The English Language and Professional Mobility

In the course of the last 16 years in America, I have met hundreds of immigrants, new and old, who came to the USA with high levels of learning, higher education diplomas, and optimistic aspirations. However, for lack of English language knowledge, they have found it extremely hard to enjoy the professional and personal mobility the US economic, political, and social climate provides. In fact, I meet folks who hold Doctorates but remain stuck in low-paying jobs, mostly as dish-washers in restaurants and cab-drivers.

With that social status and psychological state of mind come enormous stress and depression. In fact, nothing is worse than wasted talent, and certainly a mind is a terrible thing to waste. How sad also!

In fact, had these folks learned English, they would have found many a way of maneuver and many an opportunity to explore. In the old days, when Germany was leading the world in industrialization, many German scientists found themselves compelled to follow the teachings of realism rather than the ideologies of German supremacy. Once they started publishing their exploits in English online, their scientific discoveries reached the entire world and their fame and gain soared. What would have happened to their achievements had they only learned and published in German?!

There are among us two kinds of folks: those who take to the high seas without the proper survival gear, and those who embark on a boat hopefully strong enough to fight off monsters of the journey. An important survival kit item is definitely the ability to speak, write, and read the English language. These folks who do not speak the English language end up sinking in the manhole of mediocre self upkeep and maintenance, perform poorly in the conduct of a self-assessment, take very few if not no measures for self-correction, and usually lean back on original ideologies that validate them as useful no matter what, which may also compromise their pursuit of success and integration in the host countries.

Education without the knowledge of the English language is like dough without yeast. Impregnation only occurs when the yeast has penetrated the dough. Likewise, education from other countries can only be validated in host societies when the immigrant has made attempts to learn foreign languages and culture abroad prior to effecting the move to English-language speaking territories.

English language schools have flourished everywhere around the world, a clear invitation to everyone to take part in the open market of knowledge and learning. But surely, none can ever partake of economic and social mobility without the knowledge of the English language and culture.