Mastery of Language – The Key to Confidence

“Mastery of language affords one remarkable opportunities”
                                    By Alexandre Dumas

“Mastery of language affords remarkable power”
                                    By Frantz Fanon

Confidence is one’s ability to compare oneself with respect to her or his environment and be satisfied or happy with it. There are many causes that help develop and maintain one’s confidence, the more important of them being upbringing, education, the environment itself, the encouragement one gets and lastly, but not less important, being adept at important domain related and soft skills. To list out these skills may be like “Carrying Coal to Newcastle” to a knowledgeable and educated readership. However, one of these skills, namely mastery of language, is something worth analysing further.

Let us reflect a little on the basics of how to achieve mastery of language. For the purposes of this paper let us go into the methods that are to be employed to attain mastery of the English language. Academic experts in English speaking nations recommend the following sequence to be adopted while teaching the language in schools:

Listening >> Speaking>>Reading>>Writing    

This ensures that the students understand and nuances of diction and delivery before they start writing the language.



Those who do not follow this sequence have to take concerted efforts to develop mastery of the language by practising each attribute. This is especially true where students are taught to write, to learn more words and the emphasis on listening, reading, usage and diction are minimal.

·         By listening to speakers, one can, apart from developing listening skills, also get an insight on proper pronunciation, pausing and asserting where one must, to get the message in.

·         Speaking takes a bit of courage and readiness to correct oneself when feedback is given. However, after the difficult first step, it can only get easier

·         Reading improves one’s vocabulary. Further, well written articles and reports are a lesson in proper usage of words and phrases.

·         Last, but also very important, knowledge of correct writing is important for effective communication, for drafting important official documents and the like.

People whose mother tongue is not English have to work on their language skills to gain a reasonable amount of mastery over the language. However, the process of acquiring this can be rewarding and fruitful because many other skills are also addressed. Listening, speaking with confidence and the ability to sustain a conversation, and improvement in written communication skills are essential to the process.

A person who knows a language well is able to use the right words and phrases in the right situations spontaneously. He or she can overcome stage fright and win a point using effective communication and persuasion. Such people can win arguments, negotiate effectively and do the right things that put the person on the other side of the table on the backfoot.

Isn’t it worthwhile to invest in gaining mastery of the language?


PS: Reference was made to the following website to prepare a small part of this note:
http://www.teachersofindia.org/en/article/building-confidence-english-language-learners

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