(a facebook post for fellow folks)
Dear brothers and sisters who are appearing HSLC and HSSLC, ‘what are your plans right after exam?’ Here’s one humble and earnest suggestion:
Learn grammar. Take English grammar tuition.
For the rest of your academic career and beyond, you will be writing and speaking in English. That is inescapable. Science, Arts, or Commerce, you have to write in English for your exams, face interviews in English for your jobs or for admission for higher studies. So, it is important that you learn it fairly well.
Take grammar tuition.
Why right after HSLC/HSSLC? It’s because you won’t find a better time again in life. We learn as we go up in our career, but on grammar, what you learn during school is pretty much how your grammar will be for the rest of your lives. That’s also because there will be no more grammar course in college or university.
People make fun of each other’s accent, including the British for their English! Chakhesangs are no exception. It is important to learn to pronounce words but I think having a good grasp of grammar is more important. African English with their heavy accent sounds nice. Even if you have a very stylish accent, if your grammar is bad, people will make fun of you. If your writing is bad in grammar, people may photocopy it and circulate in office for fun. Even if you have important things to say, you may hesitate or people may not take you seriously. Good grammar will boost your confidence.
Learning is a lifetime experience. My dad had me take grammar tuition in class VIII, then class IX, and then again in class X; when friends were going for Maths and Science tuitions. Now I know it was worth it. But the learning continues. I proof read an article 20 times. I sleep over it. The next morning I find mistakes. Then it appears in the newspaper and I find some more. So, I know I have a lot of limitations and a lot still to learn.
Is it ‘I have finish the work’ or ‘I have finished the work’? When do you use ‘will’ when ‘shall’ seem more correct technically? How is a semi colon different from a comma? You see, writing is an art but grammar can be very technical.
Is the use of SMS lingo responsible for bad spelling or it is used to hide ignorance of grammar and spelling? Make friend with your dictionary. Learn new words. Use them to help remember them.
Some are good in speaking, some in writing. Everyone has his/her weakness and strength. But, be it speaking or writing, every educated person in our society (for this is not France) needs to have a fair, reasonable, acceptable, working knowledge of English grammar.