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Importance of Intonation

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From the vernacular Chaucer, tragic Shakespeare, classic Eliot, romantic Keats to the likes of fictional Bhagat, it cannot be denied that English has evolved over centuries; every language does!

Acronyms have replaced the large stash of words and oral conversations have been substituted by texts leading to misunderstandings and conflicts among the peers. Everything might change but there is only one aspect of a language that hasn’t lost its ground — intonation.

In common words, Intonation refers to the rise and fall of pitch and tone of a speaker to give stress to the relevant words in order to make his speech more effective.

Many of us have stopped giving attention to the tone altogether whereas others have actually taken time out to ponder over it a bit. Simply because no matter what is the mode of communication, importance of intonation is hard to be overlooked. Hence, there is only one solution left to this, a conversation for real.

What does intonation do?

Without intonation, our voices are flat and monotone. There is little interest generated in the audience. As a listener, the voice is bland to listen to. You tune it out. You may even fall asleep. Even if the speaker has great content, there is little desire to listen or to get passionate about the speaker’s message. Without intonation, you cannot understand the speaker’s feelings and the speaker’s attitudes. Are they really happy or are they very angry? Is there something exciting happening or perhaps a surprise of some sort? Is the person confident in what they think or say, or are they unsure of what they are thinking or saying?

When talking over the phone, we can express emotion and intention as much through the tone of our voice as through the contents of our conversation. While most of the time we do this without even thinking, a little consideration of how we do it can help us avoid misunderstandings and improve those all-important first impressions made over the phone. Here are few things that are to be kept in mind during a conversation:

Pitch

While some people naturally have higher voices than others, and women tend to speak in a higher pitch than men, we do tend to alter our pitch to convey emotions.

Pace

This is how fast or slow your speech is. While rapid speech may indicate that the speaker is nervous or excited, a steady pace shows confidence, or reflects a topic of a more serious nature.

Power

This refers to where you place the stress in a sentence, and can change the meaning of your speech almost entirely. For example, take the sentence “I didn’t say your cooking was bad!” Depending on where you place the stress in this sentence, you can elicit an entirely different response.

Tone

Tone is the easiest giveaway when it comes to emotion. We often think of vocal tones as being warm or cold. For example, the phrase “see you later” spoken in a warm tone implies excitement at the impending reunion, whereas spoken in a cold tone it could be a clue that the speaker isn’t particularly keen on seeing you after all!

Whether you watch news/ movie/ documentary on TV or merely listen to a conversation on FM you can observe the intonation in people’s voice and decide for yourself whether it really makes a difference or not. It is easy for all of us to relate to the fact that almost all of us know someone who makes us laugh just because of the way he/she says something funny (intonation- getting used to the fullest) and on the other hand the funniest of jokes can’t get us to even smile (No intonation or improper use).

So gear up friends, practice intonation and experience the difference.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Use of Phrases in English

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The use of phrases in the English language is a very interesting and at times a hilarious affair. As Indians, we love to translate the entire sentence, word to word, from Hindi to English; therefore sometimes it becomes quite hilarious. Here’s a look at some of the most commonly used phrases in English which are incorrect.

