Interview Preparation Series: Article 4 – Understand the Importance of English in the Professional World
This module is a part of the series on interview readiness and focuses on the process of speaking and listening. The process of communication is all about a receiver receiving a message through the act of listening to words and tone, and also taking in non verbal cues. The sender of the message focuses on how the message is being put across effectively based on speech skills.
The blog hence has a beginning on importance of listening, followed by handling the two fears of the English language- Grammar and Pronunciation.
Listening is imperative in any communication as otherwise the message can get lost. Good listening also helps us show that we are interested in the communication and are eagerly paying attention to the ideas, thoughts and behaviours of the speaker. This is vital to build and maintain meaningful professional relationships, and at times the only way to communicate.
Listening is not the act of waiting for your turn to speak. Ever wondered why god gave us two ears and only 1 mouth?
How do you show you are listening?
- Put your phone on silent
- Lean forward to show interest
- Make eye contact
- Nod your head
- Write important points
- Say ‘yes’, ‘That’s right’, ‘true’, ‘absolutely’ to show agreement
- Ask relevant questions
- Multi Tasking
- Arguing in your head
- Reading the paper
- Planning on what you will do after this
- Checking your messages
- Noticing their style of dress, their way of speaking
Often we operate from a place of fear of being judged, of being laughed at, of being blamed or of being wrong.
Let’s face things as they are and rise
- English is a reality
- Most Global Language
- In India, it unites people from diverse language backgrounds
- Technology & Science functions in this language
- Medium of higher studies
- Medium of communication in MNCs and Corporates
- Online language
Let’s face this fear by doing the following exercises-
- Listen to the news in English
- Copy the words the way they are said
- Make a voice recording of yourself, correct it and then re record
- Use grammar exercises on the phone apps
- Watch youtube & TED videos in English
- Watch English movies and shows with subtitles to follow and speak along
- Read the newspaper loudly for 15 min every day
With Grammar, we have made an attempt to simplify, and take it away from complex concepts that confuse us. Instead it has been presented as the top 10 common mistakes we make when we are speaking or writing.
With Pronunciation, syllable stress and rules of syllable stress are highlighted to help you speak even longer words with ease. It will also create an element of surprise for some of you as you will discover some words that you have mispronounced your entire lives. Speech is a very sensitive matter, and with a lot of vocal practice you can make you speech better.
Fear #1 Grammar
Top 10 Mistakes
- He know, She know
- She doesn’t knows, He doesn’t cares
- She didn’t knew, he didn’t came
- He buy that yesterday, I come home tomorrow
- I am having headache, I am knowing this
- I listen music
- She said me
- He tell to me
- The Raju, The India
- I had a idea!
Correcting the top 10 mistakes
- He know, She know: He KNOWS, she KNOWS (When we have the pronoun he and she, we always add an ‘ S’ to the verb that follows. This only occurs in present tense)
- She doesn’t knows, He doesn’t cares: She doesn’t KNOW, He doesn’t CARE (we can never have two ‘s’ together.. Doesn’t cares)
- She didn’t knew, he didn’t came: She didn’t KNOW, he didn’t COME (When there is a helping verb that is changing form to past tense, we cannot change the tense of the main verb too)
- 4. He buy that yesterday, I come home tomorrow: He BOUGHT that yesterday, I CAME home (Remember to use the past tense of the verbs correctly)
- 5. I am having headache, I am knowing this: I HAVE a headache, I KNOW this (When we use the –ing form in continuous tense, we have to be careful!)
- I listen music: I listen TO music. I hear music
- 7. She said me: She said THIS TO me
- 8. He tell to me: He TOLD me
- 9. The Raju, The India: Raju, India (there is no a,an,the used in front of a proper noun)
- 10. I had a idea!: I have AN idea (an in front of the vowel sounds)
Fear #2 Pronunciation
What is it?
- Saying the sounds of letters correctly
- Laying stress on a small part of a word by raising your volume
- The longer the word, the father away is the raised sound
The Rhythm of English
- Each word can be broken down into smaller segments called ‘syllables’
- In each word there is ALWAYS one syllable that is stressed upon- by raising the volume on that part
- As the word becomes longer, the stress shifts further up in the word
- This is a unique feature of the language that differentiates the way it said, compared to any Indian language
- Practicing this stress in words makes it easier for us to use it
How We Lay Stress
Author: Baishali Mukherjee
Profile- An independent writer and journalist for last nine years; presently working with Education World, Entrepreneur India, Scrabbl.com and Stoodnt.com. Worked as the content head for four books and have articles and features published in leading print and digital media spaces.
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