Language courses are important in the larger context of our lives. jobs, sports, knowledge (books, blogs, newspapers, etc.) depend on how well our reading skills are, along with our listening skills, speaking skills, and general communication skills. There is another important aspect of all this - English.

English is the only globalized language in the world, in the truest sense of the term.

Without English words, indeed, the entire English vocabulary and the grammar rules, we would lose a major chunk of the world's knowledge base. Therefore, it is no wonder that acquiring fluency in English speaking, learning new words in English, English pronunciation, knowledge of basic grammar are stressed upon in school.

The Class 10 Board exams test our knowledge of English language and literature and prepare us further to take on English language learning even though it is not our first language. The English NCERT Class 10 Solutions are considered a beneficial resource during revisions for the CBSE Board. Prepared by subject matter experts, these help to prepare the students in the right earnest.

The questions provided in the NCERT textbooks such as Class 10 English First Flight and Footprints Without Feet are based on class 10 English solutions by NCERT. Therefore, they act as sample questions indicating what students can expect in the actual exam paper.

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library books
Most sources of human knowledge are in the English language, making it the most valuable language in the world | Source: Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Academic and Everyday English

Academic English differs from the English we use for everyday conversations. For starters, for speaking or writing or even for academic English reading, a more formal tone is adopted and the use of advanced vocabulary is often necessitated.

The term General English can also be called Social English or Conversational English as its intended purpose is really that.

The linguistic components that students of academic English use to differentiate between the two are categorized into the following five areas:

The Phonological Component

The understanding of the phonological (sound) features of academic English. This will include English spellings, intonation, stress, and sound patterns.

The Lexical Component

The understanding of the forms and meanings of words that are used across varied academic disciplines as well as the understanding of prefixes, roots, and suffixes, the parts of speech of words (noun/verb/adverb/determiner, etc.) and their grammatical limitations.

The Grammatical Component

The understanding of and the use of grammatical features (morphological and syntactic) associated with study patterns dealing with analysis, definition, argumentative composition, and procedural description. In other words, the stress here is on grammatical metaphor as well as the complex punctuation rules governing them.

The Sociolinguistic Component

This encompasses knowledge that goes beyond the use of ordinary General English such as apologizing, complaining, and making requests. In Academic English, students deal more with expository and argumentative texts and contexts.

The Discourse Component

The understanding of helpful language tools such as transitions (linking words) and other organizational signals that help students gain perspective on the texts they are reading, analyzing the relationships between the writer and the reader and the listener and speaker, as well as making logical deductions.

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spoken English
Everyday English or conversational English differs from the more nuanced and sophisticated Academic English | Source: Ivan Shilov on Unsplash

Do You Need an Academic English Course?

As we have seen, academic English involves reading, speaking and writing. So, it may be a good idea to avail of an online English course just to fine-tune your English skills on the eve of the Big Day! Once you have received your exam timetable and have had a good look at the marking scheme, consider these valuable pointers and determine if you need a crash course:

  • Most courses start with the assumption that you will have knowledge of basic English grammar, sentence structure, and vocabulary words. Make sure to check (with yourself) if you are an intermediate-advanced English learner.
  • You should calculate how much free time you have over and above the time you require to revise your English chapters.
  • Do you learn well on your own? This is not a necessary prerequisite. But, since you will have limited time on your hands, it is best to assess this criterion as well. While some online courses provide one-on-one instruction, there are many that don't. There are still others that let you take the course at your own pace. If you already have a private tutor teaching English, then an online course is a good idea.

Now that you have clarity about whether or not you need to learn English online at the last minute, start looking for the right English language course. Remember, also, these need to be the right level courses for your particular learning needs!

Advanced English Courses

With exams right around the corner, you may not find the time to go and take English lessons in a coaching institute or by a private English teacher. Fret not! You can just take online English classes or access many online English lessons that are available for free. Learn from the comfort of your home!

myEnglish by The British Council, India

This online course is designed for English learners at different levels of learning. Generally, it aims to improve English skills for everyday situations, focussing on speaking, listening, reading and writing practice through a variety of general interest topics. The three levels of learning are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR):

  • Pre-intermediate level (A2) - Manage everyday situations and make general conversation.
  • Intermediate level (B1) - Handle discussions on a variety of topics of general interest such as money, health, and food.
  • Upper-intermediate level (B2) - Confidently and extensively communicate in a wide range of situations.

STEP

An initiative of the vastly popular media group, The Hindu, STEP runs English speaking course, along with English writing and English communication courses. Using a variety of advanced learning tools such as video lessons, live classes and personalized English coaches (private English tutors),  STEP English classes determine the learner's current level of expertise and help them improve their English further.

online english
Find curated courses online to further improve on your English language skills | Source: STEP by The Hindu

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

MOOCs are a contemporary idea, relatively new and, though mainly popular in the college circuit, even school students can find it useful. There are many online platforms providing free MOOCs. Some, of course, have paid courses in English as well. But, you can always avoid them!

Some of the most popular and highly-rated MOOCs in English include names such as FluentU, Alison, Future Learn, EdX, Udemy, Open Learning, Canvas Network, Coursera, World Education University, Saylor and many others.

The major benefits of taking an open English online course include:

  • It is absolutely free of cost!
  • It is flexible. You can access these online lessons from anywhere across the world, including India.
  • Some of the MOOCs award you a certificate on completion of the course. This is as legit as they come and you can flaunt them in your resume too.
  • Many MOOCs are taught by actual professors currently enrolled with top universities of the world, including such big names as Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and so on.
  • You have the option to leave or drop out of the course any time you want to, unlike in a real coaching class. This scenario might well arise, considering you will be short on time, just before your exams.

Nowadays, studying English as a second language is gaining traction and popularity as students realize the importance of learning a new language as a stepping stone in professional careers. In India, most schools take learning English very seriously, especially class 10 English, and have, thus, included it in their school curriculum.

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Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.