  • “What’s your good name?” There is no good or bad name. A name is just a name. So, instead of asking a person’s “good name” what we can ask instead is “May I know your name? or May I take your name?”. It sounds polite and is the correct way of knowing someone’s name.
  • “Where do you put up?” Do we put down also!! Well! There is a proper way to ask where the person lives. You can simply ask “Where do you live or where do you reside?”
  • Another commonly used phrase is “Kindly revert back”. Revert itself means to reply back so we need not add an additional back with revert.
  • Next comes the humble “discuss about”. Now, you will ask what’s wrong with this phrase. Well! Discuss means to talk about things. Therefore, we again need not add an extra about to it.
  • Next in line is “I will do the work today itself”. Today means by end of the day. So we need not add itself to it
  • Similar to the above is “I came back today only”.. Again, if you have come today , then it means you are already here, so need not again put an extra only to it.
  • Now comes the most amusing phrase used “My house is at the backside of the park”. Ahh!! Backside!! Well, we all know what it refers to!! Instead of saying the backside entrance, we can simply say “the rear of the park or the back of the park or entrance”.
  • We Indians love traveling. And it’s a common phrase to say “out of station”. Again, in earlier times when railway was the preferred mode of transport, this phrase could have still made sense as it referred to moving out of the railway station. But no longer is this phrase apt for today’s era. We can replace this phrase by simply saying “I was out of town”.
  • Next in line is “passed out”. Again a term very prevalently used. Now, this means that a person has become unconscious or fainted. We never ever use this phrase to ask “When did you pass out from college?” It literally means “When did you faint in college?” The correct way to as is “When did you complete your college education?” or “When did you pass from college?”
  • We are all scared of giving exams, isn’t it? There we go!!! Again an Indian phrase commonly used by all “Are you giving your board exams?” That’s completely incorrect. The suitable way of saying this is “Are you taking you board exams?”
  • As Indians, we love to talk incessantly about our family. And then comes another Indian phrase widely used by most of us; “My real brother/sister”. Come on!! Do we have a fake brother or sister too? No!!! So simply say “siblings”. Another error which we make while talking about our family is “cousin brother/sister”. Cousin is a cousin; you need not add a brother or sister to it.
  • Let’s talk about Hinglish now!! Adding a “Na” at the end of sentence. “You are coming for the movie, na?” Come to think of it!! You are literally asking that person to not come!! Just ask “Are you coming for the movie?” Let that person say a ‘haan’ or a ‘na’!!
  • Another language fallacy is the use of “herself”, inappropriately. e.g. “She herself only completed the work”. Which means that she did the work on her own. A better and of course the correct way of saying this is “She did the work all by herself or she did the work on her own.”
  • Back is back again!! This time wrongly used in a different concept. Ever heard people saying ­­“Two years back I was in China?” Well! Well! Well! No back here please!!! Usage of a small word here, will change the way you talk. Please replace “back” with “ago”. Hence, it’s “Two years ago, I was in China.”
  • Last, but not the least is the over usage of the “Present Continuous Tense”. Words like having, liking, etc. How does this sentence sound – He’s is loving those shoes? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! It should be “He loves those shoes”. Another common one is “Are you having your laptop with you?” Didn’t know we can eat laptops too!!! “Having is consuming”. Therefore, we cannot use having unless we are referring to an eatable item. Instead please say” Do you have your laptop with you?” “Have” indicates possession.

Hope, the above fantastic fifteen will be an eye opener for us and we stop using these phrases to make our English sound more refined. Getting my point!! Ohhh!!! I mean, got my point?:)

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Effective Presentation Skills

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The opportunity to pitch your services to a potential client, spell out your business plan to a potential business partner, or promote your business at an event may require that you give a presentation. Whether or not your presentation achieves its desired outcome can be affected by your skills as a speaker, so it’s important to step in front of your audience with your best foot forward. The following points explain how to prepare, deliver, and answer questions about a killer presentation.

How to Improve Your Presentation Skills: Preparation

Stay focused & on your toes: No one is impressed by a presentation that rambles. Rambling happens when the speaker is both self-indulgent and unorganized. Your purpose and prose must be specifically directed to interests of your listeners or they will mentally shut you down. Even if you hit upon a topic of interest, you will lose them quickly if they can’t follow the logic of your ideas. Outline the structure of your presentation in a way that people can follow easily. Research your audience to make sure the topic is truly of their interest.

Mind your rate of speech: You’ve got a lot of material to cover, so you talk fast to get through all of it. If you need to talk fast, your presentation is too long. Plus, fast talk makes you sound either nervous or like a stereotypical “fast talking'” salesperson. Rather, cut your presentation down. If you’re talking fast because you’re nervous, write “SLOW DOWN!” on each page of your notes.

