Well. As a Mechanical Engineer my career was always into marketing since I had the ability to speak in English and impress the clients. In fact, it was seen as a rare thing to find and fix someone with linguistic ability and persuading capacities. When I was selling Ford cars in Chennai in 1999, my request to join the technical service team was rejected and I was told that hundreds of engineers were available to do that and manpower was in dearth to work in the front end facing the customers qualitatively. In fact I was offered better pay and kept in the higher esteem of the dealership management. That was when I realized that good ‘English communicating skill’ is in demand. This seeded the idea of training venture.
Q2. How important do you think is the necessity of English Speaking Skill ?
After the British rule in India, the legacy of English was sustained until the seventies for the flair, without any vested business interest. After the seventies, unfortunately a sharp decrease in the usage of the foreign language was noticed particularly among the youngsters. About ninety per cent of the students till today are with good academic records and poor linguistic abilities.
Ironically, never in the history, English has been such an important, saleable tool for global communication as much as it is now. There is a conditional approach by the global giants and corporate companies to recruit the kind of manpower good in linguistic abilities, particularly with ‘Effective Communication in English’ whatever may be the discipline of graduation.
It is even noticed that candidates with good English communication skills but with an average career background could also secure lucrative assignments with the corporate companies . This shows that top priority is given for candidates with linguistic attributes.
India is in the prime focus of many international corporate to harvest a high volume of quality manpower required for the future.
The assumptions made by the large players to focus on Indian manpower are:
- Consistent availability of quality man power.
- Quality education.
- Man power at reasonable cost
- Knowledge and practice of English language.
There is a conditional approach by the global giants and corporate companies only to recruit the kind of manpower good in communication and linguistic abilities. ‘Effective Business Communication in English’ is required irrespective of the discipline of graduation.
Q3. What do you think is the ideal age for a student to start learning a non native language?
Out of the five major components of language learning and language teachings such as Spelling, Pronunciation, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Expressions, efforts are already in place for providing correct spelling and precise grammar in use. Pronunciation is a subjective exercise that demands a real-time English environment to inspire. Focus upon increasing the vocabulary, improving the understanding of language semantics and clear verbal expressions is important. – This needs an adult child to imbibe the complexities. Therefore age 12 to age 18 should be the best age for language learning to verbally communicate effectively. Of course, good resource material and constant guidance are important and would help the most for systematic improvement.
Q4.What bottlenecks did you face while approaching schools and colleges ?
Many hurdles are there. First of all, English is a foreign language, any day. Students in schools and colleges are from a variety of backgrounds with different social lifestyle. When it comes to selecting a program for the students it is important to make it common to all. Another thing is that the teachers themselves do not talk in English. All teachers are not comfortable with the language. There are thousands of English Medium schools without adequate English speaking teachers. Even the teachers need periodic sessions on the collective practice of English in the campus and new methodologies. That would help.
Q5.Was learning English welcomed by all students/teachers in the school?
English is recognized as the language of the educated. It is the only language that truly has gone functionally global. Moreover, without a doubt, it is a sweet and stylish language. As long as every student feels this, there will always be an enthusiasm to learn English. The students are quite happy to take sessions as long as they are not mocked in the classroom. Yes, they want it.
Q6.What were major problems you faced while imparting training for the students?
Time. The teachers and the students are loaded with subjects and have peer pressure to score high in Science subjects and Math. Unfortunately, language takes a back seat in its preference.
On the other hand, language learning is extremely demanding. It needs 100 percent concentration to listen, understand and imitate. This gets reduced by age. Since language is an art, a 24x7x365 attitude and exposure are needed. That is seemingly impossible for most of the institutions to provide.
Q7.What were your follow up actions once your training got over?
The follow up with institutions depends upon many factors like the in-house teachers and the medium of instruction. The strength of the students is also a criterion. Duration and time vary for a different set of participants in different places. With these factors, a follow-up program is planned and executed over time.
Q8. Were you satisfied with improvement of the students ?
The results were dramatic and consistent. In fact, the enthusiasm of the teachers and the students increase day by day as they discuss the semantics of expressions and improve their vocabulary. Teachers bear a new joy of pride and the students feel increasingly confident.
Q9.Give us some information on your training kit.
There are two types of kits, I have derived.
One is for institutions such as schools and colleges. It is called ‘Campus English Program Kit’.
Another one is for individuals who wish for systematic ‘Home learning’. This is called ‘Personal English Language Learners Kit’.
Both the kits have sufficient content to achieve a staggering strength of 40,000 plus words Vocabulary, with adequate sentences for a contextual understanding of their usage.
While the institutions are advised to use it for 3 to 5 years, on a ‘daily’ basis, individuals can choose to spend more time and be exposed adequately in a shorter time.
Both the Kits are seen as an extremely powerful resource material for a systematic linguistic enhancement required. The details of the components in the kit can be seen in our website www.campusenglishprogram.com
Q10. I understand that you conduct a English Workshop . Can you throw some light on it. ?
An optimized approach of minimum teacher’s guidance and interpretation on world-class resource material, application of the phrasal methodology, activation of self-learning and group learning process gives the joy of language learning. This is explained to the teachers in a training program who would then take it yearlong among the students effectively and easily. Here teachers are only fellow learners with the students.
Q11. Can you tell me about your works as an author? What are the books you have written?
Besides the books on translations of ‘Thirukkural’ and works of ‘Auvvaiyar’, I have made a handy compilation on the ‘Facets of English Language’ for the English learners at large. I have also authored a book on ‘Sri Ramayana’ in a poetic format in English with rhyme and rhythm. It is the first of its kind ever written where the story of Ramayana is given in 113 chapters. For all the literary works I have authored in the name of Srirangam Ramesh and this book is also available with Amazon.com, Amazon.in and Flipkart too.
My ongoing project as an author is a book on the biography of the famous Tamil Poet Sri Subramanya Barathi. This book in English would be an interesting recall of history with a unique catch of expressions emotively written in Tamil by the contemporary legend ‘Padmabushan’ ‘Kavipperarasu’ Vairamuthu. I have attempted to translate it in English and the book is getting close to completion.
Q12. Share your experience with the legend singer SPB ?
It was a wonderful experience. As a translator and author of Thirukkural and the works of lady Saint Auvvaiyar in Tamil and English, I decided to make an audio version. ‘Auvvai Sonna Aram’ is a work on the moral ethics and values prescribed for the people during the 13th century. As SPB and other singers would sing the 72 poems one by one in melakartha ragas, I would read the meaning in Tamil and English. It gives me immense joy and pleasure to bring such valuable work for awareness of the generation to come. Truly a memorable work with the kind blessings of the legend singer Padmabushan Sri S.P.Balasubramanyam and the participation of many other artists with us.