Grammar for better English: A free workshop for adults

Please note: There are no seats available for the 13 Oct or 14 Oct workshops.  

 

Why have a workshop on grammar? 

Do you want to write emails that are easily understood? Do you want to write reports that are grammatically error-free? And do you want to make more effective presentations at work?

If you answer yes to these questions, then improving your grammar would be the right place to start. A strong foundation in grammar will allow you to express yourself more precisely, concisely, and effectively. It’s as simple as that!

 

Who is the trainer? 

As a corporate trainer in Delhi NCR for six years, I have conducted business grammar, email writing, and presentation skills courses and workshops at institutions, MNCs, and Indian companies.

I’m interested in creative writing and have written a book Q and the Magic of Grammar. And the next book is Common Indian Errors in Business English. It should be out in a few months.

Who is this for? 

This training is for people who are reasonably fluent at English, but who are making errors in grammar. It is for people who would like to improve their communication skills.

Here’s a short test. If you can correctly answer these three questions correctly, then you are at the right level for this training programme.

Fill in the blanks with the correct tense of the verb in brackets.

  1. Yesterday, I _________ my clients. (to meet)
  2. Nowadays, she ____________ the marketing team in Noida. (to manage)
  3. When we visited Mumbai, we didn’t ________ to the showroom. (to go)

Scroll all the way down for the answers.

If you have any questions about the level of this course, email me at: amalfabian@yahoo.com.

What grammar points will be covered? 

I intend to review the common grammatical errors of Indian speakers. So, I urge you to mentally prepare yourself; we’re going to cover a lot of territory.

We’ll  look at: errors in the use of tense, the use of the article (a, an, the, zero article), use of prepositions, and uncountable nouns (is it etiquette or etiquettes?) .

Of course, we’ll have some time where you can ask my anything about grammar and language learning in general.

Where? 

The venue is the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Here is the exact venue:

“Willow Hall”

Habitat World, at India Habitat Centre,

Lodhi Road

New Delhi-110003

(Entry from gate number 3 on Vardhman Marg)

 

When? 

It is on the 13th of October. That’s a Saturday.  The day’s training session will be for six hours. (Don’t worry, there will be breaks!) The timings are: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Please be on time.

(Please note. There is a workshop on the 14th of October as well, but there are no seats available.) 

How many participants? 

There are limited seats. There will be a maximum of 20 participants.

How much? 

It is for free. There are no charges. Lunch and coffee/tea are complimentary.

Will there be future workshops on writing and speaking? 

This is the first in a series of workshops. Apart from grammar, I intend to conduct workshops on email writing and presentation skills.

What is the next step? 

If you are interested, please email to: amalfabian@yahoo.com confirming your participation.

As there are limited seats, please wait for a confirmation.

Answers: 

  1.  Yesterday, I __met____ my clients. (to meet)
  2. Nowadays, she __manages___ the marketing team in Noida. (to manage)
  3. When we visited Mumbai, we didn’t __go____ to the showroom. (to go)

 

 

 

Learn English with your child

patenting

Learning any language takes time. And that includes English as well.

In corporate India, many people want to learn English words and phrases that are directly related to their work. They often do not have the time or inclination to strengthen their foundations (grammar, vocabulary, writing skills, reading skills, listening skills, and speaking skills).

If you focus only on the language you need for your current position, you will not have the flexibility to express yourself in a wide range of situations. You can only communicate using set phrases and limited grammar in certain fixed, routine interactions. This means that you might find it challenging to communicate subtle meaning or complex ideas. As you move into new, higher positions, there will be more demands on your communication skills.

How can you strengthen the foundations of your language when you work long hours? If you have a child at home, consider yourself lucky. You can learn with her. Together, you can practise reading and answering questions from her textbook. You can use the content in the textbook as a launchpad for further learning. For example, if there is a lesson on food, you can read articles or watch Youtube videos on the topic. When doing so, be sure to be an active reader/listener. Make a mental note of new vocabulary, grammar structures, and pronunciation. See if you can identify any of the words / grammar that you and your child have come across in the textbook.

Many people do not speak English at home. If one wants to learn any language, the secret is immersion in that language. The language needs to be around you and you need to be using it. With your child, you could set aside some time where both of you speak only in English. At the dinner table, you could revise the words / grammar that you have together looked at. Practise, practise, practise, until it becomes second nature.

It is said that the child is the father of man. I believe that the child is an excellent English teacher for man or woman. Learning with your child is a fun and natural way to learn and practise the language.

If you choose to learn with your child, make sure that it is a long-term engagement. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see immediate results. Slow and steady wins the race!

 

3 or 4 misused punctuation marks

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For some reason, I’m a fan of punctuation marks. And to my dismay, I find that they are misused many a times in business writing.

Here are three common errors:

1. Semicolon

The semicolon is used to divide two sentences that are in some way related to each other. The key word is ‘sentence’. There has to be a sentence on both sides of a semicolon. Here are two examples:

I enjoy punctuation; the semicolon is my favourite mark. (correct usage)

I enjoy punctuation; the semicolon. (incorrect usage)

When you use a semicolon, think about whether it divides two sentences or not. What is a sentence? I hear you ask. A sentence is a group of words that:

a. has a subject and a verb;

b. makes complete sense on its own.

2. Exclamation marks!

Note that I used just one exclamation mark for the sub-heading. On is more than enough. Do not write: !!! Using too many exclamation marks dilutes the impact of your message. From now on, carefully dispense with these marks.

3. The use of the dash and colon

There are many uses of these punctuation marks, but I have one particular use in mind. When introducing a list, many people in India start with :–

That is redundant. Either go with the colon (:), or go with the dash (–). Why go with both? That makes your writing unnecessarily heavy.

I leave you with this thought. When it comes to using punctuation, keep it light.