Event The mysteries of the English language were unravelled at a workshop recently
Please do the needful, kindly confirm, and revert back ASAP. Doesn’t seem quite right does it? Huma Riaz, a corporate trainer and content developer, unravelled the mysteries of the English language to a small group at the Grammar for Business workshop conducted at the British Library recently. In the full day session she covered a range of topics from tenses, modern and old fashioned English to Indianisms, prepositions and punctuations in Business English.
“Business writing is all about accuracy and appropriateness. As far as accuracy is concerned, something can be right or wrong, but appropriateness is very context based,” says Huma. Stressing the need to be clear, direct and precise, Huma gave her guests a series of English grammar tasks and games to complete during the course of the day, keeping spirits high, and the competitive blood flowing strong.
“Fluency is usually good for the Indian speaker of English, but he or she faces problems with accuracy. Internationally, accuracy is extremely important. I think this stems from school where English is taught from books and not practiced, but it also happens when people try to mirror their managers and pick up their mistakes,” says Huma.
Huma created an atmosphere of trust and comradery, mixing groups through the day ensuring that no one felt out of place or left out. The workshop, which targeted anyone over 18 years old had participants from their early twenties to their early fifties running around the room in search of answers pasted on the walls, giggling and chatting like old friends.
No stone was left unturned, no question unanswered as Huma went back to the basics explaining when to use ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ and when to use a hyphen or a dash.
“As a culture we don’t read a lot. We don’t interact with people in English in our daily lives, at work or school. We need to make a constant effort to speak in English and create an English speaking environment,” says Huma.
Huma ended the session with a competitive pop quiz recapping everything taught through the day.