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What does English feel like?

Nicole talks about some of the reasons that people learn English and how they feel about that.
NICOLE: Hi. My name’s Nicole and I’ll be working with you on this course. Now, people often say that English is a world language and it’s true that English is spoken - and studied - all over the world. This week, we’ll look at some of the reasons why English is a world language. By the end of the week, you’ll be able to talk and write more fluently about why - and how - you’re learning English, and what English means to you. We know that people learn English for many different reasons - to help them communicate at work, to help them study courses in English or perhaps just for fun.
We also know that learning English is not always easy - it can be hard work. We asked three people who’ve learnt English how they feel about speaking English. Let’s have a look at what they said.
Fernando from Brazil said: “In English I see myself as a stronger and more confident man. I can hear changes in my voice. It gets deeper and more ‘serious’. I think of myself as an older person when I speak English”. And this is what Anne-Lise from Denmark
said: “English is a much richer, more subtle and more beautiful language than my mother tongue. Speaking it makes me feel I’m the person I was always meant to be.” And finally, Mahwish from Pakistan
said: “Speaking English helps me to understand British culture and at the same time gives me a better understanding of my own culture from other people’s perspective.” We’ve heard some interesting ideas and opinions there. Speaking English can make people feel like a ‘different, older person’ or, as Anna said, ‘Speaking English makes me feel like the person I was meant to be’ - those are quite strong feelings. But how about you? Did you agree with any of our learners? Or perhaps you completely disagreed. I’d like you now to think about how you feel about English

Welcome to the course!

Watch our video tutor, Nicole, introduce this week’s topic, English as a global language.

Nicole talks about what English means to some of the people we talked to; Fernando from Brazil, Anne-Lise from Denmark and Mahwish from Pakistan. What do they say and which one sounds most like your feelings about English?

There are subtitles for this and all the videos in the course, which you can switch on by clicking on the subtitles icon in the bottom right corner of the video player. You can also find a pdf transcript below.

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Exploring English: Language and Culture

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