The Pit

Harry Potter Motivates English Language Learning

Rachel Moulden for The Pit

Over the years, the number of people around the world that are motivated to learn a new language have grown widely. Some learn for fun, while others learn to enhance their business skills. The learning company, Pearson, created a study to find out what the most popular motivators are to help people learn English as a second language and why people choose to study English.

Pearson surveyed over 6,000 English language learners from 12 countries and found out that 50% of people learn English for their careers, while 56% learn English in order to travel abroad. 82% of participants in the study brought up the point that English should be used as the official language of business.

Their research also found that the notable music group The Beatles, and the Harry Potter film series were voted as the most popular sources of culture that help people learn the English language.

Other striking findings from the survey include, “Thank you” cited as the most useful English word cited by participants, and “love” as their favorite English word. Participants also stated that they feel that William Shakespeare has demonstrated the best mastery of the English language.

In 2014, Pearson developed The Global Scale of English. This new scale of English language proficiency is not measured in terms like beginner, intermediate or advanced such as in a structured classroom or curriculum.

Instead of looking at the English language with a textbook approach, The Global Scale looks at English on a real world basis. It enables English learners to score their English language skills and progress on a scale from 10-90. For example, if you score 29 on the scale, you are able to identify and order common food and drink from a menu or at 62, you can write a review of a film, book or play.

To find out more about The Global Scale of English visit for more information.


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