Don’t tell cock & bull stories: There must be a reason you are presenting to these people. Most likely you want them to take action of some kind.  Maybe you want them to get involved in an activity, or to make something happen in their own lives. They are not likely to ­take action just because you tell them to do so. You need to connect with them emotionally and inspire them to change their behavior. Stories do more for emotional connection than any other speech technique. Audience is very smart. Tell them compelling stories. The more personal and authentic the stories, the better the response.

Making personal excuses: You downgrade the audience’s expectations by offering an excuse in advance for your poor performance. (E.g., “I’m so tired”; “I got in late last night.”) You’re giving yourself an excuse so you won’t feel so bad if you fail. Plus, nobody wants to hear you to crib & cry about your problems to begin with.  Regardless of how you’re feeling, show enthusiasm for being there and put your best foot forward.

Reading from slides will bore them to death : Your slides reflect your thinking on a subject, so you read your slides aloud to the audience in order to replicate your thought process. Presumably everyone in your audience can read, so it becomes boring if it is re-read. Rather, use slides as visual signposts for the points you’re making rather than a written version or summary of those points.

Use Media Only to Enhance: PowerPoint, visuals and video are powerful presentation tools when used correctly. But they can be disastrous distractions when misused.

Do not ask for extra time: You feel you don’t have sufficient time to communicate your important information, so you request extra time to communicate it. If there’s less time because you’re late, you’re adding injury to insult. If it’s because your presentation is too long, well, your presentation is too long. Rather, adapt your presentation so as to fit the allotted time. If you’re late, end your presentation when it’s scheduled to end.

Videotape yourself – You can’t know how you come off to people until you see it. Recording yourself is the best way to target the areas where you can improve.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Tips For Writing Effective Emails

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Email is the most popular form of written business communication. It is essential that it should be well written with a professional touch.

Writing Formal Mails

1.Begin with a greeting

Always begin your email with a greeting, such as “Dear Henry”. If your relationship with the reader is formal, use their family name (e.g. “Dear Mrs. Wright”). If the relationship is more casual, you can simply say, “Hi Name”. If you are not sure about the recipient’s identity, you can write Dear Sir/ Ma’am.

2.Subject line:

The mail should have a subject line summarizing briefly and evidently the contents of the message. It should state the purpose or objective of writing the mail. Use the subject line to grab reader’s attention.

3.Use simplified language

Do not clutter the email with too many technical terms. The mail should not have long sentences and complex structures. Keep your message short and clear. Try and follow the KISS technique (Keep it Short and Simple)

4.The recipient should be kept in the mind while writing emails

The tone of the email plays an important role. Usually it is observed that upward communication has an element of humility. On the contrary, the downward communication is laced with arrogance. It is recommended to keep the tone neutral while writing the emails.

5.Use Passive Voice

While writing emails, it is recommended to use Passive Voice. Using passive voice makes the language subtle and less direct.

6.Ascertain following the rules of Punctuation, basic grammar and spellings.

In this era of extensive texting, the basic principles of grammar have lost their sheen. People have become oblivious to punctuation and spellings. Since emails are formal communication, we ought to follow the punctuation rules meticulously. Do not type the entire mail in the Upper or lower case.

7.Try to use positive words

The writer should use positive words as it reflects on his / her attitude towards life.

8.Add your closing remarks

Before you end your email, it’s polite to thank your reader and add some polite closing remarks. You might start with “Thank you for your patience and cooperation” or “Thank you for your consideration” and then follow up with, “If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know” and “I look forward to hearing from you”.

9.End with a closing

The last step is to include an appropriate closing with your name. “Best regards”, “Sincerely”, and “Thank you” are all professional. Avoid closings such as “Best wishes” or “Cheers” unless you are good friends with the reader.

10.Proof read the mail

It is recommended to proof read and edit the mail before pressing the send button.

