Thursday, June 14, 2007

Practice, practice, practice

We Asians are trying to be globally relevant by racing to get more of the outsourcing industry which demands good English speakers. Unfortunately, out of thousands of applicants only two, three, or four are really considered employable by call centers. The rest are either chopped out as unqualified while a few may be considered for training. This scenario has made students more and more aware of the importance of knowing one's spoken English very well. The trouble with this is that students who are in school to hone this particular skill get little or no opportunities to do this because English is rarely spoken anywhere on campus, not even in the classroom which is supposed to be the best place to practice this skill of speaking good English.

If we must become good English speakers then we must speak the language all the time most especially when you're in school.

I remember when I was in grade school and high school when we took seriously this business of speaking English inside the campus. We had badges that we gave to those who spoke the native language and the last person to hold the badge at the end of the day got to pay a certain fine. It worked well for our batch became very good English speakers.

I notice that some schools initiate this "Speak English campaign" but do not pursue it seriously enough to see the desired results. Schools must have "Speak English policy" anywhere on campus in order to train students into using the target language much of the time. The canteen, billing section, offices, classrooms, libraries are places where students should be given opportunity to use the language. Make these areas as "Speak English only zones".

Practice makes perfect. If you think you are the only one who is doing your best to polish your English speaking skills, don't despair. Very soon they will be joining you. Never mind what they think. Never mind what they say. Just think of the benefits you gain by doing so.

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