Teaching Oral Communication Skills: a Task-Based Approach

Topics: Communication, English language, Teaching method Pages: 15 (4501 words) Published: March 17, 2012
Developing Communication Skills through Cooperative Teaching Method

Dr M V Raghu Ram
Prof & Head
Dept of Sciences & Humanities

Lecturer,R.V.R & J.C.C.E

“Lack of communication skills lands Indian students in Australia in low paid jobs.” -Consul General of India in Melbourne Anita Nayar

"India is a vibrant country brimming with potential… we should develop much needed soft skills throughout India." -An English Teacher

“With the business environment rapidly expanding in India, there is also huge demand for quality corporate communication skills training. There is also a lack of providers with the experience and expertise to give professionals the standard they require.” -A Private Corporate Trainer

Language is an expression of human activity. English language has become so popular that among the 1.1 billion people of India who speak and communicate in more than a thousand languages, a vast majority have a common language - English. This language is now an employment passport to a fresh graduate. In fact, it still remains a strong communicative language. The success of an endeavor hinges on the ability to communicate effectively in today's fast paced life, everyone is asked to do more with less. In such a scenario, effective communication holds the key. Effectively, communication centers round the usage of words, speed of delivery of words, pitch modulation and body language. Using the right tools to communicate the right messages at the right time can salvage crises and motivate people to work towards success. Truly said, communication works but for those who work at it. In the existing globalization scenario, most of the Information Technology, I.T Enabled Services, management institutes, public and private sector, multi-national Companies, Union Public Service Commission, and State Public Service Commission search for a right and suitable fresher for executive posts. Whatever be the recruiting criteria that IT, ITES, industry giants had in their agenda, once this was clear a first class degree would not serve the purpose, the candidate have to satisfy the skill sets that the companies were looking for. And unanimously, the important group in the skills set is the communication skills. It has been identified in several studies conducted by the MNCs and IT sector industries that many Indian graduates (around 50% of technical graduates and 75% of general graduates) are gaining essential qualifications and hard skills at university but lacking in communications skills essential to getting the right job. There is a need to provide valuable training to Indian students so they can develop these vital soft skills, making them more employable and better equipped to achieve their full potential. How can we do it? Is our curriculum flexible enough?

There are several ways how this can be done. The campus recruitment training institutions which mushroomed, thanks to the blooming ITES, claim to develop the communication skills of the students in just as short a time as two months. Some of them even convince the skill deprived enthusiast that they can become effective communicators within a month, if they choose so. The Indian graduate student in search of a decent job that requires good communication skills as a prerequisite can be broadly categorized under two streams -- engineering and non-engineering. Students coming under the engineering stream in some states

like Andhra Pradesh can be regarded fortunate in the sense that considerable changes have been made to their curriculum to add communication skills development component in the form of practical/laboratory course work. It is the non-engineering graduates that we need to care more for. As we know there is a great rural-urban divide among the student population in India and this division becomes more effective in the analysis of communicative performance of the students in English. Most often, English as a course is present...
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