English and Employability

While WhatsApp Duniya gives us a reason to laugh on phrases like “alteration of Ladies to Gents”; “Vacancy! A male salesgirl is wanted”; “NOTIS: This store is not open today becos it is closed”; I feel emphathetic towards these writers, rather compassionate at times as if everybody is wanting the fit the bill. The bill could be to earn livelihood or just an expression to impress others.


There was a time when the sound of the language was not needed. Though, things have changed in the era of globalization. English is the language to communicate. It is the lingo accepted widely in all aspects of our lives.


Browse through research papers, and you will find number of works that mentions, employability of graduates and postgraduates being a concern in India; most of it is ascribed to lack of English aptitude and communication skills.


From the employer’s perspective, students should have excellent communication skills as they need to communicate with their customers or clients on a regular basis. Good communication skill is one of the factors, rather a key indicator to make them successful. Try speaking in distorted in English Language in an interview, and the result would be evident. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that English language needs to be taught to enhance the employability. As a professional in the world of language, I see the daily struggle for students who do not speak English Language, or may I say as eloquently as they should. In fact, now few Engineering colleges and Business Schools have a course on Communication. Also, Spoken English is taught, and focus is given to teach the students to improve their performance in placements. The teachers have enhanced their methodologies of language teaching. The objective is to make the students practice as much as possible to improve their confidence levels in the language and thereby improve their chances of getting placed.


There is a need of language training from the beginning of an education life so that the things do not get sour later. Students from smaller cities and towns should not suffer from the clutches of not knowing a language. There was never a mystery, English Language has connected us to the world; so why shy away and not take necessary steps to bridge the gap.


Ms. Kamala Das, also known as the mother of Modern Indian English poetry, in her poem “An Introduction” when she was asked not to write in English, her response was “Why not let me speak in any language I like? The language I speak, becomes mine”. Brilliantly expressed in simple language. The essence is the freedom to choose a language, however, given the present situation, let’s say the way we own Hindi Language or our mother tongue, there is a need to own the English Language and not give it a second-hand treatment. Learning a skill or a language for genuine reasons should not be thought as a futile task. Next time, laugh at those jokes in WhatsApp Duniya, however, think of somebody like them who needs your help. You may change their world forever!!


 

Shweta Sikroria can be reached on LinkedIn.

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It’s a known fact that we as Indians have our own way of speaking English which differs from the language spoken by the native speakers. Our usages of words, idioms, phrases and pronunciation deviates