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Monday, Jun 27, 2011

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Education Plus

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Speak well, write well

Admission in a good university abroad depends on GRE and GMAT scores and not just final year marks

Communication is the key: Language skills are essential for facing interviews

The success of Indian technologists in the last one decade is attributed to the fruitful mix of their strong knowledge in the core technology and English language skills. At the same time, thousands are losing opportunities due to the lack of those same English language skills.

There is a perception that engineering college students are technically strong but poor in English language skills. Several studies by NASSCOM and similar organisations have repeatedly emphasised this fact. Interestingly, it is not just the vernacular medium students who suffer from lack of language skills but also English medium students. Where does the problem lie?

Losing touch

Experts say that in corporate colleges are focussing on optional subjects and neglecting the languages for the sake of ranks in the entrance examinations to professional colleges. Students rue that they lose touch with the fundamental language and later struggle when they get into higher education.

Some analysis has shown that students getting into government and minority colleges have proper grip over the language but not those getting into corporate colleges. The most unfortunate are the students who did their schooling and intermediate education in corporate colleges.

“After studying in a corporate college, I lost touch with English, particularly writing skills, and I could realise its effect in the engineering course where we have to write project reports and other assignments,” says M. Rajiv, a student of MGIT.

“The gap of two years is making them forget what they studied till tenth standard. Lot of students don't have enough English language exposure at Intermediate. Sentence structuring is very poor and they can't even write assignments properly,” says Madhusudhan Nair, Principal, K.G.Reddy College of Engineering and Technology.

“Students of English medium background have some understanding of grammar and verbal skills but they lack effective reading skills. This not only affects their communication skills but also affects their grasping the knowledge,” says M. Srinivas Rao, Associate Professor.

Neglected areas

“The government board has designed the syllabus to be taught in one year but in corporate colleges they are teaching it only for 15 days. They are neglecting the phonetics and communication skill programme which is very important in higher studies. Students are ignorant about the language and they are reluctant to learn too,” says Lakshmi Mantha, Assistant Professor, Osmania University College of Engineering.

Teachers opine that some serious thought should go into reviving the importance of English at the Intermediate level or else students will stand to lose out. They remind that good language skills are must for writing project reports, facing interviews or participating in group discussions – the three key factors in the job sector. Moreover, admission in a good university abroad depends on the GRE and GMAT score and not just final year marks.


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