Knowledge, English and Gross Domestic Product.
Today’s post is an imaginary exercise. Imagine that the top 50.000 business and political leaders of Spain who don’t currently command the English language woke up tomorrow morning with advanced English language skills. How would this affect Spain’s economy?
In an increasingly globalized knowledge economy where knowledge is one of the fundamental pillars of economic growth and competiveness, here is a non-exhaustive list of 10 things that would surely happen:
- These 50.000 English-fluent individuals would have immediate access to the most innovative thinking and latest advances in technology, science, banking, business, marketing, industry, and management. In today’s fast-paced world, waiting even two weeks for knowledge is a major disadvantage. In many arenas, if an individual isn’t native-fluent in English, he or she is at least several months and in some cases years behind in knowledge acquisition and competiveness.
- As a result of point 1 above, these 50.000 individuals would be much better equipped to compete and, along with their teams, contribute innovative solutions to the global marketplace. (In terms of potential impact on GDP, it’s not the same to innovate in Spain and Latin America as it is to innovate in the world.)
- Assuming that these 50.000 English-fluent individuals could make at least one articulate sales pitch or personal contact on behalf of their organizations every working day for a month – the kind of sales pitches that secretaries and translators cannot make – Spain would have at least 1.000.000 (50.000 x 1 phone call x 20 days) additional large-scale economic business opportunities per month.
- These 50.000 English-fluent persons would have a disproportionate influence on the rest of the country‘s knowledge base. If each of these persons “motivated” 50 of their closest associates to command the English language, Spain would have 2.5 million key individuals at the forefront of the planet’s knowledge acquisition machinery.
- The demand for Spanish products and services would rise – creating jobs – and Spain would leave the current recession better positioned to respond to future economic swings.
- Spain would experience a much-needed wave of collective self-esteem.
- Spanish leaders would move through Europe with the strength and agility of an English-speaking bull.
- Spain’s role as an intellectual, cultural and economic force in the history of the world would be recovered, and – ironically – the Spanish language and culture would be more respected around the world.
- Spain would quickly rival Germany, France, England and Italy as the intellectual and economic power horse of Europe.
- Spain has the ability to change its social and economic position in the world. 50.000 people are not very many people, and learning a language is not something unnattainable.
Are you one of these 50.000 most influential Spanish individuals, or do you aspire to be one? Can you read the most important English-language publications in your area of expertise and comment intelligently on them? If not, here are some tips to change this reality and make yourself (and the country) more competitive:
- Get some physical exercise. This will prepare you for the mental obstacle course of language learning.
- Make a commitment to learn the precise English that will make you and Spain more competitive. To identify the precise English, reflect deeply and ask yourself what you need to know to make yourself more competitive and Spain more attractive for potential investors.
- Be realistic and understand that to reach your goal it will take time and effort.
- Find an excellent private teacher. Look for a company or a coach that will facilitate your access to worldwide best practices and cutting-edge thinkers in your sector or industry. Be proactive and ask how your study plan will be elaborated, who will be responsible and how your progress will be measured. If you needed an evening gown for an important event, you wouldn’t trust yourself to the first street merchant, would you?
- With your teacher’s help, establish specific goals and time limits: for example, “I will learn how to confidently use 50 key expressions, 10 phrasal verbs, and two good jokes that will help me sell my organization in Washington, D.C. by September 1st”.
- Have one-to-one classes with your coach at least once a week for 90 minutes. In addition, register for online training to increase your contact with the language. There are many interesting options on the market.
- Increase your contact with English. To do so, combine your personal and professional interests with English learning. If you are in technology and you like yoga, read technology and yoga magazines exclusively in English.
- Subscribe to the leading English-language magazines of your sector or industry.
- Join and contribute to the leading blogs, wikis and forums related to your sector.
- Sign up for our Management Tip of the Week email. This email, which we send every week, is packed with valuable tools and tricks to help you improve your advanced English language skills.
If you have special needs and think that Educapro might be able to help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will do everything we can to help you reach your goals. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.