A systematic study of English is essential
The best ideas in the world are worthless and useless, unless those can be communicated to others Translating an idea into the spoken and written...
The best ideas in the world are worthless and useless, unless those can be communicated to others. Translating an idea into the spoken and written language represents one’s thinking and creativity . English has become a world language as most of the spoken or written communication in the world is through English only and hence English has become an absolute asset for everyone .
Moreover, a person with a good knowledge of English is considered to be an advantage for many jobs not only in India but also in foreign countries. Thus, it has become an essential requirement for all the professionals and a passport for employment.
A few years ago, employees could rely on a secretary or administrative assistant for help in writing, editing and distribution. But today, all employees except those in the highest levels of upper management are personally responsible for their communication tasks. And the result is that they have to depend as much on their ability to master a computer and software as on their ability to speak and write effectively.
One’s technical skills will be an important feature in one’s career. However, if the technical skills of two Candidates are equal, the decision for hiring is usually based on the ability of communication . For some positions, communication skills are so vital that poor writers or speakers are passed over, no matter what level of expertise they have in technical skills.
The word communication is derived from the Latin term “communicare ” or “ communico ” which means to share . It is not only mere translation of ideas but also the intelligibility of those ideas by the receiver.
Language is a medium of verbal communication. Language helps man to interact with the community and to regulate his social behaviour. The feelings , ideas and thoughts of a human being can be clearly and effectively expressed only in a language . Every human race has developed its own language based on its culture, needs, habits, social conditions etc.
In case of mother tongue, every child acquires language from its family members through various natural circumstances; Where the child is ignorant of either syntax or semantics . The child imitates and reproduces the sounds and patterns used by the other human beings around it . In the process of learning a second language , we should distinguish between learning and acquisition .
Learning means knowing things based on some rules and principles . This develops a habit in the personality of the human being where as acquisition means possession by gradual and natural exposure to that concept . This develops a quality in the personality of the human being .
In case of first language or mother tongue, we acquire or possess it , as we encounter that language in various natural circumstances; this wide exposure makes the first language as the quality of a person .But we cannot acquire a second language as we don’t have such sufficient exposure to that language and we have to use that language only based on its principles . Hence, we can learn that second language but cannot acquire it.
Before going to know about the necessities to learn a language, we should distinguish between the concepts of fluency and proficiency. Fluency is the quick and easy flow of speech without an idea of the principles of a language ; which comes to us with continuous exposure to that language ; whereas proficiency is the profound knowledge of a language, which can be achieved by the scientific study of the principles of a language . Proficiency is helpful for the students to get through all competitive exams and it helps employees to be good communicators.
To have proficiency in the language , we have to be thorough in three basic elements i.e., phonology –Study of speech sounds, syntax – structure through grammar and semantics – vocabulary. Language is a system of communication through speech, and written language is an attempt to represent the spoken language by visual symbols. In English , the correspondence between the written form and spoken form is not constantly maintained.
It is therefore essential for Indian students to make a systematic study of the English sound system i.e. phonology and avoid any doubts arising out of their study of written English .
We need to learn the syntax i.e., structure of English sentences through grammar, as it helps us either to speak or write clearly. Without studying grammar, it is difficult to speak or write both fluently and accurately. A sound awareness in grammar is an essential prerequisite for good communication.
Coming to the third element semantics, we should have a good knowledge of words in order to express our ideas or thoughts precisely and effectively, English has far more words in its core vocabulary than other languages.
(Dr K Sarojadevi - The author is a Professor in English, RISE Group, Ongole).