 

Format of a Formal Email

1. Background

The default white background should be used for all emails. Colored backgrounds or scroll designs are deemed unprofessional and distracting.

2. Font

Preferred fonts are Times New Roman or Arial, font size-12.

3. Font Color

Font should be navy blue or black only.

4. Contact Details

Official contact information like name, designation, email id, contact number, company logo, and address of correspondence should be mentioned in the signature area. Personal statements are best avoided.

5. First Name and Surname

They should be mentioned in the same font as used in the body of the email, only two font sizes larger. Cursive fonts are not recommended.

6. Signature

The following information should be supplied in the same font and size as the body of the email.

  • Designation
  • Company Name & Address
  • Contact Number

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Debate: you win some, you lose some

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History has it, no leader in the world politics has reigned ever without defeating his rival in a war of words. Former president of the United States of America Barack Obama once said, “When students participate in debates, they learn to study issues in depth and form perspectives, a skill I use everyday.”

 

Let’s talk about some tips which will help you to not only speak your mind but also win the game :

 

  • Know your audience

Well, isn’t it true in all spheres? You play a hip hop song for a set of old men and women, no one is going to dance to the tune, let alone enjoy it. Same holds true for any argument. Until you know your listeners well, your debate won’t see a rising shine. Young Fellows, share examples from daily life; adults, show research; and by any means your audience is all about academicians, you go ahead and prove your mettle by displaying your analytical skills.

In short, give the audience what they are looking for.

 

  • Respect your rival

Respect and attention are two things you need to shower on your opponent. Please understand, he is just a player like you. None of your arguments should smell sarcasm or insult. It’s a gentleman’s game, so, attack their arguments, not them.

While doing so, don’t lose a word he says. An ideal speaker contests each point the rival raises in the field.

 

  • It’s a debate, not a war

Remember you are not there to win over your opponent. Your target is to win over the audience and once you do that with your humor and presence of mind, no one can steal the win away from you.

 

  • Polish your style

Run through your arguments before an audience hears them. Crisp, punchy, jargon-free sentences work better than lengthy technical passages. Aim for a relaxed, conversational speaking voice and a moderate pace in your delivery. Otherwise, you risk garbling or swallowing important words or phrases, and this can hurt your score. Maintain a firm posture and good eye contact, too, at all times.

 

  • Stay calm at all times

Be prepared that there will be times when the opponent might not follow the righteous behavior. He may try to hit you below the belt. Don’t get annoyed. Do not take the ridicule to heart and never call them names. Stay calm and composed, bring a smile on your face. Your job is to refute their arguments, do that! Stick to your argument with firmness, the audience will be compelled to listen to you.

 

  • Appreciating the right

Well, let’s not undermine the talent of the rival. He is up there for a reason and he must have prepared hard enough to beat you in the game. Whenever he is right, don’t forget to appreciate him. It won’t make you weak. It takes courage to call your arch rival, “You made a good point here.” And never forget, it’s chivalrous! It will help you garner bonus points among the audience.

 

  • Things you don’t know

You are human after all! Let’s leave “knowing everything” to god. If you don’t know something, avoid lying and simply say “I don’t Know”. It’s way better than entering into an unprepared war ground. It’s human and forgivable, therefore, stress on the subjects you are well-equipped with. It makes much more sense.

 

  • Bring Change

An hour of an argument won’t change anyone’s belief in the subject, but your words will have the power to influence the listeners to think about it deeply. Your words should plant some seeds of doubt and there my friend, your job is done.

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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The Art of Effective Communication

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“Communication – the human connection, is the key to personal and career success.”….Paul J. Meyer

Effective Communication

Communication is considered to be effective if the audience reaches the goal intuitively, effortlessly. In simpler terms, it means that when they are absorbing your communication, they don’t have to think about the method being used but think only about the message. On the larger canvas, it seems like a Herculean task. Delving into the intricacies of communication, the key is perception of situation.

