when you hear native speakers 'break' the rule.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Yshc on Thu, 31/05/2018 - 21:42

Help me please with the "most" adverb. In exercise 4 you have sentence: "The thing I hate most about my boss is her bad temper." If I tried to say something like that myself, I'd prefer to use "the" article before "most" - "The thing I hate the most...". When I googled "The thing I hate most" and "The thing I hate the most", I found out that the first phrase has only 100 000 entries, while the seond one - nearly 5 mln entries. So my intuition isn't so bad:) Why don't you use the article "the" before "most" in the phrase mentioned above? Is it a mistake? Or maybe both options are possible - with "the" and without? In the latter - do they have the same meaning or different? So, my question is - which is really correct: "I hate most.." or "I hate the most" Am I wrong? In

Hello Yshc,

You can use either 'the most' or 'most' or even 'most of all' as adverbs to modify the verb here and there is no difference in meaning.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by btriton on Sun, 20/05/2018 - 13:49

Yes, it is in many different ways, in science you need updated with the last news and advanced discoveries with English, whether somebody wants to publish his research must be in English. Many global companies used English as common language among their employees. The advantages to study English in English speaking country are very high, because They get many resources in different places even during leisure time. Yes, I would like study and improve on my English skills in England . I could choose firstly London, Manchester, Birmingham and others..

Submitted by khaledskyme on Sun, 10/12/2017 - 17:16

English is a widely spoken language because of many reasons such as innovtion and science. learning English in an English-speaking country is very useful that you can communicate with native speakers and be immersed by it wich allows you to learn English fast and deeply and I will be lucky if I get an opportunity to study this language in a UK or USA.

Submitted by Peterkuo on Wed, 18/10/2017 - 21:47

English is Great. 1st. No matter where I go, there are people speaking English. 2nd. There are endless resouces on line in English for entertainment and learning. 3rd. I can always find a job if I keep learning English. 4th. I learned another European Language easier because I speak English. 5th. English language is a media to communicate with many different people in the world and a bridge to another culture. 6th. It's difficult to find learning resources on the internet for other languages, but there are a lot of free resources and well-designed tests for English language on this website. It benefits learners like me with limited time and no budget. Besides, listening and doing the tests is a good way to pass free time. Thank you!

Hello Peterkuo,

We're very happy to hear that these pages are so useful for you. Thanks for letting us know, and please don't hesitate to ask us for help if you need it.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nizam Balinese on Wed, 07/06/2017 - 09:06

Hello everyone... ☆ Why do you think English is the world's most widely used language? - There are many reasons for why English is the world's most widely used language. But the main reason for this is it's because of the former influence of the British Empire. By the time anything resembling a language policy was introduce, English had already reached all corners of the globe. English was taken around the world by the sailor, soldiers, pilgrims, traders and missionaries of the British Empire. ☆ What are the advantages of studying English in an English speaking country? - Learning English would be easier in an English speaking country. It is because the people around you are speaking English and make it easy to adjust to English accent and also sentence pattern. And I believe live in a country like the UK where English is used as the primary way of communication would help learner master this language pretty quickly and accurately. ☆ Would you like to study English in the UK? Where would you go? - It will be great if I can learn directly English in the UK. But there is one thing that has to be considerated. Cost of living and studying in the UK is very expensive. It's out of my reach now. Finding some of the greatest teachers of the British Council in the internet is a blessing. I've been very lucky to be one of the users of it. But if I can go to the UK and where do I like to go to study? Of course, my first destination is London.

Submitted by RitaR on Tue, 28/03/2017 - 11:38

Task 4 on using adverbs, says to add 'ly' where needed but leave blank otherwise. When I leave a blank where no 'ly' is required I am told that 8 items are remaining and if I click on finish I am told I have only completed 6 out of 14 and do I want to finish? Am I missing something here or is there a problem with the question? i am using Chrome on a Mac computer.

Hello RitaR,

Thanks for telling us about this! I've changed the exercise – now, instead of leaving spaces blank (which of course wasn't working), you must write '/' when no 'ly' suffix is needed. It should work now for you – though it may take a few hours for the change to appear on our site – but please let us know if you have any other trouble with it.

Thanks very much for taking the time to tell us about this error!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Genc on Mon, 27/02/2017 - 18:52

English is used as a lingua franca throughout the world.That's why people all around the world use English to communicate each other.As the guy said in the video it's used in business, education and techonology in the world. When you study English in a English-speaking country, you have the advantage of living the language like you get to hear it around you in your daily life.Ergo, you are more likely to pick up the language easier than studying in your own country. Of course,I'd love to study in the U.K. again! When I was studying English in London, I had literally immersed myself into English Language as well as soaking up hustke and bustle of London lifestyle.I intend to do my master degree in the U.K. though.If I happen to make it,I want to be able to study at somewhere else so that I get to experience more of U.K. culture and get to most out of U.K. during my stay there!