How much is speaking English worth to you?

If you’re here reading this, you probably want to improve your language skills. Statistically, English is one of the most valuable languages in the world. It is the international language of business, with roughly 400 million native speakers and over one billion non-native speakers. So, if you speak English as a second language, how could improving your English affect your life for the better? More importantly, how much is speaking English worth to you?

Learning English for Work

If you work in an English-speaking environment or aspire to work in one, English becomes an essential skill. It’s not just about learning a new language for fun; you can actively improve your work performance or even attain a better job by achieving English fluency. Therefore, if you want or need to learn English for work, it’s pretty easy to do a cost-benefit analysis.

For example, let’s say you studied to be an engineer and speak English at a B1 level. You spent your life learning a technical (hard) skill, but now you want to improve your job prospects. Improving your English could help you land a job that pays significantly more than the jobs available to non-English speakers. As a result, you should never underestimate the advantages of “soft” skills like speaking English.

The benefits of learning English for work

When looking at the cost of improving your English, it likely pales in comparison to the benefits. In fact, there are tons of work-related advantages to speaking English, including:

  • Securing higher salaries
  • Having greater influence and respect in your work environment
  • Attaining better positions or more responsibilities
  • Achieving greater communication with coworkers, clients, vendors, etc.
  • Gaining more opportunities to work abroad

In short, if all of the benefits above are worth the cost of learning English, then you should consider seeking out the help of an English learning program like SpeakUp. That said, the potential salary gain is the most important factor. Assuming that improving your English and achieving fluency will cost you roughly $200-$300 USD per year for 2 to 3 years, you could easily calculate what kind of salary would make it worth your time (and money). 

For example, let’s say that your current annual salary is $50,000 USD. You know of several positions available to English speakers that pay upwards of $60,000 USD. By spending less than $1,000 on English learning resources or programs, you could secure a job that pays $10,000 more than you’re currently making. Of course, this is just an example, but it should give you an idea of how the cost of learning English measures up to the potential benefits.

 

Learning English for School

If you want to study abroad at a college or university, you will probably need to take the TOEFL or IELTS. These tests measure your ability to speak and comprehend English. Naturally, you don’t have to achieve a perfect score to get into a good school. However, English fluency (or near fluency) could help you secure a spot in the school of your dreams.

When it comes to the actual costs and benefits of learning English for international students, it can be somewhat hard to measure. It’s true that learning English can help you perform better on entrance exams and English-proficiency tests, which can help you get into better schools. However, once you’re at school, English fluency can also make your life a lot easier. You’ll be better positioned to make friends and enjoy a healthy social life on campus. Additionally, you’ll likely find it easier to manage school activities like lectures, assigned readings, essays, and presentations.

How much should students spend on English improvement?

So, how much is speaking English worth to you? As an international student, how much are you willing to pay to secure a position at a good school, make your social life easier, and improve your academics? One way to evaluate the value of learning English is to compare it to the cost of tuition. Would you be willing to pay the equivalent of 10% of your tuition costs for English classes if it makes your life 10% easier or more enjoyable? Your answer could depend on various factors, including your disposable funds and the cost of tuition, but for most students, the benefits of learning English far outweigh the costs.

 

Learning English to Immigrate

If you want to immigrate to the United States, the UK, or another English-speaking country, you will have to show that you have some knowledge of the English language. You don’t have to be a fluent speaker per se, but you will have to know enough to pass a comprehensive English exam. However, if you really plan to live for an extended period of time in an English-speaking country, you should try to reach for English fluency anyway.

Why? Because moving to a new country is not easy and living in a new country with a different culture can be lonely. Learning English can help you assimilate, make friends, and generally enjoy the experience as much as possible. In fact, speaking the local language in any country can help you have a stronger sense of belonging. This way, you won’t feel so isolated in unfamiliar territory.

The cost of moving to a new country

Like international students, immigrants face a difficult path when it comes to a cost-benefit analysis of learning English. How much is speaking English worth to you if it can make your experience in another country significantly better? What specific benefits will you gain by learning English?

