Language is the light of the mind - John Stuart Mill
The advent of globalization and the open economy has increased the importance of learning new languages. In that sense, an English language course can be extremely helpful in opening new doors of opportunity in your life - in academics or careers. Students can now study language courses online and do not have to depend on going to a tutorial everyday in the middle of a pandemic. English classes can now be accessed online and mitigates the fear of learning coming to a pause because of the Covid19 lockdown. You can still enhance your skills, apply for an international university course and even advance your career in the middle of the pandemic which posed the fear of job losses and economy slowdown initially.
The benefits of being bilingual in India and abroad are many. But to leverage those benefits, you first need to build a strong foundation in basic English lessons in grammar, vocabulary and spoken English. An English tutor can help in this regard if you're not comfortable learning online by yourself. But first, take a closer look at the nuances of the English language.
Basic English Lessons - Parts of Speech
Like any other language, English is also made up of multiple combinations of words, phrases, and sentences that allow you to communicate. And each word or phrase has a distinct role and contribution to the language when they are put into sentences. The first thing a student learns in an English language course is this - the use of parts of speech.
What are the Different Parts of Speech?
There are eight basic parts of speech in the English language that an academic course will teach you:
- Nouns: These are words used to denote a name of a person, an object, a place, an idea, or even a thought.
- Verbs: The words that you use to denote an action are called "doing" words or verbs.
- Pronouns: You can use a pronoun to replace a noun in a sentence(s) to avoid repetitions.
- Adjectives: These words are used to describe nouns or pronouns.
- Adverbs: These words are used to describe the verbs.
- Prepositions: You use prepositions to describe the relationship between nouns, pronouns, or other words in a sentence.
- Conjunctions: These are used to connect or join words, phrases or clauses in a sentence.
- Article: These are used to denote a specific pronoun.
Significance of Using Punctuation
In your English classes, how often have you heard your English tutor stress on the importance of punctuations? Quite often for sure. Punctuations are often ignored, but they form a critical segment in learning English reading, writing, and speaking. Punctuations are nothing but signs and symbols used while writing that fulfill the following objectives:
- clarify meaning
- show emphasis
- break passages
Most Commonly Used Punctuations
When you study any language, you have to learn the intricacies of it too. This includes learning about the rules of punctuation as well. Here are the most important punctuations used in the English language:
- Full stop (.)
- Comma (,)
- Question mark (?)
- Semicolon (;)
- Colon (:)
- Exclamation mark (!)
- Inverted commas (")
- Apostrophe (')
- Hyphen (-)
Commonly Confused Words in Spoken English
If you are aspiring to study an English language course in an international university, then you better read this portion of the article very carefully. Words are the building blocks of any language and not being able to place words correctly in a sentence can alter the meaning altogether. Students often get confused between similar sounding words, which is why it is important to pay attention to spellings and their meanings. In academic or business writing, the words you write or speak, influence the opinion of the reader or the listener. So, choose carefully.
Common Mistakes with Similar Sounding Words
Accept - Except
To accept something means to receive while the word except denotes exclusion of something.
Advise - Advice
These two words are fundamentally different because advice is a noun and "to advise" is a verb.
Affect - Effect
Affect is a verb, while effect means to bring about or as a result of.
Continual - Continuous
Something that happens frequently is continual, while something that continues to happen uninterrupted is continuous.
There - They're - Their
There is a preposition that typically refers to a place. They're is a contraction of They are. Their is a possessive noun.
How to Seek Guidance from Your English Tutor
Teachers: without them we wouldn't know how to read, write, or correct everyone else's grammar - Unknown
For distance learning courses and those that focus on enhancing language skills, students may face some issues while studying the language on their own. You may need help with an assignment format or may want guidance on specific concepts or you may simply want to talk about your anxiety with exams approaching. And this is especially true when when you are studying the English language course through online classes without a regular, in-person interaction. You need to be able to reach out to your English tutor for academic guidance and admission processes related to international university processes.
Tips to Leverage Your English Tutor
In the era of virtual classes, it is important to follow protocol and professional etiquettes while communicating online with your English tutor. Here are a few tips to help you with that:
- Use a precise, but descriptive subject line in your emails.
- Be specific while drafting queries and avoid ambiguity.
- Be as polite as possible.
- Communicate your urgency, if need be, but don't be rude.
- Do not use abbreviations or Whatsapp language like ur, ppl, etc.
- Proofread your email twice before hitting the send button.
- Don't forget attachments wherever applicable.
- Check for typing errors in the email address to prevent mails from bouncing back.
- Be courteous and don't forget to thank your teacher in anticipation.
English Lessons to Benefit You at the Workplace
Did you know that there are dedicated English classes for professionals at work to enhance their skills? Now, this could serve many purposes depending on your objective of taking up the English language course.
Writing A Cover Letter
The hardest part about a job application is probably writing the cover letter. This piece of document creates the first impression about you with your potential employer even before they look at your CV. There are dedicated English classes to help you prepare such letters.
Writing A Resignation Letter
No matter the reason, resigning from your job is never easy. And it is even more difficult to communicate the reason for doing so with your team or manager. It is never a happy affair to resign and your letter should communicate that. A resignation letter should not be an end to the relationship but more like a formal parting note.
Writing Emails At Work
Email etiquettes are very important and often overlooked at the workplace. There are standard protocols that often get overlooked. Your emails should also have relevant subject lines to ensure they don't get lost in the pile of mails that everyone is bombarded with.
Benefits of Being Bilingual in India and Abroad
Bilingualism isn't all hype. It has its advantages that are often overlooked. After all, being able to speak a second or third language can never be disadvantageous.
Does Bilingualism Really Help?
The short answer to that is YES. It helps in more ways than one.
Improve Your Social Skills
If you know how to speak in two or three different languages, you can easily speak to people who don't speak in your vernacular language. Imagine the number of people you can communicate with. And the kind of diverse social circle you can build!
Improve Your Career Prospects
Speaking two languages can also improve your chances of getting international jobs or jobs in multinationals and embassies. There is a lot of demand for skilled migrants outside India who can speak English apart from their local language.
Boost Your Confidence
Bilingualism can also do wonders to your self-confidence and personality. When you learn to speak in multiple languages, it increases your chances of interacting with many different kinds of people from varied cultures. This can go a long way in building your confidence and expanding your worldview.
Get a sneak peek into a brief history of the English language here.
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