English Now and Then

the experience of learning English through rote memorization in the past, and how this approach did not effectively help in academic or professional career.

I remember the days when I was a pupil of an english course where the teacher would enter the classroom and would utter something beyond our comprehension. For the purpose to impress students, he would use some bombastic vocabulary believing that those dictions would ultimately make us admire him and would also assume that he had a thorough insight into English. By listening to those words, we would also cram and would ask our fellows if they knew the meaning of those particular words. When they would not give us a satisfactory response, we would consider them not proficient enough as we were and the story would continue.

We were glad with that approach we adopted and were highly satisfied with the teaching methodology of that teacher partly because he would equip us with some lexical resources the other students did not know. Slowly and gradually, we were acclimatized with that vocabulary competitive environment and we would enlist the words and mug them up. Besides words, we were taught some complex grammatical structures in order to keep them as last card to play if someone would try to impress us with his/ her English. We were pleased enough due to the skills we learned from our teachers. Other than these, we also mugged some idioms up and some rare proverbs which were our last winning points if any English student would argue.


To cut long story short, we would consider ourselves heroes and our teacher a super-hero. With the same approach, we passed out and stepped in various academic fields. Here, we faced the music as we only knew some archaic lexical resources, a few idioms and proverbs. Other than these, all were Greek to us. In fact, we could not express ideas properly when we were asked and could also not write a single argumentative paragraph. No-one inquired about vocabulary nor anyone asked us questions about idioms. We saw other students with wide eyes articulating ideas fluently and putting their opinion across whereas we sat silent and observed things like spectators. It dawned upon us that more than cramming vocabulary and knowing a few idiomatic expressions, communication skills are essential to express your ideas and hold qualitative arguments through body language. Most importantly, presentation skills played pivotal role in academic score and at the same time it was the symbol of enhanced English skills.


What else left us in awe were the functions of phonology and morphology. They are the key factors of knowing to improve standard pronunciation and accuracy of English language. If we would utter something, that would be either incorrect grammatically or would sound very weird to our fellows. We didn’t have any clue what to do! The base which should have strengthened from the very onset had spoiled. We had no clue at all so the only way out was to initiate learning and acquiring English again. And this time, our entire concentration was on uplifting our communication and improving writing skills. First, we unlearned and then learned new skills. It took us a very long and consumed our double energy.

Instead, we should have focused the applied skills of English rather than just mugging words up. No-one denies vocabulary and idioms don’t play role but we must learn the application rather than just cramming them up. We realized the functions or manipulation of English structures to express ideas to serve the purpose of communication and presentation skills and particularly arranging ideas in written to serve the purpose.


Now, the world has advanced where only information does not distinguish you to compete rather the art of what can you do with that information plays key role to count you as a unique seller of your skills. Especially, English is not a piece of information you can cram rather it is a skill which founds (foundation) and strengthens the edifice of your career if you learn it in a proper way. Those who desire to advance in any walk of like must have the skills of English to manipulate structure for function and serve the purpose, be that excelling in academic or professional life.       


February 20, 2023

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