IELTS Listening: English as a global language

IELTS Listening video: English as a Global language

This is a TED talk about English mania. In this video, the presenter Jay Walker talks about English language and how this language is being used all over the world. He is speaking with American accent but his pronunciation is very clear and comprehensible. I hope you’ll enjoy this video.

English - A Global language

International English language

From IELTS perspective, this might be one of the topics of Writing or even speaking. Very often, you will find a topic on language. I’d previously published an essay on language topic. So, here is a video to help you understand more about international language.

OK, I hope you found this video interesting. Let’s look at some of language used in this video and try to understand them. You can use them in your English conversation as well.


Let’s talk about manias. Let’s start with Beatle mania. Hysterical teenagers, crying, screaming, pandemonium. Sports mania. Deafening crowds. All for one idea. Get the ball in the net. Okay, religious mania. There’s rapture. There’s weeping. There’s visions. Manias can be good. Manias can be alarming. Or manias can be deadly.

The world has a new mania. A mania for learning English. Listen as Chinese students practice their English by screaming it.

Teacher: … change my life!

Students: I will change my life.

T: I don’t want to let my parents down.

S: I don’t want to let my parents down.

T: I don’t ever want to let my country down.

S: I don’t ever want to let my country down.

T: Most importantly … S: Most importantly …

T: I don’t want to let myself down.

S: I don’t want to let myself down.


Jay Walker: How many people are trying to learn English worldwide? Two billion of them.

Students: A t-shirt. A dress.

JW: In Latin America, in India, in Southeast Asia, and most of all in China. If you are a Chinese student you start learning English in the third grade, by law. That’s why this year China will become the world’s largest English speaking country. (Laughter) Why English? In a single word: Opportunity. Opportunity for a better life, a job, to be able to pay for school, or put better food on the table. Imagine a student taking a giant test for three full days. Her score on this one test literally determines her future. She studies 12 hours a day for three years to prepare. 25 percent of her grade is based on English. It’s called the Gaokao. And 80 million high school Chinese students have already taken this grueling test. The intensity to learn English is almost unimaginable. Unless you witness it.

Teacher: Perfect! Students: Perfect!

T: Perfect! S: Perfect!

T: I want to speak perfect English.

S: I want to speak perfect English.

T: I want to speak — S: I want to speak —

T: perfect English. S: perfect English.

T: I want to change my life!

S: I want to change my life!

Jay Walker: So, Is English mania good or bad? Is English a tsunami, washing away other languages? Not likely. English is the world’s second language. Your native language is your life. But with English you can become part of a wider conversation. A global conversation about global problems. Like climate change or poverty. Or hunger or disease. The world has other universal languages. Mathematics is the language of science. Music is the language of emotions. And now English is becoming the language of problem solving. Not because America is pushing it. But because the world is pulling it. So English mania is a turning point. Like the harnessing of electricity in our cities, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, English represents hope for a better future. A future where the world has a common language to solve its common problems.

Thank you very much.

Let’s understand vocabulary:

– sports mania: When people become crazy about sports, it’s called sports mania. Similarly, he uses an expression “English mania” in which people become obsessed with learning English language.

– deafening crowds: When there are lots of people who have gathered to watch a sport or anything like that. They make so much noise. It’s called deafening crowds.

– Manias can be alarming: When something is alarming, it might have a negative impact. Here, “manias can be bad!” is replaced by “manias can be alarming!”. So, use it in your English talk.

– opportunity for better life

– put food on the table: This means to be able to earn enough money to eat and survive. This means you’re able to earn a living.

– gruelling test: If a test is gruelling, it means it’s very difficult and tiring. You become mentally exhausted after this test.

– The intensity to learn is unimaginable: If something is unimaginable, it’s just outstanding. People are doing crazy things to learn it. So, you become speechless you when you see it. It’s unimaginable.

– become part of a global conversation: This means you can take part in an international talk or even study them.

– a global conversation

– universal language

– Again, Jay Walker mentions English as the language of problem-solving.

– people are pulling it: Here, pull is not used in direct meaning but it’s like people are attracting or accepting English language. They’re willing to learn English language.

– a turning point: It’s something that changes everything. It’s a moment when something huge happens. You can say that “This is the turning point of my life as I’m become proficient in English language.” It means your life is going to change with this.

so, That’s it! Less vocabulary today, but it’s good enough language and don’t forget you’ve also trained your ears with natural English speech.

I hope you enjoyed this video. Please share it with your friends who’re learning English language. And Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog by adding your e-mail address at the top right corner!

Good Bye for now!


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