Gaining English Language Proficiency


[dropcap font=”0″]W[/dropcap]hen you learn a human language you will find the different expressions both in spoken and in written forms. The main aim to use a certain language is to communicate each other. As we know, English is a Universal language and many different nationals use it in the world. In USA, UK, Canada, Australia, it is their official language. The power and usefulness of English language are very significant in the Information Technology, Computer Sciences, Education, Navigation, Aviation Industry, Space communications, Satellite Communications, the globalization of world trade, Hospitality Industry and Diplomatic relations etc.  In communicating with English speaking people, you may encounter some misunderstanding and confusions unless you are proficient in English language. Therefore, a person who intends to use English as a second language must be proficient in different usages and expressions. Besides, he needs a language exposure as much as he can. He must Learn English language constantly and tries to master a language skill by using systematic approach. There is no short- cut method for learning any language. No matter you is an intermediate learner or an advanced learner, it is compulsory to know the terms below.
•    Grammar :The set of rules that explain  how  words are used in a language for speech or writing
•    Parse : To divide ( a sentence ) into grammatical parts and identify the parts and their relations to each other
•    Syntax : The way in which words are put together to form phrases, clauses or sentences
•    Semantics: The study of the meanings of words and phrases in language
•    Lexicon: The words used in a language or by a person or group of people
Basically, let us learn some expressions in English language which are differently used for various intentions and purposes among English speaking communities and people. Learning the following expressions will be very useful and helpful for those who want to acquire a good command of English.
•    Reported speech: A way of reporting what someone said without repeating their exact words. Look at two sentences; A. Julia said, ‘I don’t want to go’. B. Julia said that she did not want to go.
The clause ‘that she did not want to go’ is indirect speech and the words ‘I don’t want to go’ is direct speech.
•    Colloquial expression: It is informal way of saying or writing .e.g.” On the blink”, meaning not working. Example sentence:” The photocopier is on the blink”.
•    Slang expression: It is informal way of saying or writing. It is peculiar to a particular group or class. E. g “buck” is a slang word for dollar. Example sentence: ‘How many bucks do you have now?’
•    Small Talk: It is a kind of Chit Chat. It is a light or casual conversation. Example sentence: “How are you today?”
•    High-flown expression: It is used by fancy words that are meant to sound important and impressive. Example sentence: “Due to the mercy, bless and grace of your majesty the king and queen, we are able to make our living peacefully and safely.
•    Idiomatic expression: It is used by a group of words that has a completely different meaning from the meaning of each word on its own. Example sentence: 1. “Don’t worry about this silly row with the boss_ it’s just a storm in a tea cup.” Although you might know the words ‘storm’ and ‘tea cup’, you cannot guess the meaning of the idiom;’ a storm in a tea cup’. This idiomatic expression means that it is a situation where people get very upset and angry over something that is unimportant.
•    Example sentence: 2. Daniel completely ignored me this morning when I said hello to him. For this situation, an idiomatic expression is used as: “He gave me the cold shoulder”.
•    Example sentence: 3. If you visit somebody or make a suggestion and other people are not enthusiastic, you can talk about’ a lukewarm reception’ or a ‘tepid response. e.g. ‘His speech got a very lukewarm reception.’
Idioms are non- literal and they are used in metaphorical way so it is important for us to learn them for speaking, reading, listening and writing in English. Every newspaper is full of metaphorical language.    We cannot avoid it or leave it till later. Furthermore, we must learn English vocabulary words and use them accurately and correctly. Since it is a living language, we need to learn new words (known as “Buzz words”) continuously. However, we should use or construct the simple, correct, grammatical and straightforward sentences so that our messages or information will be comprehensible to the targeted readers as well as listeners.
•    Archaic expression: It is no longer used but we should know it as an ancient usage.e.g ‘thy’ (The possessive form of thou), ‘Thou’ means ‘you’ in modern English.’ thee’ (the object (pronoun) of the verb) e.g. “We thank Thee for Thy goodness.” This sentence is deciphered as ‘We thank you for your goodness.’
•    Figurative Speech:  Any words or phrases which are not intended to be taken literally. Writers and speakers frequently use figure of speech to make prose more lively and memorable.
•    Metaphor: Pushing the listener or reader to identify the similarities between the two. Example sentences: “Julie’s house is pigsty”. Here, Julie’s house is compared to pigsty. The implication is that Julie’s house is dirty and messy.  It is not directly described as “Julie’s house is similar to pigsty”.
Example sentences: a.’ Best friends are boomerangs’, they might sometimes drift far away but they always come back.
b. ’Life is a rollercoaster’ because you never know when it is going to turn.
•    Simile: The comparison between Two: – an animate being and an inanimate object. The phrases are used with ‘like’ or ‘as’
Example sentences: ‘Her heart is hard as a rock’
‘Her behavior is gentle as a lamb’. ‘The crocodile is sleeping like a log’. ‘The president is busy as a bee’.
•    Hyperbole: A type of figurative speech which utilizes exaggerations and overstatements to emphasize the truth or create a strong response in the reader or listener. The hyperbolic expression is often seen in the media and for humor. Example sentences and phrase: ‘I have said the story a million times’. (I have said the story many times). ‘Simon was so hungry that he could eat a horse.’(Simon was very hungry).
“Tons of money”  (a lot of money), ‘mile high ice-cream cones ‘. So they should not be taken literally, instead, they create clear feeling or image.
•    Personification:  It is a kind of metaphor which attributes human qualities     (such as emotion) to an object, idea or animal.
Example:’ My Teddy bear gave me a hug.’ ‘The trees are murmuring’.’ The brook is singing sweetly. ’a huge blaze consumed a small city’.’A swarm of butterflies is dancing’. ‘The snake is dancing in front of the snake charmer’. ‘Mother earth is weeping as she suffers a lot of destructions made by men.’
Irony:  A figure of speech characterized by a statement meaning the opposite of its literal definition. ‘Sarcasm is an example of irony.”(Sarcasm is a way of speaking or writing that involves saying the opposite of what you really mean in order to make an unkind joke or to show that you are annoyed).
Examples: ‘It is so nice you to read my letters without asking my permission.’
‘In 1912, the Titanic was touted as ‘100 % unsinkable’, and yet the ship sank its maiden voyage.’
‘My dad will be so happy if he will see my school report card in vibrant colors.’
Ironic situations: ‘Your car was stolen at the police station! ‘A fire broke out in the fire station.’
•    Alliteration: The use of words that begin with the same sound near one another .e.g.  ‘ wild and woolly’, ‘a babbling brook ‘, ‘safe and sound’
Alliteration includes tongue twisters.  e.g., “She sells seashells by the     seashore.” “Betty bought the butter but the butter is bitter.”
We should not only learn vocabulary, syntax, grammar, semantic and nature of language, but also should learn the culture, traditions and history of English people so that we can catch their way of life, attitude and concepts.
This compilation is just basic knowledge for the learners to approach English language trend. Any way, it will be a beneficial guide for them to use English language properly.  Therefore you must learn it, use it, and widen the exposure to English Language environment. This constant practice will enable the scholar to gain English language Proficiency.

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