Enhancing students' English proficiency

Enhancing students' English proficiency

In the age of globalization, the importance of English language cannot be overstated. Proficiency in English is the most challenging factor in today’s education as it has been considered as one of the parameters to determine a student’s overall academic ability.

English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and its value has expanded enormously in the past decade due to increasing demand of English language in jobs, growing social mobility and global competitiveness.

English language proficiency refers to the ability of students to communicate efficiently, both in spoken and written contexts. Earlier, the students used to learn English as just another subject like Physics and Mathematics and had very little opportunity to use it within the school as well as outside the school. But today there is a need to achieve higher English proficiency in order to meet the demands of global competitiveness.

Improving proficiency in English should ideally begin with a strong foundation in its grammar. However, wherever there are lacuna or need for improvement there are various effective steps that a student can take or be taught to improve his or her level of English comprehension and written and reading skills.

Self-study can also improve the reading and comprehension skills. Some other methods may include engaging students in group discussions, debates, language proficiency tests, and providing supplementary learning materials to enhance their language skills.

Encouraging reading, writing

A natural mechanism to improve any language skill is to read in the language as much as possible. Encouraging students to read anything - books, newspapers, magazines even comics - can have a major impact in speaking and writing better.

The more a student reads in English, the better his language skills will be. Similarly, the more a student writes in the language, the more proficient he or she will become. Writing is understood poorly today because of the limited canvas for genuine writing but a serious student can use email as letters, attempt reviews of books, films or music, maintain a diary or just simply copy interesting examples of written English prose from books to see a dramatic difference in his or her proficiency.

Group Discussions

Engaging students in group discussions can be an effective way to improve vocabulary skills. Teachers can give more emphasis to communicative approach rather than the lecture mode and make the students engage in communication in English both inside and outside the classroom.

They can conduct group discussions where students are supposed to speak only in English. This way, the students will be able to acquire adequate command over speaking skills and will become more confident. In group discussions, the students give their views, ideas and thoughts in English due to which they develop the habit of speaking fluently in English.


Conducting debate competitions at school level also play an important role in enhancing the speaking and vocabulary skills of the students. Debates build confidence among students to speak boldly and fluently. It also helps them to organize their thoughts and ideas in a specific way while speaking.

Language proficiency tests

Language proficiency tests that assess the student’s vocabulary skills are an effective way of monitoring progress. These tests can be conducted in the schools to judge the proficiency of the students in the classroom context and provide key inputs for improvement. These assessments tests can be designed by the teachers themselves.
Supplementary learning tools

Schools can provide instructional and supplementary learning materials in English to the students which can enhance the interest of students to learn and improve their language skills.

Supplementary Learning materials will help students to learn, broaden their learning experience and meet different learning needs. It will also help the students to construct knowledge for themselves and develop effective learning strategies.

 The proficient use of the English language can enhance the career prospects of students since it provides them confidence of speaking and expressing their thoughts seamlessly. People who are fluent in speaking it are highly sought after by companies of international repute. Importance of English is not restricted to school level and proficiency helps them to communicate effectively in real life and succeed professionally, academically and socially.