Teaching for a handful number years enabled me to quote some of the noble thoughts for the betterment of the new learners. Many a times, my students keep asking how to maintain the flair of English communication, after we have learnt the language in a modest sized batch for over half a year period. To be honest, the foremost vibe my brain exhibits is… “How can one retain the cooking expertise without entering the kitchen exactly?” or say… “How can a cricketer maintain his form without going to the nets?”
As a matter of fact, when the world turns misty and there is none to usher the right move, …… “Go to the basics”. That’s what my educators during my professional studies have taught. Quoting the ‘Whatapp’ query of one of my old students- “How to revise English without coaching or teacher?” You can buy my statement I mentioned above regarding ‘Cooking expertise’ and ‘Cricketing form’, will you? But as suggested, I am going to the Basics.
The followings are the four pillars for building communication, one should work towards them; when he/ she starts, while he/ she continues learning, and even after he/ she has finished a proficiently crafted courseware:
|Listening Lectures at school/ college, News on TV, Conversations of family/ friends, Songs, etc.
|Speaking Talking to others, Occasional speeches, Making enquiries, etc.
|Reading Course Books, Mails, Messages, Articles, Magazines, etc.
|Writing Subject notes, letters, applications, personal diaries, etc.
As known, ‘Input’ controls the ‘Output’. If there is no input, never expect any output. When we don’t fill the overhead tank in the morning, we can’t get water in the tap the whole day. So, we need to understand, “Speaking” as well as “Writing” is ‘output’, and one shouldn’t expect a desired output without qualitative and quantitative inputs.
“Listening” and “Reading” are the real inputs for the remaining two pillars of communication building. Surprisingly, we all are already into it. As mentioned in the respective boxes, that’s what we actually do, just for the heck of it. Then how come our dreams are yet to be true? The reason lies beneath. Let me elaborate it. Whatever we listen to, that is ‘how’ we usually speak, and even write as well. The other way round, whatever we read, that is ‘what’ we tend to speak or write.
Henceforth, it is feasible to evaluate the ‘quality’ and ‘quantity’ of our listening and reading. Then only we can control out outputs- speaking and writing. When we listen to a lecture in our school or college that helps us to speak or write, but only the answer to the subjective questions., and not at all in our day- to day communication. When we listen to the conversation taking place in front of us, it makes us aware of certain social issues, which may help us to some extent in speaking at few occasions, but not everyone around us is a good orator or impeccable in communication that we get much benefited. In fact, there is hardly anyone in our personal life who speaks in such a nice accent that we may learn something. News and other English programmes on TV might help little more, but here again, our focus is mostly on the content and, means “What” they are speaking and we are least concerned about “How” they are speaking, so again less productive. So there is an overhaul required in our listening practice.
Same goes with our reading habits. We intend to spend majority of our time in reading our course or career related books, which can help us mainly in writing exam papers, but don’t suffice our objective of honing up our oral communication. Mails and messages are too short to teach us something considerable or substantial. Reading newspaper articles or magazines is worthwhile to help us improve speaking and whiting, but honestly asking—“how many of us focus on vocabularies and sentence constructions?” Rather, we love to concentrate just on the story line. Then how can our overall communication in spoken and written forms improve?
Tricks of the trade:
‘To rob Peter to pay Paul.’ Borrow 60 minutes from your everyday engagements and do lend it to English, on a regular basis, and as regular as clock work. There should not be any Sunday or festival break in between. You need not do it for whole life. Our experience says, an average learner needs to spare hardly 6- 8 months, and an above average learner requires 4- 6 months of uninterrupted practice. I have purposefully ignored the below average learners, as they are strongly advised to visit such institutions for making them capable first, to utilize these tricks being discussed.
The bifurcation of 60 minute is a key to succeed here-
- Spend 15 minute time to listen to English news channels, and I reiterate to opt Indian News channels, as they are more neutral in sound. The focus should not be on the information, but the accent of those words, which are known to you. Find out how many of them you correctly pronounce, and where you are correct. Make sure to pick up minimum 1 word a day and maximum 3. Remember- “Eat what you can chew”. Such commonly used words are, Government, Environment, President, Parliament, Development, Vehicle, etc. Frankly speaking, things will never change from the day one, but will surely improve after continuous listening over a period of time. We pronounce wrong because we have listened wrong, so learn from the most trusted resource.
- Next 15 minute you need to read, but ‘reading aloud’, means reading in speaking mode. Read any newspaper or magazine in English, no matter new or old, but read aloud. You may not be able to pronounce a few words; chill! And just skip them. Speaking actually gives a required oral exercise to our lips, teeth, tongue and jaws, that on future when we want to pronounce a word correct, we will have no problem. Many of us don’t have ‘z’ or/ and ‘sh’ sound with us. We need to have sufficient practice. Reading this way has proved to increase our speed of speech, which is called ‘fluency’.
So, the both activities will directly help you in speaking with proper accent, and rhythm. Further we can change the mode of our speaking and writing practice as well. Again for 15 minute, talk to our alter ego, talk to the wall, talk to yourself in the mirror. This helps immensely. Even develop a habit of writing every night for the remaining 15 minute. This gives you a place where you can park your newly learnt vocabularies, nice readymade expression that you came across while reading something. This is how you can maintain and improvise the level of communication you possess. Keep reading our designated blogs for more pertinent suggestions from our institution. Your feedback is highly anticipated. Keep doing so. Have a nice day to all concerned.