The Value of English Language Skills Throughout History

Authored by: Mitch R. Confesor

The world recently commemorated the 20th anniversary of International Mother Language Day. This is the day that promotes multilingualism as well as linguistic and cultural diversity.

With that in mind, it’s timely to note the value and importance of the English Language Skills throughout history. Accurately and reliably assessing those skills greatly contribute to sustained economic activity and academic excellence.

Versant’s English language skills assessment tools have contributed to heightened business productivity across many industries. This text measures the capabilities of workforce candidates to determine who has good communication skills which results in better customer service delivery.

In fact, clear English language skills are the foundation for excellent sales and customer experience results. Versant uses effective multichannel communication tools via phone, email and chat services across multiple platforms.

The Best Way to Test English Language Skills

Versant’s English 4 Skills Test is accurate, objective, and reliable. With the power of advanced speech processing (for speaking and listening) and text processing technology (for writing and reading) Versant’s tests eliminate human and cultural bias.

Because evaluating candidates for language skills takes time and money, learn how Versant’s English language skills tests can reduce both.

Versant can accurately, and reliably, measure spoken language proficiency. This process saves companies valuable time and precious resources, providing efficient and objective results in half an hour or less.

Why search for another valid spoken language test and an expensive qualified examiner, when human bias can still unfairly affect the accuracy of these test results?

For over a decade, corporate enterprises and academic institutions as well as government entities worldwide have used Versant. It’s advanced technology allows you to reduce costs per hire by making well-informed placement decisions.

young man in a call center

Finding Individuals With Top English Language Abilities

To find top individuals with excellent, or above-average, English communication skills, businesses need language assessment tests.

Versant’s language skills tests lets you gauge the best candidates quickly, while tests can also be be used to designate the best current employees to fill new job roles for organizational success.

To improve scholastic success, universities, and academia as a whole, use Versant to help transform introductory college courses for their students.

Aside from training students to prepare for higher passing rates, Versant can help colleges and universities experience higher retention rates and overall grade point averages for their students.

English is the Language of Business

According to Wordtips, English may be in the top 3 languages just on the basis of the number of native speakers. However, it’s actually the top language when you consider the total number of speakers, which include both native English speakers, and English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) speakers.

When evaluating the top languages, currently there are:

  • Over 1.132 billion English total speakers (native and ESL, with almost 380 million being native speakers),
  • About 1.1 billion Mandarin speakers (of which 918 million are native speakers),
  • Over 615 million Hindi speakers (with over 340 million being native speakers),
  • Over 534 million Spanish speakers (with over 460 million being native speakers), and
  • Almost 280 million French speakers.

In a tree-and-branch diagram, Wordtips illustrates the 100 most spoken languages in the world, and shows English is indeed among the top languages. Detailing approximately 7,111 living languages existing today, the data comes from the 22nd edition of Ethnologue, a database covering a majority of the world’s current population.

call center candidates with English speaking skills

One Testing Platform: Five Languages

Versant is a multilingual testing tool, available in:

Because Versant tests can be taken anywhere, 24/7 – as long as individuals have an internet connection – any number of candidates can take the test at the same time. And you get the results in minutes.

Using artificial intelligence to provide objective and reliable scores, companies no longer need to concern themselves with human error and bias-prone results. That’s because Versant is free from biases of gender, race, religion and culture.

Versant is accurate, affordable, convenient, reliable, automated and cost-effective especially for large organizations with multiple locations, even with businesses and other users simultaneously administering hundreds of these for test takers.

Oxford English

In its January 2020 update, the Oxford English Dictionary announced that it has included 29 Nigerian English words for the year. The dictionary said Nigerians have made (and are continuing to make) a unique and distinctive contribution to English as a global language, by taking ownership of English, using it as their own medium of expression.

Along the lines of International Mother Language Day, much of the world celebrates February 21 to highlight the historical significance of mother languages. Organizations like UNESCO conduct exhibits, and initiate conferences, seminars, symposiums, and other gatherings to unleash the mother tongue as the greatest medium of language description, with English on top of the linguistic food chain.

The Evolution of English

English has come a long way since the Germanic tribes of Angles, Saxons and Jutes brought along their mother tongue when they crossed the North Sea from what is now Denmark and northern Germany, and invaded Britain in the 5th century.

Throughout history, the world has witnessed the rise of early modern English from the Victorian era to the development of late modern English, with spurts of the industrial revolution, scientific achievements and technological evolution. English now has variants from its roots in British to modern American, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, South African, Indian, Spanish (i.e. Spanglish) and now, Nigerian.

For the coming third decade of the 21st century, English is still evolving and will likely evolve even more. It will constantly remain in a state of flux with tech-related vocabulary invading the lingua franca, including portmanteu words, or blended ones like “cineplex,” “bromance” and “staycation.”

English is a breathing living organism in a constant state of evolution.

As for businesses and other organizations in need of English language skills assessment, Versant is a useful companion in a continuously evolving world. It will be an integral tool whenever you need to assess, develop and enhance your workforce for the coming techno-industrial revolution.

To assure you’ll be able to secure the talent of the future, contact us today for a free demonstration of all the tools Versant has to offer.