Category: Language Skills

Get The Basics Right – A Guide To The Cornerstones Of English Language Skills

Proficiency in the English language is considered by many to be one of the critical aspects of professional success. This observation is correct. There are a few reasons behind this, first organizations rely upon effective communication for achieving their goals, most organizations being multicultural and multilingual rely on the English language for this communication and people with good command over the English language tend to create a better first impression and many times gain professional success.

So what are the basics of the English language?

  • Grammar – The first important skill for the English language is Grammar. We cannot be too fussy about grammatical accuracy in business communication, but basic errors in grammar reflects on your level of professionalism. More importantly sometimes these errors can lead to miscommunication. The components of grammar that require special attention are usage of tenses, prepositions, subject-verb agreement and articles. We tend to restrict these skills to classroom learning, however their application should be a key skill to acquire.
  • Vocabulary – The second critical aspect of language proficiency is Vocabulary. This refers to knowledge of words used. Again, gaining complete knowledge of the English vocabulary is almost impossible, you will always encounter a word that you don’t know. However, having a good vocabulary will help you gaining effective speaking and writing skills. Vocabulary also enhances your comprehension power. The most effective strategy to build vocabulary is to Read! The more you read you will come across a variety of different words, learning their usage and meaning will enhance your vocabulary. However using these words after learning is even more important, otherwise they will be lost.
  • Diction – The third aspect of the language skill is Diction. This deals with how a person speaks in terms of articulation, pronunciation and accent. These skills are acquired with a great deal of practice. They are the most underrated out of the three skills but are very important in creating impactful oral communication. Articulation comprises of rate of speech, tone, volume, stress and pause. Most of these are influenced by our culture and therefore difficult to change, but with practice and exposure to a variety of diction, we can learn universally acceptable diction skills. The idea of right diction is not to follow a certain accent, but to be understood by all.

Learning these skills requires a great deal of effort and commitment. These skills cannot be acquired overnight, they require learning and practice over a long period of time. However, considering the importance of these skills it should be our aim to master them.

The BizComm Model of Strengthcape deals with Language Proficiency and other relevant topics.

Filed under: Language Skills

4 Reasons Why Language Skills Are A Must-Have For Employability

You may be a fresher looking out for gaining an entry into the corporate world. You could be someone in the early or mid- managerial level looking for a change of job. Or you could be scouting for a leadership position. Irrespective of your education, background or experience, the first impression in a job interview is created by your communication prowess.

Today’s job market requires people who can draft clean and crisp e-mails, deliver great presentations and be great team players. All of the above require great language skills and that includes good comprehension, vocabulary and grammar in the English language.

Why is communication so important?

Trust is built through communication.

  • It is important to trust the people and the organisation you work for. The extent of trust that an employee has on an employer and the brand determines the level of engagement and satisfaction. Productive employees are found to be high on organisational citizenship.
  • Every message that is delivered to an employee should be drafted with utmost care and interpersonal communication within hierarchies as well as between functional areas are crucial to trust building. Recruiters realise the role that communication plays in building organisational trust and hence focus on whether a prospective candidate can build trust through communication.

Teams are built through communication.

  • Team building is no simple task. Though there are innumerable components that go into building a cohesive team the common thread is communication. The “Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team” which is a popular assessment tool for team cohesion lists out five ingredients of a cohesive team – trust, healthy conflict, commitment, accountability and results.
  • The common thread that binds all the five is communication which is a basic requisite for building trust, fostering healthy conflicts, achieving commitment, creating accountability and delivering results. In teams both intrapersonal and interpersonal communication is crucial.

Simplified communication gives better clarity to goals.

  • The key to goal setting is simple and easy to understand communication.
  • Goals should be defined in short sentences, minimal usage of jargons and language that is easy to understand.
  • Simplicity leads to focus which in turn increases clarity of purpose and minimises confusion.
  • Complex communication creates discomfort and leads to distrust.
  • People generally do not follow instruction which they perceive as double speak.

Insensitive or biased communication leads to adversities.

  • As the world shrinks into a single market culturally sensitive communication is a mandate. Loaded statements, biased remarks or insensitive comments can lead to major issues at the workplace.
  • Today’s recruiter looks for not just great communication but also for cultural sensitivity.  It is important to understand and appreciate the similarities and differences that make each individual unique and to adapt communication accordingly.
  • The Central Test Business English Test can help interviewers evaluate the language skills of a respondent during the recruitment process. The test evaluates an individual on his or her comprehension skills, vocabulary and grammar and has got specific focus on business communication.

Have you tried Central Test Assessments?

Filed under: Language Skills