Answering these questions is a little easier if you look at the cost of learning English in comparison to the cost of moving to another country. For example, let’s say that you want to move from Buenos Aires to New York City for a new job opportunity. Here are some of the initial moving expenses you can expect:

  • Working visa fees — $200
  • Flight — $1,300
  • Temporary accommodations — $2,000
  • Storage & shipping costs — $1,000

While these are just approximations and do not cover some of the daily costs you’ll need to consider (like food and transportation), this should give you an idea of the largest expenditures you’ll have when immigrating. Based on these numbers alone, you’ll need at least $4,500 USD to make the move.

So, how much is speaking English worth to you if it can make the immigration process less painful? It’s difficult to measure precisely, but spending about 10-20% of the moving costs on learning English could help reduce the stress of moving to a new country and make the subsequent cultural transition far easier. 

Learning English for Fun

Finally, we know that many people don’t have a specific goal when learning to speak English. Perhaps you just want to expand your horizons or work on self-improvement. Either way, if you’re just learning English for fun, calculating how much speaking English is worth to you is much easier. 

You can essentially compare speaking English to any other activity in your life. For example, if you enjoy playing a sport, how much are you willing to spend to play it? If it’s $0, then you know that you probably won’t want to spend any money to learn English, either.

Alternatively, if you are willing (and able) to spend money on leisure activities, you’ll need to set a budget and decide exactly how much you want to spend to learn English. The exact cost will depend on how much you want to learn (i.e. if you want to become fluent or just see some improvement), as well as the pace of learning. For example, if you want to become fluent in six months, you’ll probably need to spend more than someone who just wants to see some improvement within the next few years.

 

Is your current solution meeting your needs? 

Determining how much speaking English is worth to you is just the first step. Once you’ve set your goals and budget, it’s time to put that information into action. Are you currently investing in classes or resources to improve your English? If so, are these solutions meeting your needs? 

If you’re looking for a better way to improve your English and achieve English fluency, SpeakUp could be the solution for you.

Why SpeakUp

We guarantee that SpeakUp will help you achieve English fluency. We even offer a money-back guarantee, so if your English doesn’t improve, you don’t have to pay anything. That’s how much we believe in our process.

Here are just a few more reasons why SpeakUp is a step above the competition:

Practice speaking English regularly

SpeakUp provides live virtual classes for small groups of students at the same English level. This ensures that you can practice speaking English in a controlled environment, led by a trained English instructor. With SpeakUp, you get hours of speaking practice, plus live feedback from a native English speaker.

Customize your English journey

SpeakUp provides you will all of the resources you need to succeed, but you still control the specific path you take to English fluency. We run live sessions for different speaking levels every week. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, from general discussions to technical grammar lessons. We recommend two classes per week for students to see optimal improvement — without experiencing burnout.

Get the most value for your money

At just $4 per hour, SpeakUp is the most affordable, high-end English learning program on the market. To gain access to trained English teachers on other platforms (or through private tutoring), you would need to pay as much as $50 per hour. Fortunately, SpeakUp gives you access to affordable and productive group sessions, plus tons of useful resources and assessments to measure your progress.

So, how much is speaking English worth to you? Even if you’ve only got a little bit of room in your budget, SpeakUp offers you a high-quality learning experience for a fraction of the usual price. If you think $4 per hour could make English fluency worth your while, be sure to sign up for a 7-day free trial with SpeakUp today!

Matthew Jones

Matthew Jones

Matthew Jones is a freelance writer with a B.A. in Film and Philosophy from the University of Georgia. It was during his time in school that he published his first written work. After serving as a casting director in the Atlanta film industry for two years, Matthew acquired TEFL certification and began teaching English abroad. In 2017, Matthew started writing for dozens of different brands across various industries. During this time, Matthew also built an online following through his film blog. If you’d like to learn more about Matthew, you can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or his personal website!
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