Language is our primary source of communication. English has become the primary or secondary language in many countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and India.
On the internet, the majority of websites have been created in English, even otherwise, the option to translate in English exists. Newspapers, books, social media sites are in English, that today, English learning has become indispensable.
With good understanding and command in English, overseas travel can become more exciting, business ventures would be purposeful. Career prospects for people with good soft skills are greater. In short, English is essential for most of our dealings today, yet, it has not been given the importance it requires.
The primary reason is the focus on the Science and Math subjects, which are important to gain admission into the Engineering or Medical stream. Consequently, languages, English is particular is merely a subject to score the requisite marks. Do the students feel the handicap of inadequate language skills? When?
Students aspiring to go abroad for higher studies or for work purpose have to take up the TOEFL/GRE or the IELTS/PTE. During the preparation for such qualifying tests, students, even academic toppers understand the shortcomings of poor language skills. Who is to blame? The educational system, schools, colleges?
Rather than playing the blame game, it would benefit youngsters to focus on their language skills right from their childhood. Parents can commence the reading habit even as early as three months, by reading out aloud for their infants. This practice encourages infants to develop an affinity to books and take up to the reading habit early.
Further, good readers gain a better vocabulary, thereby speak better, write more meaningfully, not just this, develop strong writing skills. A lot of young poets and authors have blossomed in recent years, owing to mastery of the language early in life. University education requires the use of complex language structures and terminologies. Unless a student is conversant with the same, it would be an impediment to learning of the abstract concepts at the higher level.
Even to play digital games and watch programmes on you tube or Netflix, a sound knowledge in the language proves beneficial. Several foreign language films have the English sub titles, therefore, knowledge of English becomes indispensable.
Some of the ways to hone the English skills is to read English dailies, watch English serials, read good books, motivational books and more. Watching TED talks and listening to a host of speakers helps to improve the intonation and pronunciation.
Lastly, the ability to communicate with ease is an asset for life, be it in the professional set up or the social circle.