When to make sure you communicate effectively?

Most of the communication we do in our everyday lives is quite successful. We know how to modify our behaviour and vary our approach if we start to see we aren’t getting our messages through. It may not be efficient to plan and polish all our daily communication, however, the need of effective communication is the most while dealing with business and professional relationships.

Every time we want to communicate meaningfully, consider the two important elements: the audience and the goal. One should clearly define both within the context of communication. The reason is that different audiences require different approaches in order to get them to the desired goals. If one manages to bring the audience to the desired goal, it can be inferred that the communication was successful and effective.

Effective Communication Skills

1.Be an Enthusiastic and Good listener

Although people think that they are listening when the other person is talking, the time, actually is being utilized in planning what to reply.

Therefore, an extra effort is required to listen to what the other person says and then come up with the desired response. This is an attribute of a good and keen listener.

2. Understanding Others’ Point of View

In most of the communication, we desire ourselves to be heard and understood.  If an effort is sincerely put to see through the other party’s point of view, ours can also be explained in a lucid and relevant manner.

3.Use Mirror and Match technique

Adapt to their body language and feelings. Pay special attention to their nonverbal communication. Observe the body language and posture, inflection and choice of words. Now, customize your words, body language, and voice tone to match what has been observed.

4.Use the right lexical resources

Use words like “we, us, we’re, our, and ourselves” to instantly build a bond. These words foster a common goal or concern.

5. Compromise if necessary

With a trait to win arguments, we aim to win. Communication is not about winning, it’s about getting things done.

6. Take Time-Out if Necessary

Sometimes, we need to take a break in the middle of the discussion. If the communication is intensive, ineffective communication pattern can surface. On noticing such patterns, take a break and then continue constructively.

Become a skilled communicator

If we take the time to work on our communication skills by focusing on some of the points mentioned above, we can definitely improve our ability to connect with people from all walks of life, at work and in social circles. Choose the techniques that fit best with our personality and our motives, when we interact with people.

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” ~Lee Iacocca

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

 

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English for Online Conversations

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“There are people who are realizing that online communication is the wave of the future,” says Don Knezek, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education.  It’s time we talk about the English we use online,  it’s also important to brush our conversational skills on the internet.

From email to chat messengers to  blogs, these days, everyone is communicating online. Understanding how to interact online safely and effectively in English is, and will always be important, but does anyone really talk about it? Does anyone teach us  the same?

Time is changing and it’s important to keep few things in mind while communicating online:

  • Begin messages with a salutation and end them with your name. (Email conversations)
  • Use a signature at the end of a message. (Email conversations)
  • Acknowledge and return messages promptly.
  • Be concise. Keep messages to the point.
  • Restrict profane or rude language. Avoid “flaming” (online “screaming”) or sentences typed in all caps.
  • Check grammar and spellings.
  • Do not use abbreviations and short forms, professionally.
  • Keep your messages to the point and keep discussions organised by adding to a relevant thread.
  • Don’t be in too much of a hurry. Spell check your message before clicking “Post” and try to proofread for other errors.
  • There’s a lot of evidence online, avoid using abusive language, gossip, nicknames, profanity etc.
  • Think before you post a blog, be careful not to hurt someone’s sentiments.
  • Be careful when using sarcasm and humour. It can easily be misunderstood as a personal attack. If you are being humorous, try to include smilies/emoticons in your messages to express such humour. They are very useful for letting people know that your comment is friendly.
  • Use words in brackets, such as (grin), to show your state of mind.
  • Use appropriate emoticons while chatting.
  • Use common acronyms which are usually understood.
  • If you are responding to a particular person address your post to them. You can use @ followed by their name (applicable to a group chat).
  • Avoid sarcasm. People who don’t know you may misinterpret its meaning.
  • Respect others’ privacy.
  • Don’t send spam messages.

