How many times have you cringed at the use of a wrong word when a senior professional is addressing an audience? Even worse, there is no way to know if you are one of them, until and unless candid feedback from peers is sought. How about a poorly worded email or letter that finds its way to your work-desk? What is your impression of the sender in this case? Not very positive one, for sure. Now-a-days, sadly, even popular print media seems to have fallen victim to the vicious clutch of typos and grammatical errors!
Consider this, “Don’t stop…” as against, “Don’t! Stop!!”. See the stark contrast in meaning simply by bringing in punctuation? And this is only the tip of the iceberg, since the choice of words can make a world of difference in effective communication.
Also, how many times have you heard: “Can I call you back?”. For the uninitiated, there is a classic response to this in the form of an old joke that goes, “I’m not sure whether you CAN or CANNOT, but YES, you MAY call me back”.
Finer nuances of the English language lay down that CAN depends on the will of the person speaking it and need not necessarily be permission-seeking, like the word MAY. Hence the need to always say, “May I call you back?”. While the need to speak the English language effectively has been much debated in our country, statistics reveal that it is best to invest in upping English language skills. While it is important not to forget one’s roots and hold on to the mother tongue, it is equally important to learn the English language with a special focus on avoiding any ‘mother tongue influence’ on diction as well as pronunciation.
The second most spoken language in the world, English is also the most widely used medium of communication on the internet. This in itself is reason enough for one to ensure that English language training is taken, if necessary, to be on the top of their game. After all, the crux of soft skills training is to be able to make oneself heard loud and clear, without offending anyone, however unpleasant the message might be!
An integral part of soft skills training for employees, English language training is an aspect that usually takes a lot more of hard work and diligent efforts to master. The onus rests largely on the learner to develop a genuine interest and flair for the language, rather than looking for short-cuts to memorize a few ‘heavy’ words and make do with dropping these occasionally in an attempt to make a big impression on listeners. Painstaking efforts are usually required from both sides – that of the learner as well as the tutor, to ensure that the English language training module is effective in every sense of the word.
Remember: A little help from experts at is all it takes to ace the English language game!