Monday, September 26, 2022

Need for Development of Communication Skills in English

God blessed only human beings with speech and language. Learning the International Language, English, is a must in these days of globalization. Knowledge of English Language is the ticket to enter the world of opportunities.  But in spite of years of hard labour many students are not able to speak or write in English. The simple reason for this is not trying to learn words with which language is made of. Any amount of rote learning of answers to questions is useless as the matter is forgotten after the examinations and ultimately nothing remains with a student.

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What is language?

A fundamental question is — What is language? It is a meaningful communication of ideas and feelings through words arranged in a particular order. Language is like a building made of bricks called words and cement called grammar. Any attempt to learn English without learning words is a vain attempt. We learn a second language say Tamil or Hindi by learning certain words (Pronunciation, meaning etc.) and trying to use them. So should be the way with English. Learning grammar is actually not a necessity while learning mother tongue (L1), but for second language (L2) it has to be learnt for ascertaining the acceptability and for examination purposes. That is to say L1 is acquired but L2 has to be learnt. The more you interact with the language the more you learn it. Today the sources of exposure to English are abundant – books, news Papers, magazines, TV, computer with internet, movies etc. Continuous touch with these develops English language skills.

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Spoken English is very important

Spoken English is of prime importance in the societies in which English is the mother tongue. For all of us English is a second or a third language. While learning English we give primary importance to written English as that is necessary to get along in examinations, and offices. However the importance of ability to speak and comprehend spoken English is growing day by day. Most of the jobs available in the market today are marketing jobs for which communication in English is a necessity. Today watching a cricket match on TV needs a reasonable ability to comprehend Spoken English commentary. An interview with a hero or a heroine telecast on TV makes one blink if one cannot follow their English though the program is supposed to be in Telugu or Hindi. Further in presentations, group discussions, seminars, conferences, and the interviews for jobs English is the only language used.

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Global communication in English

News and Research Findings are communicated across the globe only through English. It is the Language of Library and Higher Learning. All good courses like Medicine, Engineering, Computer Science, Law, Management etc., are available only in English Medium. Now foreign universities are coming to India and study in them will be only through English. In India English language plays a special role as a “Link Language” between states. English is the language of computers. Knowledge of English has a significant role in making Indians great Software Engineers. Today living without English is like living without electricity. English is a matter of social prestige in India. It is not right to say that ability to communicate in English is greater than the ability to communicate in vernacular. But many Indians believe that speaking English is a sign of civilization! Parents take pride in stating that their wards are studying in English Medium schools.

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Great divide

There is a great divide between the English Medium and vernacular Medium students not only in their ability to communicate in English but in their general awareness and confidence levels. In other words the ability to communicate in English is shaping the personality of a student and thereby influences his entire life. Communists speak of Haves and Have-nots in terms of wealth. But today Indians are getting divided into two categories namely those who have communication skills in English and those who haven’t. All the opportunities and the resultant prosperity are available only for the people with good communication skills in English.

Lastly notice the plight of those who cannot enjoy an English movie or a magazine as the quality of them is far superior in general to movies or magazines in Telugu or Hindi. So let us note that the ability to communicate in English is not only a necessity but a good means to enjoy life.

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Rajendra Singh Baisthakur
Rajendra Singh Baisthakur
Rajendra Singh Baisthakur had been a Lecturer in English. He is a poet, critic and translator. His interests are Literature, Philosophy and social media.

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