English has always been a subject close to my heart! Even though I have no qualms in accepting that I never scored above 60% in the language in school.
There is a funny notion in our heads; rather an assumption: if one speaks flawless English (any other language for that matter), we conveniently assume that the person would have scored really well on that language in school as well. This is rather a shock for people who don’t realize that speaking and writing skills may not necessarily be at the same level for an individual.
I know of people who struggle to articulate simple thoughts in the language; however, they exceed expectations when you ask them to pen those thoughts down.
More often than not, I believe that your schooling plays a crucial role in your comfort with a certain language. For example: In my case, the only exposure I ever got in English was at school. Just that much exposure was enough for me to be fluent in the language.
But then again, how about the grammatical knowledge of the language? I was fluent and had no issues whatsoever in expressing or articulating my thoughts comfortably. However, after I stopped studying grammar in school; I lost touch with theoretical knowledge of English grammar and; therefore, was unable to identify various parts of speech in a sentence.
Once I entered college, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was quite unsure of the career that I would like to like to opt for. After completing my graduation I worked in a few places just to gather experience – again without any clarity of where I would want to go in terms of my career. In of these random jobs I came across a person who identified the skill of being a good English Language Trainer in me. He advised me to make my career in training. His judgement only came from the knowledge that I could speak well. I took his advice and started applying for jobs where my language skills could be used. Finally, I landed a job as a Voice Coach. During the interview they specifically asked me if I was comfortable with theoretical aspect of English Language – to which my answer was a definite ‘NO’.
I thought I would not get a call from the firm. However, they called me a few days later saying that they like my confidence and command on spoken English; however, grammar is something that I will have to work on. After I joined I had to undergo a Train the Trainer session with experienced trainers – This session helped me to understand the nuances of grammar.
This is when I asked myself – ‘Is it really important for one to learn English Grammar to be able to speak well?’. My answer was – ‘NO’. However, if one wishes to make a career in the field, then certainly along with spoken fluency, one must also get acquainted with the foundation of the language. Theoretical knowledge of grammar helps trainers to offer explanations to students when they get stuck. It facilitates quick and logical learning in students.