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50% of Indian engineers LACK basic ENGLISH skills!

Last updated on: July 24, 2012 15:25 IST

50% of Indian engineers LACK basic ENGLISH skills!

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Despite the complexities of their vocation, it has been found that Indian engineers struggle when it comes to the use and comprehension of the English language, finds out a report compiled by Aspiring Minds, India's leading employability measurement company based out of Gurgaon.

This report is based on tests conducted on a sample of more than 55,000 engineering students from 250+ engineering colleges across multiple Indian states. All these candidates graduated in 2011.1 The analysis and findings of this report are based on the performance of these students in the English Comprehension module of AMCAT (Aspiring Minds Computer Adaptive Test), which is widely recognized as India's largest and only standardized employability test.

The AMCAT English Comprehension section includes a vocabulary test, a grammar test, and a section on English comprehension skills.

Click NEXT to read the summary from the report


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1. More than 25 per cent engineers do not possess the English comprehension skills to understand engineering school curriculum

Learning levels from both vocabulary and comprehension indicate that 25 to 35 per cent engineers cannot comprehend English usage even in day-to-day conversations. Since engineering education is in English, this is a key concern for colleges, as such a lack inhibits students from grasping concepts in other subject areas as well, observes the report.

It is imperative to assess this in the first semester of the undergraduate degree programmes, identify the students with deficient skills, and institute bridge courses in the first semester and during semester breaks.


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50% of Indian engineers LACK basic ENGLISH skills!

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2. Only 57 per cent engineers can write grammatically correct sentences in English

57 per cent engineering graduates showing comfort with basic grammar indicates that an almost equal number (between 50-60 per cent) are unable to construct grammatically correct sentences even for writing e-mails. This is alarming but expected, as the ability to write in a second language is a higher-level skill than the ability to understand it.

Given the importance of English in the employment context, and the long gestation period to come to a reasonable standard in writing the language, the effort to overcome this shortcoming should begin in the first year itself. Consistent efforts over the four years would bolster the command over all aspects of the language and make the student more employable.


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50% of Indian engineers LACK basic ENGLISH skills!

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3. Around 42 to 45 per cent engineers demonstrate capabilities in English required for the knowledge-based industry

As we move to jobs that require a little more sophisticated command over the language, the learning levels from vocabulary, comprehension and grammar all indicate a similar percentage (between 42-47 per cent) of engineering graduates who would be able to satisfactorily meet the job expectations.

Similar to the first level, this gap can be bridged significantly through consistent training over the four years of curriculum. Additionally, by focussing on language and literature as a subject in engineering where students are exposed to and encouraged to read varied books, would result in incremental benefits over and above instructional training.


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4. Not more than 27 per cent engineers show capabilities in business English

The same consistency across learning levels in grammar, comprehension and vocabulary is also witnessed for the third competency level, representing a superior command over different aspects of the language. As the study reports, roughly 27 per cent of engineering graduates are at this level and can be considered for research and analysis profiles in the Knowledge Process Outsourcing industry.

This level of English competence is also required for those interested in pursuing higher studies. For the others, this level of language fluency cannot be developed in four years alone and the onus lies on schools to clear the basics and inculcate in students a love for reading and writing in the English language.


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