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Basic Spoken English

1852 Basic spoken English

Learning the English language is a must in the current era. English is considered to be spoken all over the world. In India, it is taught to children right from school-days and is considered a vital part of the academic curriculum; it has been made mandatory in the Indian education system. The English language skills include reading, writing, listening and speaking. All skills form the basis of English; none of these skills can be ignored. Each skill has its own importance, and all put together to become the communication process in the English language.

Though all these skills are essential for effective communication, the most important role is played by verbal skills. When one needs to have face to face conversations, speaking and listening skills play a vital role. This is why spoken English is greatly valued. One needs to be good at spoken English to excel in academics, career and also to have a good social presence.

A person with good Spoken English skills is usually confident in facing people and expressing his/her ideas more clearly. In this present job market, degrees, certificates and academic/professional documents are a part of the very basic criteria; the main focus is laid on communication skills, preferably speaking skills. To get placed in a good company at a decent package, one needs to outperform the other candidates. Moreover, to stand ahead of all in the competition, one needs to be equipped with more skills that can prove beneficial to the companies. This assures one to have better chances of being selected.

Basic Spoken English does not mean to use jargons in every sentence. It is all about a communicator formulating the message correctly and speaking to the receiver in a way such that it is understood in an intended manner.

Spoken English improvement is done to speak confidently, without any errors or grammatical mistakes. It is important to use the right words according to the context. Thus, one should try to improve the vocabulary to have right words ready to use in the conversations. Without the right words, it becomes difficult to express ideas effectively.

Spoken English Vocabulary

A very common question that arises in one’s mind is, “How many words does one need to know in the English language?” There can never be a definite answer for this as it depends on one’s goal, profession, an audience to face, proficiency, learning capacity etc. The number of words learnt, are not be the goal here, the focus is on speaking English fluently. There are approximately 1,00,000 word-families in the English language; word family is the grouping of words derived from the same base. For instance, active, actively, activity etc all belong to the same word family.

The goal should not be to increase the breadth of vocabulary knowledge, instead one needs to focus on the depth of word knowledge. It is not just about mugging up a lot of words but to learn words that can be used in conversations and in the right context. The most common method of learning new words is to memorise them, but this could be of no or little help if one doesn’t practice using these words in sentences immediately. One needs to learn new words, understand the proper usage of these words and also put them into practice to reinforce these words in one’s ready-to-use vocabulary list.

The English language can become tricky sometimes, there are many words that have confusing usage, different meaning, homophones etc. One needs to know many words that are most frequently used and can come in handy for daily conversations. For example, if one needs to express gratitude, condolences, greetings, etc, he/she must know the appropriate words to be used in such situations.

There are words that are confined to only formal or informal usage, and cannot be accepted everywhere. For instance, using slang words cannot be acceptable in formal situations and one needs not use formal words when with peers or friends. The difference between the words to be used in formal and informal needs to understood to ensure effective communication and also to save oneself from getting into an embarrassing situation, due to improper usage of words.

Simple Spoken English

Simple Spoken English comprises of a combination of words, phrases to form meaningful sentences used in the conversations. One needs to start from basic words, phrases and learn the appropriate usage. This eventually helps to improve one’s overall Spoken English. One needs to be focused and practise consistently to out the learning process. It might be challenging, but it is worth the pain.

One needs to learn the basics of communication, which might be useful in daily conversations. There are many words that can be used in certain situations only, one needs to know the appropriate usage and meaning of such words. For instance, if one hears the news of a relative’s death, one needs to know how to politely communicate at such a situation, a few words or phrases like ‘condolences’, ‘rest in peace’ etc, such words are used to convey one’s grief.

There are many words that are meant to be used according to the context and the situation. Something which all conversations have in common is the greetings. This part of the conversation becomes inevitable. When one meets another person, one starts the conversation by greeting the other person. The greetings offered differ based on the age, stature, profession of the person because of the respect to be given, the closeness, formal or informal communication etc. One must know the correct words for salutation. This is the first chance when one can make a positive impression on the addressee. A warm greeting makes the other person reciprocate in the same way and it influences the conversation in a positive manner.

Greetings for formal conversations

Formal conversations require a professional tone. Situations like job interviews, presentations, meetings, communication with top management, client negotiation, talking to an elder person etc, all require a formal way of communicating and the choice of words to be used should be appropriate- must be respectful.

