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7 effective techniques to build proficiency in English language

Today, students face challenges while learning the English language at a multitude level. Check effective techniques to build proficiency in English language.

The English language contributes to the holistic development of education, employment, technological advancement and bringing communities together, especially in a country represented by linguistic-culture, where it can be a common ground for communication. To communicate eloquently, it is crucial to understand basic grammar rules including tenses, punctuations, articles, parts of speech, which are often overlooked at the foundational level, while learning the language.

Today, students face challenges while learning the English language at a multitude level. For instance, for lower grades, the mistakes in language learning often involve the use of colloquialisms from the native language or confusion around grammatical rules and structures. Furthermore, students seem to translate from their vernacular language when working on a sentence in English, which is a common challenge that needs to be improved.

Consequently, they select their answers on the basis of superficial meaning and not in relation to the other words in the sentence which needs to be highlighted and improved. In higher grades, students struggle with higher-order comprehension skills like inference and extrapolation.

Some pivotal measures taken by Educational Initiatives, India’s leading edtech company, to build a strong foundation in English are incorporated through its end-to-end solutions to allow children at a young age to learn the language naturally and have the ability to pick it up easily and effectively.

Mindspark English, an offering by EI, is designed to address some of the common issues that students face while communicating in English and incorporates the following:

  1. Students need to be acquainted with commonly used verb phrases such as “foot the bill” or “sells like hot cakes” in the early grades to improve their literal comprehension.

  2. In a world driven by social networking platforms and messaging applications, there is an increased use of acronyms with shorthand communication that has gained popularity. While the students should be are aware of these acronyms as per the evolving, it is also crucial for them to know the difference between the official and informal communication. They should have an understanding of the right usage of words and English grammar, which cannot be narrated through the acronyms that are commonly used in day-to-day communication.

  3. Students often struggle with homophones and matching the correct meaning with the words which are spoken the same way but written differently. It is important to ensure they have clarity in this area to ensure better command in the language.

  4. Students should avoid using long phrasing of sentences and replace them with concise and crisp set of words to get the message across in a much shorter sentence.

  5. Reading is an important pre-requisite to writing and naturally, reading continuous strings of sentences and absorbing phrases from them in writing will lead to better writing skills and due to this, reading longer pieces of text should be encouraged even at early grades.

  6. Research has shown that students who are consistently given feedback on their writing samples, tend to improve much more quickly than those who merely analyse their own writing. Thus, it is important to give students constructive and detailed feedback on their writing.

  7. There are diverse styles of writing in English that the students need to learn and adapt, which will help them to communicate based on the relevance, context and type of written communication. For instance, the style of English used in the creative content of a social media page would be different from an official communication via mail.

Identifying the gaps in learning English will help students, as well as educators, understand how they can be addressed and improved. The 2016 ASER Study highlights that there has been a steady decline in English learning in schools and while 60.2% of students in Class 8 could read simple sentences in English in 2009, this declined to 46.7% in 2014 and further dropped to 45.2% in 2016.

Therefore, learning English through a systematic approach is very important to overcome the challenges and have a robust understanding that will enable students to articulate and communicate in English.

First published at https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/grammar-vocabulary/story/7-effective-techniques-to-build-proficiency-in-english-language-1790900-2021-04-17 April 17, 2021