So, keep these things in mind and avoid posting in anger, stop and take a break, make a nice cup of coffee, maybe a milder message would be more effective. Think about what you have written before you post it, that’s a plus when it comes to online conversations, you don’t have to reply instantly. If you absolutely have to disagree, do so politely. You should be sensitive to the others’ feelings and opinion. So, reply to the argument, not the author. It’s the world wide web, so respect other’s opinions. Be tolerant of other people’s mistakes. Not everybody knows the rules of conversational etiquette on internet, not everyone is posting in their native language, so be patient and remember, we were all once a newbie. It’s very important to be careful online with English, because it has nothing to do with the  tone, we cannot see or hear people behind the screen. So, be careful with English and keep your best foot forward.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Dress Code in Interviews

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The first ten seconds decide a lot about your success in an interview. Before you utter a single word to the interviewer, you have already made an impression based on how you’re dressed. Although every company has a different dress code, but it’s still important to keep appropriacy in mind.

Your attire along with your body language and confidence plays a vital role in the success of your interview and boosts your chances to bask in the dream job.

What if a woman wears a dark pant suit, pulls her hair into a low ponytail, wears little makeup, no jewellery and flat shoes to a job interview as a clothing stylist? It’s doubtful she would be offered the job. The hiring manager would probably be looking for someone who projects creativity and style in the clothing, wears makeup and accessories that are trendy and fashion forward. On the other hand, what if a woman wears the same suit, pulls a neat ponytail and minimal makeup for the role of an HR manager? Of course, she will be considered more professional and will create the right impact on the hiring manager.

Thus, dress in a manner that is professionally suitable to the position for which you are applying. In most of the cases, this means wearing formals. When in doubt, go basic.

Some Dos and Don’ts

  • You should wear a formal suit to interviews. A matching blazer and pants, dress shirt, tie (you can skip the tie if you are a female), coordinating socks and dress shoes. A dark-colored suit with light colored shirt is your best option.
  • Shoes should match your belt, the belt should be very basic.
  • Females should keep their makeup and jewellery minimal.
  • Avoid bright colours and flashy accessories.
  • Your outfit should not look dirty and make sure your clothes are ironed.
  • Choose simple and dark colors.
  • Shoes should usually be black in colour, and very simple in style and fairly low-heeled for ladies.
  • Shower before the interview. Don’t wear too much perfume or you will smell overpowering and you don’t want that, do you?
  • Dress according to the season, skip the blazer/ jacket if it’s summer time.
  • Make sure your attire is well fitted.
  • Your hair should be neat, clean and styled in a simple manner. Huge clips, brightly-colored scrunchies or elastics, and super high ponytails look out of place with formals. You may want to wear your hair in an updo, pull it back into a low ponytail; men’s hair should be short and neatly combed. The idea is to look polished and professional.
  • Dress appropriate to the position.

“Perception is reality.”  – Lee Atwater

Think about the image you want to project during your interview and then choose the apt outfit. You may not have to dress like this everyday to work, but you are more likely to be taken seriously and you are more likely to present an image of a sincere and a professional hire if you dress appropriately.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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How to Improve English at Home

blog_post_2_wlEnglish language is the accretion and growth of every dialect, race, and range of time. Without second thoughts, we all know this is one of the most proficient and prominently used languages across the globe. With the growing trend of learning this language and the increasing number of English learning institutes, the most frequent question popping up in every learner’s head is ‘How to learn it ?’ Learning a non-native language takes a lot of practice and subsequently involves all aspects of it, right from listening and reading to writing and speaking.

One very prominent way to start fun learning of this language is to do it right in the comfort of your own home. Our own home is a peaceful place where we can learn the way we want to.

Reading out loud is one of the common ways to improve and understand how you sound to the listener. Reading silently can help train your mind in the English language. However, reading out loud will train your tongue to speak English properly. You can pick any book, poem or short story you want and start reading the words out loud.

