Read for Fun, Read to Learn

Hi, there! We all know that English has a lot of importance in education, social life and professional life, but does English make a person more employable? In a conference, someone raised this question, ‘Does English make people employable?’ Well! Does it? Does English give you an added advantage over others? No, don’t give me an instant answer? Ponder (think) over it, for it’s a ‘serious’ question. And then, if the answer is on, there is nothing to worry. But if the answer is yes, then you have to get on the track and start ‘NOW’.

And please don’t learn ‘kaam chalaau’ English. What you have to equip yourself with is ‘good English’. Right grammar, decent word power and correct pronunciation, is what makes ‘good English’. Refrain (stay away) from using silly accents—American or any other; it is very irritating to hear wrong grammar in an American twang (accent). One keeps coming across onuveau (new, pronounced as ‘noo- vo [vo as ‘go’]) English speakers, who’ve visited the US or the UK on a visitors’ visa and come back sounding clownish, while there are scholars, who spend years in esteemed universities like Harvard and Oxford and speak in completely unaffected English, albeit (although), a chaste (pure) one.

Like I have been telling you so often, reading is one of the best ways to learn a language. Let me introduce you to the writer who introduced me to the joys and benefits of reading. It was Enid Blyton and I still remember my first Enid Blyton, it was a Noddy.

Noddy is a fictional character created by Enid Blyton, originally published between 1949 and 1963. I think it was in the 2nd standard when I read my first Noddy and then there was on turning back… I am sure I must have read all the Enid Blytons- Famous Five, St Claire series, Malory Tower series, Enid Blyton’s Bible stories…

My favorite was the St Claire series. The series was actually co- authored by Pamela Cox and hadine books in total. The series follows the heroines Patricia ‘Pat’ and Isabel O’Sullivan from their first year at St. Clare’s on. Other characters include Alison O›Sullivan (the twins› cousin), Hilary Wentworth, Carlotta Brown (an ex-circus girl), Janet Robins, Doris Elward, Kitty Flaherty, ‘The Honourable’ Angela Favorleigh, Alma Pudden, Gladys, Mirabel, Anne-Marie, Claudine, Antoinette and Roberta ‘Bobby’ Ellis.

I still remember having midnight feasts (meals), like the students of St Claire, with my sister. We would make sandwiches and chips and other things and since there was on ginger beer, we had to manage with Thums up, at other times we had hot chocolate. Well, the midnight feasts were the effects of having read the St Claire series.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter who the author is, the idea is to read as much as possible and obviously read books in English. If you don’t like onvels, read short stories and if you feel that your comprehension level is low then read simple books and stories, like the stores from Panchatantra.

‘The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian collection of inter-related animal fables (stories) in verse and prose, arranged within a frame story. The original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed around the 3rd century BCE is attributed to Vishnu Sharma. It is based on older oral traditions, including ‘animal fables that are as old as we are able to imagine.’

These stories translated in English are great source of learning English.

This is it for today.

Key in to me on

surabhi.pillai@gmail.com

Keep smiling…

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