It is an irony that despite being an Indian, we promote a foreign language and sideline our mother tongue, unlike China. However, the bitter truth is that English has become our necessity and we cannot ignore it. We all are desirous of good jobs, interact with international stakeholders, and even want our children to study in decent schools. Arguably, sound communication skills increment our chances to attain a haven to manifold. Various research reports second this very thought as well.
In one such study, which was conducted by three students (Mehtabul Azam, Aimee Chin, Nishith Prakash) of different American Universities, Similar findings were revealed. The report released in 2010 inferred that people with good English communication skills hold an edge over lesser or non-English speakers in terms of earning hourly wages. The study entitled “The Returns to English-Language Skills in India”, based its findings on India Human Development Survey (IHDS) 2005 data and unleashed the following stats:
On an average, among fluent English speakers in India, males get 34% and females get 22% higher hourly wages. The percentage of kaam chalaau (Okay type) English speakers getting hourly wages however remained low, at 13% for males and 10% for females.
The statistics are sufficient to depict the necessity of English in our professional life. However, in our social life as well, the impact of English communication has been telling. While the rural areas are still content with communicating in native language, most of the urban areas differ significantly. Specifically in the metro cities, the headcounts of English speaking people are increasing at a rapid pace. However, we are still lagging behind in the overall numbers. Another data posted in 2007 by Jobsite.Y-Axis echoes this thought with the below stats:
India was the second largest English speaking nation after the US, which was near about 300 million and equivalent to 100 percent of the United States population at that time. Moving over, on an estimated 350 million English users in India, around 100 million were English speakers.
So, what about the rest? The data depicts the situation that existed 7 years back, wonder what is the current scenario? The below facts from a more recent report answer the question.
In a Google fusion Table (published in 2012) including the List of Countries by English speaking Population,
India was yet again only second to the US, with 12.16% English speakers out of the eligible over 1 billion Indians. Though, this ratio was too low as compared to the United States where out of an eligible 280,950,438 populace, 95.19% spoke English. China was deep down the list with, 0.83% of English speaking population out of an estimated 1,200,000,000 people.
However, Chinese people promote their own language religiously in corporate silos, education institutes, etc., and even want the foreigners to learn Chinese if they wish to do jobs there. Hence, such low percentage is not a matter of worry for them but us, the Indians.
All these statistics are fair enough to give a certain idea of where does our country stand and how far do we need to go from here. We are lagging behind in English communication heavily, and the consequences are obvious – We work on lesser salaries, don’t have satisfying jobs, the kids and the grownups in our society are hardly communicative in English, and so on.
- Improve our own communication skills; the beginning has to be made from somewhere deep within.
- Spread awareness about the importance of this language
- Develop interest for the language among others in our society
Following these points may well acts as the stepping stone toward ensuring a decent growth, both in our personal and professional life.
We can give excuses ranging from education to upbringing to not-so-good company, etc., for our bad communication. However, these reasons are not going to help us at all. Instead, we ought to work on this language, which despite being from the British, rules the roost in India.
The succeeding blog post would enlighten the scene with some interesting yet valuable tips to improve English communication skills. Until then, keep rocking!