Speak in English

My teacher said that Speak in English. But is that easy one? Let us see.THE English language had modest beginnings. It started as a dialect brought to England by the Germanic tribes in the 5th Century. The Norman Conquest in 1066 brought English into the mainstream of European languages. Since then it has become versatile and widespread. Everywhere you go you hear English, the international language of aviation, computers, pop music and the obligatory language, or at least, a smattering of it, among airhostesses, waiters and shopkeepers. Those who cannot speak it well, envy those who can because this language is valued above all others.

In the workplace and everywhere else too, English speakers appear more confident, intelligent and worldly-wise than the others and are likely to be given posts of prominence or sent for overseas assignments or training programmes.

There is also an economic advantage to speaking English. In the Philippines, for example, people know the language well. `Apart from lower labor and production costs, one major factor why foreign businessmen have set up shop in the Philippines is because Filipino citizens are well-versed in English' says Raquel Flor.

Headhunters are extremely aware of the English- speaking factor and are on the look out for people with fluency in the language.

Stumbling blocks

What then stops people from learning and perfecting the language?

Some of the reasons could be

• Fear of being ridiculed

• Thinking in the vernacular and translating this into a clumsy patois

• Sheer laziness!

Practical Persistence

• The best way to learn the language is to speak it.

You may be horribly conscious of the halting words, but force yourself to carry on regardless. There will always be kind souls around who will correct you in the nicest possible manner. Check how they speak and try not to repeat the mistakes. If you are greeted with laughter every time you open your mouth, I'm afraid you will have to grin and bear it, all the while reminding yourself that this too shall pass!

• Devour the printed English word. Books, magazines and all kinds of reading material will help greatly.

• Arm yourself with a good dictionary and dip into it constantly. A thesaurus and even your computer are invaluable and your vocabulary will improve vastly.

The best way to learn English is Speak in English.

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