Why is Spoken English in Surat the need of the hour? Well, Surat is a beautiful city on the banks of the river Tapi. Let us figure out its history, culture, and financial background first. This will help us understand where English conversation in Surat stands presently and why the importance of written and spoken English in Surat is growing. Similarly, it will also help us to realise why it is important to have a good IELTS class in Surat.
Surat is well known in the Indian subcontinent from time immemorial. You can find mentions of the city even in holy books like the Mahabharata. It was a stopover spot for Lord Krishna on his journey from Mathura to Dwarka.
A brahmin named Gopi found the city in the late fifteenth century and named it Suryapur, which means the city of the Sun. It was a famous port for trade and commerce in the British era. True to its name, Surat even today is the rising sun of sarees, diamonds, and unique street food. Surat spreads the sunlight of unique embroidery designs and “jhari” work all over the world.
When anyone talks about sarees, the first thing that comes to mind is the advertisement ‘Sari mein Sari Parag Saree’, right? This saree brand is one of the many well-known brands in Surat. This is because Surat is the hub of selling Indian ethnic wear like sarees, salwar kameez, and kurtis in India and abroad.
Similarly, Surat is well known as a diamond cutting, polishing, and supplying hub. That is why it is also called the Diamond City of India. In a similar manner, Surat is well known for its unique mouth-watering Surti cuisines like Locho, Ghari, Ponk, Undhyu, Cold Coco, … the list goes on and on.
The diamond and the Indian ethnic wear make Surat one of the leading shopping hubs of India. The city provides employment opportunities to millions of daily wagers from across the country. They come here to make their career in the diamond and the textile industry. That makes Surat one of the fastest-growing cities of India.
How has the lack of fluent English Speaking hampered Surat?
Even though the city boasts of being the diamond city, only the manufacturing work is done in Surat. Major tasks such as sales, advertising, and marketing of the Diamond and the Textile industry are done in metros like Mumbai and Ahmedabad. One of the main reasons for it is that the people of Surat are not so comfortable about Speaking English. Moreover, Surties do not give so much importance to the English Language.
People here face many difficulties in trading due to this language barrier. This obstacle significantly stunts the growth of the city. In fact, this makes a handful of people who are good at written and spoken English in Surat get special importance. Since I was born and brought up in Surat, I can vouch for this. My fluency in English conversation has leveraged my career as a digital marketer and content writer. However, I faced difficulties in getting managerial-level jobs as I grew in experience.
The diamond and the textile industry do not require skilled labourers. Most educated youths are in family businesses, or job seekers like me who prefer to migrate to metros like Mumbai in search of better job opportunities. So, the use of English is very limited in Surat.
Why can’t people in Surat speak in English fluently?
When I interacted with my friends, colleagues, and common people, I came to know the reasons why even after having a good command of written communication, they were not able to communicate verbally in English. The major reasons why the people of Surat cannot speak good English are discussed below.
Lack of conducive environment at home for English
In order to learn a language, it is very important to speak that language on a daily basis. One needs to interact frequently and regularly. However, most of the people in Surat have parents and friends that do not speak in English, and converse in the vernacular.
This is also the prime reason for inhibitions while speaking in English. They are error-conscious; they fear that they might be made fun of if they speak something wrong. This is because they have not spoken enough English either at home or with friends and colleagues.
Less emphasis on communicative English during school and college study
There are many schools and colleges in Surat. However, the focus is on marks and syllabus completion, not on skills. Students don’t get enough knowledge or skills to master the target language. Students learn without understanding concepts–they study just for the sake of getting high marks.
Translating from mother tongue
Another reason for this lack of speaking ability in English is that English is almost the third or fourth language for the people of Surat; the first two being the mother tongue and Hindi. Most people think in their native language and then translate it into English. This leads to errors in sentence construction because English differs markedly from Indian languages in terms of structures. For instance, English in general has a subject -verb-object sentence order while Gujarati has a subject-object-verb order. Let’s see this with an example:
Hu locho khai rahyo hato – Here “Hu” is the subject while “Locho” is the object and “khai rahyo hato” is the verb phrase.
In English it would be “I was having Locho” where “I” is the subject “was having” is the verb phrase and “Locho” is the object.
Carrying over Gujarati pronunciation habits into English
The other important aspect is that there is a lot of mother tongue influence in Indian English. If you have watched the movie Sanju, you must have seen the Vicky Kaushal character pronouncing “snacks” as “snakes” and “hall” as “hole”. Similarly, another word is “zone” pronounced as “John”.
