English Speaking Ability

In my opinion, the statement that ‘it is unnecessary for English learners to become perfect speakers of the language, as the majority of them will be interacting with and doing business with other second language speakers’ is not true. I disagree with this statement because English language is a universal language, spoken in almost all countries of the world (Wray 1995). English language plays an important role in communication, specifically in the modern era of globalization: where business transactions and socialization are taking place between and among individuals located in different parts across the globe. This implies that English language learners should at least be perfect speakers of English language for them to be able to communicate, conduct business, and socialize with other languages speakers in other parts of the world.

If an individual has poor English speaking ability, it would be hard for such an individual to communicate with another individual who is not a native English speaker but speaks English as his/her second language. For example, assume there are two people, a German and French. Assume that both individuals have knowledge for the English language, but one of them is not a perfect English speaker. If the two men were to engage in any form of communication, while either conducting business or socializing, they would have a difficult time understanding one another. This is because if one is not a perfect speaker of the English language, he/she may pronounce different words differently, use improper tenses, or use words wrongly, thus resulting to miscommunication. Miscommunication during business transactions has dire consequences including loss of business contacts and loss of money/goods.

Perfect speaking ability for the English language plays a vital role in interaction with native speakers. ESL (English as second language) students/individuals have trouble when interacting with native English speakers in schools and outside schools. Such individuals avoid interacting with native English speakers because they are usually embarrassed of their English ability (Wray 1995). This indicates that an individual who is not a native English speaker not only needs to know how to speak in English, but also needs to be a perfect English speaker in order for him/her to be able to interact easily with native English speakers as well as other individuals who use English as their second language. In many cases, immigrants to English speaking countries have trouble interacting with the locals. This is because their limited English-speaking ability limits their capacity of understanding the pop culture of the locals. This limits their conversations with local people to essential communication only. For example, if an immigrant is an employee in a certain company, he/she only communicates with the colleagues when communicating job-related issues. Based on this, it is clear that lack of perfect English speaking ability limits an individual’s social life.

Furthermore, lack of perfect English speaking skills has been observed to affect the academic performance of ESL students. ESL students with poor English-speaking abilities shun participating in class, again because of embarrassment of their English ability. Such students prefer silence and individual work at school to talking in class and socializing with their classmates (Wray 1995). This means that even when they do not understand something in class, maybe because the teachers talk fast or use many vocabularies, they do not seek further clarification neither from the teachers nor from their classmates. Eventually, they end up performing poorly in class.

Perfect English speaking ability also helps ESL individuals in formation of social networks and easier adjustment in new homes. This way, native speakers and non-native speakers from different social and cultural backgrounds are able to socialize without embarrassment or any difficulty.  This helps in promotion of multiculturalism and racial tolerance (Wray 1995). Indeed, it is necessary for English speakers to become perfect speakers of the English language for easier interaction and doing business with other second language speakers.

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