In this part 1 of the language series, we are looking at various aspects of learning to make our speaking and comprehension more refined.
Let’s discuss about how English Grammar can play an indispensable role in every part of our life.
Language as a communication channel
We all are social beings, and we need to communicate with each other. This is not only for professional requirement but also for our existence. Language is a significant mode of communication. Could you imagine a world without language?
There are more than 7,000 languages in the world. There are more than 400 living languages in India alone. Learning a language is part of everyone’s childhood experience. It is a part of growing up. What is the first language we learn as children? Generally, it is our mother-tongue; which is the native language of our parents. If we went through life interacting only with speakers of our own native language, knowing one language would be enough. This is true for millions of people in the world.
The need to learn an additional language
For a professional living in modern day India, knowing one language is not enough. Opportunities are abundant in every corner of the country, therefore knowing an additional language is a necessity.
You might argue, Hindi is my mother tongue, so that should be enough. You are not wrong, but does everyone in our country understand Hindi? Do the people residing in the Southern part of our country or the North Eastern parts understand Hindi? How will you communicate with them? Do you want to be cocooned because of a language barrier?
English – the connecting language
In our country, by virtue of exposure and ease of learning, English has emerged as the common language. Although the accent might vary depending on the region you belong to, it is easy to converse in English. English is the medium of instruction in college education. This is true in most urban schools as well – both primary and secondary.
Moreover, in the era of globalization, we need to move out beyond our boundaries and travel to different parts of the world. Globally there are more than 400 million English speakers, and it is an international language. If you want to excel and market yourself, you need to have a good understanding of the language.
Saving grace in a multi-lingual country
I remember the first time I travelled to Chennai for my treatment; English was such a saviour! Neither did I understand Tamil, nor did the locals know Hindi! Forget about getting treated, I would have been forced to fly back home if English was foreign to me.
Imagine attending an interview at an MNC, the chances of your interviewer being a native English speaker is very high. Even though you have excellent communication skills in your mother-tongue, your English communication skills will play a critical role.
Let us look at how English grammar can help you in your career.
Cracking an interview
“Hello, Ms. Divya. How are you today?” the interviewer asked with a smile.
I replied, “I am well”. Before I could proceed any further, I saw a mild change in the interviewer’s expression. This made me wonder where I had gone wrong.
It is the word – well – which I had used incorrectly. I should have used good instead of well.
The verb family of “to be” includes I am, you are, she is, etc. These are state of being verbs (also known as linking verbs). An adjective should follow such verbs, not an adverb. Therefore, we say, “I am sad” and not “I am sadly”.
The first impression is crucial when you meet any person, let alone an interviewer. You cannot mar this because of a grammar mistake. As it is, an interview gives us butterfly sensation in our stomachs. We are expected to prove our ability within a stipulated time. We cannot afford to make mistakes with conjunctions and tenses.
Be empowered learners
Education doesn’t end with our schooling; in fact, it begins! If you want to learn, to excel, you must be well-versed with the basics of English. Otherwise you will face challenges in following college classes. Even if you opt for online learning, most of the training is in English. You cannot restrict your knowledge because of a language barrier.
I remember in our school, teachers used to proceed with a subject depending on the pace of learning of the class. If required, they also used to explain specific points in our mother-tongue. But when I went to college, I faced a different world- with a completely different learning environment. All the instructional models were conducted in English. With students from all parts of the country, everyone’s mother-tongue was different as well.
Build a stronger network
The next challenge I faced was in my office. While I thought I was well-versed with my communication skills, I realised how feeble my written communication was. In exams, we mostly write what we have studied, but the office is a different ball game. We need to express ourselves clearly and convince others of our creative thinking and ideas. This can be through emails or speeches or presentations; with no scope of error.
This is when I started valuing conjunctions and realized the role of verbs. I remember, once a colleague was badly admonished by a client for a simple sentence. My colleague had written, “We are already working on the assignment and will share it with you soon.”
The client called our manager and asked how we could deliver a critical assignment ‘soon’ if we were still working on it. The manager was also clueless, as the product was ready, and we were in the last phase of testing.
Do you know what went wrong?
Our team member should have written, “We have already worked on the assignment, and will share it with you on priority.”
It was an incorrect usage of ‘state of being’: working vs. have worked.
Post this incident, one of our popular fun games during breaks was experimenting with English and helping each other improve.
You can build a strong network with your clients and colleagues only when you can explain yourself flawlessly.
English is a universal language and it is spoken as a first or second language in most places of the world. Due to this reason, it is easy to find English speakers wherever you go. Moreover, you also find printed information mostly in English, particularly at hotels, signboards, and other areas frequently visited by tourists.
So, if you can master this language, you can travel freely without any fear of communication gap.
Learning English makes you smarter
Now, this doesn’t hold true only for English, but for learning any new language. When you teach a new language to your child, her brain starts functioning more positively. According to research, it influences those parts of the brain which are accountable for memory, conscious thought and logical thinking.
Learning English will open new avenues for you. You can enjoy more genres of movies, read more books, listen to more music, be more active on social media, create your blog, and have loads of other enriching experiences.
Experiential Learning in NumberNagar®
Trust us, it is never too late! You can overcome your taboo and help your child to learn English at any point in time. With our interactive learning modules, meaningful and relevant lessons, your child can quickly and seamlessly dive into the world of English.
At NumberNagar®, we focus on communication as it is the core of effective understanding. Our differentiated learning techniques motivate students to participate in different games and contests. Children also experience various types of listening, speaking, reading and writing exercises. Through our personalised learning, we help them to develop their core skills and excel in their career.
English grammar is always at your rescue in every part of your life and career. Having mastery on just this aspect of language will help you greatly in both active and passive ways.