Very little effort in learning the target language
Even though many spoken English classes have mushroomed in the city in recent years, the number of people using English is still small. This may be because most of the budding entrepreneurs think that they have to one day inherit their father’s business which does not need much English skills. Obviously, their own effort in learning English will be limited and half-hearted.
Lack of interest in critical reading
It is common knowledge that reading boosts one’s language skills and vocabulary. However, on average, The people of Surat do not read much. In academic organisations, most students read, but do not inculcate the skill and habit of reading critically. As a result, most people do not have enough words or structural competence to be able to use English in daily life.
The use of social media and the whole digital world also play a crucial role in linguistic incompetence. Today’s shortcut in writing on chat platforms like Whatsapp is equally responsible. For instance, “love” becomes “luv” and “we” become “v”. Moreover, there is a grammar checker and a spelling checker inbuilt in the phone or computer delivered, which decreases the need for a personal effort.
Similarly, memes and videos have taken a more important place than reading articles from a newspaper to check news or for entertainment. Moreover, today paper based work has become less common, and everything is usually read on mobiles or computers.
How can spoken English classes or IELTS classes in Surat help?
Gujaratis are one of the most intelligent people with excellent business skills. It is important for Surtis to realize that the English language has the lion’s share in scaling any business, because Surat is actually growing by leaps and bounds with international recognition. To acquire a good command of English in a short period of time, one can join a famous spoken English class or institute in Surat. A good language institute can help learners in the following ways:
Good quality training in English conversations
People have to understand that to run a business smoothly one cannot blindly rely on a third person. When it comes to cracking a deal with an international body, it is important that one can interact with them in English. That is where a good spoken English class in Surat like FluentLingua can come into play. Good language coaching centres can not only provide good quality training in English speaking, but also enhance learners’ personality.
Level-wise study for the learner
A good coaching institute of English aids an individual to know his level and face English language related challenges confidently. Moreover, they prepare courses as per the level of the learner.
These coaching institutes for English in Surat provide a curriculum that the learner can follow easily and in an interesting manner. They can help you to get over the aspects that you are lacking in. Some of them use tests to identify causes for learners’ inability to speak in English.
Ease of registration for exams such as IELTS, PTE, or TOFEL?
The students of Surat are also very smart. There are ample opportunities in the US, Canada, Australia for students in the IT sector, Healthcare, Pharmacy, Engineering, Biomedical Sciences, Sustainable Infrastructure, Agricultural Sciences, Food Technology, Financial Services, Risk Management, Insurance, Hospitality, Tourism and so forth .
The students are very good in their field and just need a dash of English speaking skills in them. This can help them to clear their IELTS exam or other such exams of the respective countries. To ease the formalities, some top English coaching centers help the students to register for the IELTS or similar exams.
Mock tests for better results
A good institute for IELTS coaching in Surat not only helps the students to learn English but also works as a mock test center. These mock tests equip learners to perform better in the actual test compared to those who prepare on their own. Such institutes make sure that the student clears the exam with flying colors. One such institute that I know of is Fluentlingua which is one of the best IELTS institutes in Surat because it is headed by Dr Dharmendra Sheth, a PhD holder in English and who has around 25 years of experience in teaching English and preparing students for study abroad.
Is English Coaching in Surat enough to increase the standard of verbal interactions in English?
The main question is: can just going to an institute teaching IELTS or spoken English change the face of English fluency in Surat? Well, that can’t be the only step, but yes, it can surely be a good one in that direction. These are some other strides that pave the way for better English conversations:
Catch them young
Schools should give importance to the English language as schools prepare the foundation for students’ knowledge, skill, and career. Therefore, they should provide English speaking facilities. On top of it, they should give practical English language due importance in their syllabus rather than just theoretical.
There should be special classes for Spoken English introduced in the vernacular medium schools. These schools should arrange extra lectures for conversational practice. English is and will be a confidence booster in their personality and make them job ready or work ready, not only in their city or country, but around the world.
Even the government should put special emphasis on the effective teaching of the English language in schools and colleges. This will help the new generation to overcome this shortcoming.
Creating Awareness about importance of English
There should be awareness campaigns for the importance of the English language. These campaigns should involve parents and the people of Surat at large. People should be made aware of the usefulness of the English Language for their wards’ professional career.
Parents should be educated regarding the importance of English speaking in their day to day lives to remove fear and inhibitions in the minds of budding English speakers. This will go a long way to help youths speak English fearlessly.
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