Significance of language learning
Language learning involves challenges in day-to-day life. In a country where English is the lingua franca and the language acts as the foundation of success for availing jobs via communication, linguistic proficiency is a must. With globalization & the rapid expansion of the IT industries, English has become a language of demand worldwide. It has turned into an increasingly diverse mode of global communication. Language learning has grabbed the attention of linguistic professionals, corporate workers, young & adult learners, doctors, engineers, educators, and so on. To engage in social interaction in today’s world while shopping, appearing for interviews, interacting with a wide English-speaking audience, and paying medical visits, achieving a certain level of proficiency in the target language (English) is required.
How Good English Communication Can Increase Career Prospects?
In India, good English communication skills are highly valued in the job market. Many companies have a global presence, and being able to speak and write in English is a must-have skill for most jobs. Good English communication skills can help individuals stand out in the job market, increasing their chances of getting hired and advancing in their careers. Moreover, it can help individuals build strong relationships with colleagues and clients, which can lead to career growth opportunities.
Is English language, a barrier in the communication process?
Many of you might have experienced the failure of expressing your thoughts and interacting in the workplace for lacking a certain proficiency in the language. You might have felt intimidated a lot of times or have been subjected to bullying when others around you sounded confident, proficient & self-assured. You start questioning your capabilities, knowledge, and skills, try to walk away from the circle while they suppress you, and make you feel undermined, humiliated, or ignored for not being able to communicate skillfully. Don’t let English be a barrier in your communication process. Start from today itself.
Do you know the learner levels in English learning?
English learning has different levels that cater to the level of each learner.
Which category of learner are you? Read on to find out.
A1- Breakthrough basic users
A2- Way stage, basic users
B1- Threshold, independent users
B2 – Vantage, independent users
C1 & C2 – Advanced users.
Here are some life-changing hacks that we suggest to you for developing effective communication skills alongside classroom learning:
• Listen & imitate
Listening is an active part of communication. Start by subscribing and listening to audiobooks, and podcasts and try to understand the speech sounds that are produced. Download the word-to-word transcripts which are available and practice speaking at a moderate rate of speech. Once you listen to songs, stories, and news in English. Remember the time when you were a toddler and imitated the words and phrases in your native tongue that you listened to without paying much attention to the format and basic rules. Memorize and try to use the vocabularies that you heard.
• Acquire, assimilate & immerse
Immerse into the language by making a habit of practicing it daily. Try to develop the habit of talking to yourself in front of the mirror. Mirrors can be used to critique ourselves. Research says that mirrors play a significant role in our psychological & emotional functioning. Describe your day-to-day activities, achievements, people you met, and things that you perceived around you. Record your conversation, listen to them, and correct yourself every time you feel you are going wrong.
• READ, READ, READ!
Read books and highlight the words that you find difficult in understanding. Watch Youtube videos in your spare time and try to assimilate and translate the words into English. Immerse deeply into the language by spending a few minutes in listening, reading & speaking. Make online friends and start texting them by changing your phone settings to English. Acquire the phrases and terminologies used in English movies, TED talks, comedy shows, etc.
• Speak aloud
Your smartphone is your handy tool for learning a language. Read out a newspaper to yourself aloud. Record it on your phone and listen to it two times a day. You can even find a roleplay script and practice on your own. This is a great way to practice pronunciation because you only need to concentrate on making certain that your English sounds great.
• Maintain a journal
Make a list of vocabularies that you come across while reading a newspaper or a book, listening to people, or interacting with them. Find out its meaning and try to use them in sentences of your own. Jot down important points that learn & observe in the class and practice it at home.
• Focus on sentence structure and message instead of grammar
Try to use complete sentences without putting much emphasis on functional grammar at the beginning. Communicate your thoughts & feelings in English to your friends or colleagues. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Never hesitate at the thought of being judged or laughed at. Take it as constructive criticism. Deliver the message in your target language. The more you practice, the better you get at it.
• Proper articulation of speech sounds
English is a tricky language. Many beginners, as well as intermediate learners, struggle to develop their English speaking skills in spite of practicing it over and over. The more you delve deep into it, the more it sounds fascinating.It is necessary to learn the way in which sounds function in a language once you start absorbing it. It is important to know how to produce sounds so that they can be easily understood and interpreted by others in order to be able to express basic needs and wants, right through to being able to engage in complex conversations. We use the air that we breathe out to articulate the speech sounds of English and several Indian languages like Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, etc.
• Focus on accent and rhythm
Our personal, regional & cultural accent has much influence on our target language. When adolescent learners try to learn English they often mingle it with their native tone. As a result, it becomes a combination of multiple accents. English has a neutral accent and it’s common to get stuck on learning the proper methods of pronunciation unless you start thinking of it as a language different from your native tongue.
• Work on your pronunciation
Do you know the variety of sounds that the letters in English produce?
The 26 letters of the alphabet produce 44 sounds of English. Fascinating, right? Or it doesn’t make sense at all? Let’s see an example: The words far /fɑːr/ and fur /fər/ sound the same but are spelled and pronounced differently. This is because there are vowel as well as consonant sounds in English that produce certain speech sounds. You might find this difficult to master the sound system of languages by watching You tube videos or just memorizing them. But constant practice will definitely give you better results.
An easy way to study these aspects is to enroll yourself in a spoken English course that follows the Cambridge curriculum. Visit ILCA to hone your skills in speaking English fluently and confidently. We are here to assist you in adapting to the target language as much as you are adept in speaking your native tongue.
• Non-Verbal Communication (Body language & Gestures)
Whether we are aware of it or not, we continuously use facial expressions, and hand and body movements while speaking. Your gestures, posture, tone of voice, and the eye contact you make—send strong messages. These aspects of communication can put people at ease, build trust, and draw others towards you, or vice versa. They can offend, confuse, and undermine people. The human face is expressive and can portray countless emotions. It is universal. The facial expressions of happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust are the same across cultures and can be understood without voicing them.
English learning does not happen within days. It is a time-consuming process. One has to be patient, resilient, and consistent throughout the learning process and believe a lot in oneself. Learning begins the day you feel that you have a quest for knowledge. Some easy tips and tricks have been mentioned above, if that brings a change in your self-learning process, do write in the comments and let us know about your self-grooming experiences.If you want to continue this journey with us, following our track, then reach us here.