  • Good morning/ Good afternoon/ Good evening – Good morning is used from 5:00 AM to 11:59 AM; ‘Good afternoon’ is used between 12:00 PM to 4:59 PM and ‘Good evening’ is used after 5: 00 PM.

  •  It was nice to meet you/Glad to meet you – usually used when closing the conversation.

  • One can also start the conversation by using ‘Hello, how do you do?’ / ‘How have you been?’.

  • One cannot use slang words like ‘Wassup?’, ‘Hey’ in a formal conversation. It might possibly strain the relationship and can be taken in a negative sense.

  • While addressing a person from a higher hierarchy level, the correct salutation is Sir/Madam. Juniors are sometimes referred by names, usually the surnames.

  • Expressing gratitude- “Thank You”, “I am humbled and grateful”.

  • If one could not follow what the other person said and wants the communication to be repeated without making him/her feel offended using words such as – ‘Pardon’, ‘Could you please repeat’, can help.

One can practice more words, phrases and sentences that are most commonly used in formal communication, which needs to be more precise; while informal communication can be slightly according to one’s own convenience.

Spoken English sentences can be learnt and put to use in daily conversations. This can make one more confident in daily spoken English. There are many sentences which cannot be literally translated from a regional language to the English language. This is because the sentence formation differs and the way it is communicated, is very different. If one tries to think in regional language and mentally translate it in English, it might turn out a difficult task and might result in improper sentence formation. A few basic Spoken English sentences to use in daily conversations are:

  • “Turn on the tap/ Switch on the lights.” – not open the tap.

  • “It is raining,” is the right way to use rather than ‘Rain is coming’.

  • “I am from Bangalore”, to inform someone that you belong to Bangalore.

  • “You seem dull today,” – to convey your concern for the other person.

  • “Have I put on?” – asking someone if your weight has increased.

  • “His mother expired/ passed away,” – it is a better way to say rather than, “His mom died.”

  • “Could you please help me with the address?” – to request someone to direct you to a location.

  • “I apologise for the inconvenience caused,” – when you want to apologise for any trouble the other person had to face.

  • “No offence meant,” – when you do not mean to offend the other person.

  • “Will get back to you,” – to assure that you will get back with a response, shortly.

These are some of the Basic Spoken English sentences, which can be used in day to day conversations. One needs to learn as many sentences as possible, to be ready to communicate in any situation one faces, without worrying about what one has to tell. It is very important to learn spoken English sentences as it is an essential part of the communication process. The entire conversation relies upon the sentences one uses. It is important to use the right sentences and also frame them in an appropriate manner to make the communication process smooth.

One also needs to focus on the non-verbal part of communication which influences the communication process. It makes the communication effective and helps people understand the message better. It also highlights one’s persona and builds a better image in the respondent’s mind. Interpersonal communication is much more than just the literal meaning of the words or the message that is conveyed. It also includes implicit messages expressed by non-verbal communication.

Few non-verbal communication aspects to be focused on during communication are:

  • Kinesics- Body movements like nodding, hand gestures, pointing, etc.

  • Posture- How one stands or sits.

  • Eye contact- It is important to maintain eye contact during face to face communication but not to the extent of embarrassing the other person.

  • Para-language: Voice modulation using the pitch, tone and speed. It is used to emphasise on the important details of the message.

  • Proxemics- Closeness between people having a conversation. It differs depending upon the type of relationship one has with the other person. One needs to maintain relationships according to the rapport they share.

  • Facial expression- Smiling, frowning, tensed, excited etc; many such emotions can be expressed using facial expressions. It is important to maintain pleasing expressions while conversing with people so that they perceive you as a person with positive vibes.

These non-verbal communication aspects play a major role in conveying the message one intends to send out.

When one faces a job interview, verbal communication is just the information conveyed, but the non-verbal communication helps the interviewer analyse the candidate’s psychological aspects like confidence, the accuracy of the information being conveyed, stress management skills, etc. When the candidate stammers, sweats or shivers; it shows a tensed mind and he/she might seem to lack confidence. The candidates facing interviews need to prepare to keep in mind, both the verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication to increase the chances of being selected. To ensure that a message is communicated in an effective manner, one must realise the importance of non-verbal aspects of communication. It is an indispensable part of professional and daily spoken English.

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