By Shree Prakash Sharma
Have you ever had butterflies in your stomach before you stood to speak something in front of the audience, that too in English? Or you fumbled badly and groped hard for words which surprisingly ceased to flow out naturally from your mouth while speaking to someone in English? If the answer to the above questions is yes then it is the right time to take some radical steps to improve the situation and become a fluent speaker.
They say that speaking a language, especially English, is just like driving a car. Facing trouble at the time of starting a car is natural which all of us experience across the world. But once it starts, there is no looking back, it runs so smoothly. So, is the story of speaking of a language like that of English. The English speakers, especially the non-native speakers, face the same teething problem while starting speaking English.
With the fast sweeping wave of globalization across the nations in the world, the importance of English as an important lingua franca has even more increased in the modern age of the 21st century. In addition, speaking English fluently has proved to be one of the essential parameters of success in the most of the job and career opportunities available in the country and abroad as well. It has also become a sine qua non of lucrative pay package and golden passport to bright promotion prospects.
So, overlooking the task of mastering the art of speaking English may prove to be very fatal. The most important question arises here – after all how can we learn to speak English, that too, very fluently?
You must have wondered to find that the children start speaking their mother tongues without having any knowledge of alphabets, grammar and very good stock of the vocabulary of language. What magic does enable those innocent children to speak their mother tongues so effortlessly and smoothly?
In fact, a child learns to speak a language by carefully listening to and imitating what their parents, peers pals speak. Next, the children do not have any hesitation, constraints and fear or so-called phobia which the adults are so naturally and commonly vulnerable to.
Following are some of the points which may considerably help us to speak English very much fluently:
(a) Don’t ever underestimate yourself. But at the same time you must be aware of your weaknesses. Take sincere steps to correct them. Knowledge of basic rules of grammar of English is the stepping stone… simply master them. Without mastering them, it is very difficult to speak English correctly and with ease.
(b) Don’t lose confidence when you speak in front of a person or a crowd of audiences. Once you lose confidence and you would never succeed to speak the language that you would like to be fluent in.
(c) Read newspapers and magazines in English regularly and search for different sentence structures and difficult words in them. Look up the meanings of those difficult words in a very good dictionary and try to retain them in your mind.
(d) Consistently enrich word power. For this always keep a good dictionary and a thesaurus with yourself.
(e) In the beginning, start speaking with shorter sentences. This would definitely increase your self-confidence to gradually switch over to speaking longer sentences later on.
(f) Watch talk shows, news and current affairs programmes on television and try to learn the modus operandi of speaking of English. Using You Tube for this purpose too may prove to be very beneficial.
(g) Pronunciation is called as the soul of a language. Learn how to correctly pronounce the words. For this you don’t need to be a phonetics expert. Just keep in your mind important ‘Pronunciation keys’ and finally you are the winner of the race.
(j) They say, “Practice makes a man perfect.” So, keep on practising and practising. Speak, speak and speak – this is what that would make you a confident and fluent speaker.
WORDS MATTER MOST
Choose the closest meaning of the words given in the capital letters –
(A) catastrophic (B) open to communication (C) confusing
2. DOUBTING THOMAS
(A). absurd (B) a person who insists on proof before he believes something (C) shameless
3. DOUBLE WHAMMY
(A) two bad things which occur together (B) a complete change (C) a short cut
(A) natural (B) truce (C) ridiculous
(A) embarrassing (B) obdurate (C) bra
Answers: 1.B 2. B 3. A 4. B 5. C
Choose the word most nearly opposite to the words given in the capital letters
(A) burden (B) sluggish (C) fresh
(A). cope (B) mow (C) increase
(A) unite (B) erode (C) diverge
(A) taste (B) strong (C) defect
(A) to bother (B) to dispense (C) conceal
Answers 1. B 2. C.3.C 4. B 5. C
WORDS USUALLY USED IN MEDIA
Leitmotif – oft-repeated feature of a place, time or person, (Recently prohibition seems to have been the leitmotif of a host of state governments in the country.)
Runaway – adj. anything which is happening quickly and uncontrollably (The film, which had been released last week, has earned a runaway success in the Bollywood industry.)
Culpable – guilty, deserving blame, an action which is considered criminal (He was arrested for the culpable offences which he committed by inciting the people against the government’s policies.)
Vendetta – a situation in which a person tries to harm another person (The arrested opposition leaders accused the government of pursuing a political vendetta against them.)
Hole – a fault, a weak point, (The prohibitory policy of the government has left a huge hole in the pocket of the state exchequer.)
To date from – to have existence from a particular time (Majority of the buildings in the city date from the 18th century.)
To daydream about – to have daytime fantasies (These days youngsters do not believe in hard labour and self-study. They only daydream to realize their goals.)
To dawdle about (also to dawdle away) – to waste time (Stop dawdling about now. Examinations are fast nearing.)
To dawdle along – to move along slowly and casually (The girls were dawdling along. They were also frolicking with their friends. They did not know they were very much late for the college.)
To dawn upon or on (for a fact) – to become apparent to someone (Ultimately it dawned upon me that I am not moving in the right direction to get the job I always craved for.)
TO APPRISE SOMEBODY OF SOMETHING – to inform someone about something. (When the minister of electricity visited the village, the people apprised him of the dismal condition of power.)
TO ASK AFTER SOMEBODY- to ask for someone’s welfare (I always ask after the parents of my bosom friend whenever he speaks to me on phone.)
TO ASCRIBE SOMETHING TO SOMEBODY FOR SOMETHING – to consider that something is caused by a particular person or thing (The origin of the early works of literature and plays in English is ascribed to Shakespeare.)
TO ACCEDE TO SOMETHING – to agree to something. (The Union government at the centre has finally acceded to bring strict policies for curbing the use of plastic in the country.)
TO ACHE FOR SOMEBODY OR SOMETHING – to desire something very strongly. (She always ached to become a famous doctor in her life.)
WORD OF THE WEEK
RHAPSODIZE: – to talk about something very eagerly and excitedly. (Children were rhapsodizing the taste and aroma of the lunches they had had last week.)
Author Is Principalm Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya , Mamit,Mizoram. He Can Be Reached At Spsharma.rishu@Gmail.com