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English has its role.. Learn it

Learn it from your teachers, learn it from your peers, learn it through TV programmes, learnt it from help books like Cliffs, Barrons, ARCO, learn it from newspapers and books but LEARN IT.

I am an Engineer
Why do I need English?
This is what some people feel. But a sizeable number of budding engi-neers are from regional medium study at least up to school. They always feel inferior and insecure. They also have a dichotomous cousin of English medium students who think --"All through my school, I had English around me, why should I bother about English in Engi-neering?" A few years ago, when Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen were the finalists, a question was posed to them, "What role do you think a woman has in the society?" The answers were given in English. It was the expression of Ms Sen in English that clinched the title 'Miss India' to her. Of course, Sushmita won Miss Universe title too subsequently. Be it a beauty contest, be it a taxi driving profession, be it a front office executive work, be it a call centre executive work or a job interview, English has its role. That's why everyone should concentrate on it. Those who have some English already should hone their skills further to stand up to newly emerging challenge.

Globalization and its impact on use of English
Communication is redefined with globalisation. English which was treated synonymously with imperialism has universally spread faster and faster with less opposition. Whether it is Hobson's choice because of proliferation of internet or a reflection of globalisation, the fact is English is now willingly or unwillingly accepted everywhere. Technical skills can be acquired by anyone, but what differentiates the leaders is the ability to conduct oneself with etiquette and work within the protocol. Corporate bodies are waking up to this new found prerequisite for hiring people. A pressing need has arisen for time-pressed managers and budding managers to improve and polish the skills they need most. They have to improve their job performance today and develop the edge to become the leaders of tomorrow. With increasing boom in outsourcing, even junior executives are required to interact and deal directly with their overseas clients on a regular basis. The need to communicate over telephone or internet has become very acute. In the absence of body language which supplements most of verbal communication, executives have to solely depend on precise and effective communication skills. Being able to speak correct English is no more adequate. The ability to understand different accents, idioms, ever expanding jargon and expressions, cultural differences -- all that add up to the soft skills that have to be acquired.

Who will teach me?
There are going to be no more walls in colleges/ universities, because students can know more than their teachers as a result of information networks. Thus, there will be an acceleration of personal development and development of societies. Learn it from your teachers, learn it from your peers, learn it through TV programmes, learnt it from help books like Cliffs, Barrons, ARCO, learn it from newspapers and books; but LEARN IT. Every day should be a learning day. English is everywhere, if you want to learn it!

Whether you wish to go abroad for higher studies and work there subsequently, you need to take TOEFL/GRE/IELTS/GMAT. In addition to English Language proficiency, you should have good English to comprehend questions in reasoning, analytical problems. Now-a-days, most of the employers use English, Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Ability, General Awareness as components of their tests. Of course, there will be subject tests separately. HR interview will be in English and your spontaneity and expression matters.

Soft Skills
It is not enough if you learn grammar and vocabulary. You have to mould your language into acceptable form. You have to understand English spoken by other country people. You have to make yourself intelligible. Not just the accent, but there are several other issues like: Interpersonal skills; Team spirit; Social grace; Business etiquette; Negotiation skills; Behavioural Traits such as attitude, motivation and time management; Effective listening; Report Writing; Cross-cultural communication; Personal appearance.

GSRK Babu Rao
Soft skills & Business communication Consultant.
Published date : 08 Aug 2015 05:32PM

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