There are other fun ways to learn and broaden the vocabulary range. Like, to play games that require you to read or speak in English. A good example is monopoly. Easiest and most likely is to chat with friends online. What better way to learn to speak in English than learning with friends? Instead of chatting with them through your keyboard, why not just do a voice or video call instead? This way, you can practice speaking in English in a conversational way and it eventually eradicates fumbling in our speech. This will be good practice for both the callers.

Another way is to record your voice yourself. This doesn’t need the involvement of another person and can be executed anytime you’re free. Recording yourself will help you know your pronunciation mistakes. To record yourself, you can use your smartphone, tablet or even your laptop. Simply start by finding a piece that you’d like to read, and then open up your device’s Audio Recorder and start recording yourself. Now, recording your own voice is just the first step. The more important step is to check if you’ve pronounced the words correctly. For this you may even take the help of different apps available online.

Listening is the foremost step towards learning any language. This way you improve your comprehension skills and also gauge other factors of spoken English like intonation and accent. Listening to your favorite soap operas, reality shows improvises your understanding in this language. You may start with listening to native speakers and understand their accent, intonation and rate of speech. Rate of speech is the number of words spoken per minute and the ideal ROS should be 120 words per minute. Not only listening and understanding will help the individual in the long run but also implementing the learning is of vital importance.

Any words we come across should not only be restricted to our walls of mind but need to be spoken and used frequently to make it a part of our vocabulary. Learning to speak with the correct Intonation, voice modulation and the right rate of speech comes requires a lot of practice and patience. Establishing a routine for your English time at home is better. We can use everyday situations and real objects from around the house to practice the language naturally and in context. For example: learning food vocabulary while cooking. Nonetheless, one has to be strong willed and quite passionate to learn English at home. It has to be intense and compassionate learning which later will yield the desired outcome.

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English Speaking at Workplace    

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Two international corporations active in India, Thomson Reuters and Unisys have invested in Business English and have seen significant results in their employees’ skill sets, career development and communication abilities. A study identified an increase in English language proficiency across the country within the past two decades, from only 11% in 1991 to approximately 20% by 2005.

A person can make rapid strides in his career if besides the mandatory skills that are required, he also can speak English fluently and effectively. If you do not possess this most sought after skill set, it is considered as a serious handicap for any aspiring professional. Due to globalization, using English at workplace has many benefits, like the success of the organization you are working with, building and improving relationships at work, enhancing and developing your own skill set etc. It’s considered to be a huge asset to be able to speak good English, especially if you are associated with a Multi-National Company.

Most of the companies believe that better English improves the productivity of employees. Proficient English language skills can give you more opportunities to expand your career prospects. This language is essential if you want to get ahead in today’s fast-paced global economy, whether you are looking to secure your ideal job, or to be more productive at work, or simply to increase your chances of promotion.

Companies need a language strategy, especially if they have global aspirations. Companies are finding it easy to adapt English as a common language of business. Good English allows one to communicate effectively with international clients, helping them to trust the company that results in strong and lasting business relationships. Multinational companies need to interact with clients and business partners across the globe, and those who ignore the need for a language strategy limit their growth.

People who regularly use English at workplace, use it for various purposes like meetings, negotiations, report writing, presentations, training, sending e-mails, making sales calls, social gatherings etc.

It is estimated that over 50% of the pages on the internet are written in English which means that more online information is available to people who can read English. Having access to so much more information can make a real difference to your professional life, even if you don’t work with colleagues or clients who speak English. You may find that information from a website written in English may help you to understand a project better or provide some useful information for a report.

It’s said, ‘Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we think about.’

There are many benefits for proficient employees as well. As employees become more fluent in the language, they develop confidence and feel more secure at a time when jobs come and go. Being proficient in English could open doors for them; they can take on more and more roles that require English speaking ability. Career advancement and a fatter pay cheque are among the many benefits. English communication is of paramount importance in today’s globalized workplace.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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