LANGUAGE IN INDIA Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

M Thirumalai, B Mallikarjun, Sam, B A Sharada, A R Fatihi, Lakhan, Marie Jennifer, S M Bayer, G Ravichandran, L Baskaran, Ramamoorthy
2011 unpublished
In the age of globalization, engineering students and practitioners need to enhance their English communication skills and other soft skills in order to cope with increasingly tough competition in the job market. Mere subject knowledge in the chosen field of engineering is not going to be a guarantee for an engineering graduate to get a good job or excel at the workplace. Multinational corporations (MNCs) and major information technology (IT) companies in India recruit engineering candidates
more » ... have good English communication skills. In this highly competitive society, proficiency in English is considered one of the employability skills. In other words, English language skills are considere ‗life skills' or ‗survival skills' in the twenty-first century. Engineering students need to be able to think critically, solve problems, communicate clearly, be creative and work in a team in order to get placed in a reputed company. As the need for the students of engineering to be trained in a multitude of transferable skills is high (Hatakka, 2005), most private engineering colleges in India hire trainers to train their wards in soft skills including English communication skills and prepare them for on and off campus placement. In many institutes of technology, English language teachers are involved in placement training. As there is an increasing focus on and demand for soft skills, the English for Science and Technology (EST) practitioners in engineering colleges are expected to play the role of communication skills consultants and soft skills trainers. There is a shift from imparting mere linguistic skills to multi-skills in an integrated manner. In this context, the Engineering English course taught during the first year of the fouryear engineering programmes in around 300 engineering colleges affiliated to the Anna University in Tamil Nadu, India, is expected to play a vital role in improving students' communication skills and preparing them to the workplace or making them ‗industry ready'.