Career in Functional English

8 minute read
Career in Functional English

What comes in your mind when you hear English? Shakespeare! Keats! But is there a difference when we talk about English as an academic discipline and English as a day-to-day language that we speak? English is increasingly becoming a universal language and it has seen a growth in the number of speakers than any other language in the world. Around 20% of the world’s population speaks English and in most of the colleges, universities and workplaces across the globe, English has become an official language. While travelling to a country with a different culture, you will end up finding a lot of people speaking and communicating effortlessly in English. The science of this communicational aspect of English is known as Functional English. In this blog, we will walk through the central aspects of building a career in Functional English as well as the major courses offered across the world for those wanting to discover this language in its natural glory.

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What is Functional English?

Literature encompasses a larger portion of the academic discipline of English. Involving a deep study of classic and contemporary literature, English Literature can take you years to master. But when you are appearing for an interview or writing an essay, you might not consider reading a 600 pages long English classic. That’s where Functional English works as a helpful tool as it deals with the application aspect of the English language with a lesser focus on its history and more focus on communication skills. Whether you are giving a presentation or teaching a class in a university, or simply writing an email, Functional English gives you the key skills to communicate in an English speaking society. The purpose of this aspect of English is to help students in developing speaking and writing proficiency in this language. 

Uses of Functional English

Focusing essentially on the communication skills in English, Functional English comprises of the study of how this language is used practically in terms of speaking, writing, listening and reading. It analyses how English is used in real-life situations and further helps learners gain interactional competencies and fluency skills in English. It is often referred to as everyday English and is often included in degree and diploma programs in English to impart students with a comprehensively theoretical as well as practical understanding of this language. Further, Functional English can be used for different purposes like,

  • Technical English like Aviation English
  • Everyday communication in English
  • English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
  • For academic purposes in School curriculums
  • For English Proficiency Assessments like IELTS, TOEFL, etc.


Being a practical oriented field, a degree in Functional English has a number of advantages over a general course in English. Here is a list of some of the benefits of pursuing a course in this field:

  • Gives you the confidence to talk efficiently and effortlessly in English.
  • Helps you understand the English jargon of texts, documents and instructions and thus boosts your productivity.
  • Increasing your efficiency in communication as it can prove to be an essential tool in influencing your clients and effectively disseminating your ideas.

Major Courses in Functional English

Based on the education level, there is a plethora of courses offered in Functional English that you can choose. Some of them are listed below:

BA in Functional English

A Bachelor of Arts degree in the specialised field Functional English is a three-year course designed to give you ample knowledge about the daily usage of the English language. Multiple universities across the globe are offering undergraduate courses in this field. The eligibility for admission in this degree course simply requires you to have qualified 12th class with a percentage above 50%.

MA in Functional English

A Master of Arts degree in Functional English is a more specialized postgraduate degree program. If you have already finished your bachelor’s degree in this, doing a master’s will help you gain deep-embedded expertise in this discipline which can further assist you in exploring work opportunities in academia.

Certificate Courses

If you are not looking to studying a full-fledged degree in Functional English, there are plentiful certificate courses you can opt for. The duration of these courses may range from 6 months to 2 years. Further, these short-term courses can provide you with certification as well as a basic understanding of Functional English.

Diploma Courses

Besides certificate courses, there are more detailed diploma courses in Functional English offered by various universities as an alternative to lengthy degree programs. 

Admission Process

To get admission in the Functional English course you will have to follow certain important steps. They are mentioned below:

  • Access the college or institute through their official website. The admission application form will be available on the website. 
  • Download the admission application form and fill in all the required details. Double-check to see there are no mistakes. 
  • After you have successfully filled in the application form, you will be called for a written test. The written test may be subjective or objective type. The test paper comprises questions from media issues, English language, creative writing, English writing, etc. 
  • If you qualify the written test, you will then be called for a personal interview. You will be required to bring your 12th class mark sheet along with your cumulative percentage.

Entrance Tests

Mentioned below are the names of entrance tests conducted by some colleges/ institutes for admission in BA Functional English. They are:

  • Government College For Girls Entrance Exam
  • K.T.H.M College Entrance Exam
  • Patna University Entrance Exam
  • Queen Mary’s College Entrance Exam
  • Ashutosh College Entrance Exam

Top Institutes For Functional English 

Tabulate below are colleges in India offering courses in Functional English. You can check them out here:

Name of College/ Institute Location Average Annual Fees
Lady Shri Ram College For Women New Delhi INR 16,400
Loyola College Chennai INR 4,610
Presidency CollegeChennai INR 1,250
Ramjas College New Delhi INR 10,600
Hans Raj CollegeNew Delhi INR 19,200
Miranda House CollegeNew Delhi INR 12,200
Madras Christian CollegeChennai INR 18,700
Jai Hind College Mumbai INR 4,120 
Presidency College Kolkata INR 3,700

Functional English Syllabus 

Listed below is the syllabus for a UG course in Functional English- 

Semester 1

  • Communication Skills in English
  • Critical Reasoning, Writing & Presentation
  • Methodology-Humanities
  • Postcolonial Writing

Semester 2

  • Translation and Communication in Other Languages
  • Landmarks in English Literature
  • Reading Literature in English
  • Readings on Indian Constitution, Secular State and Sustainable Environment

Semester 3

  • Literature & Contemporary issues
  • Informatics
  • Communicative Grammar
  • Literature in Other Languages

Semester 4

  • Oral Communication Practice
  • Public Relations
  • Applied Phonetics
  • Culture and Civilization

Semester 5

  • Communicative English (open)
  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Business English
  • Media Studies I Creative Writing

Semester 6

  • Introduction to Theatre Studies
  • English language Teaching
  • Media Studies II – Electronic Media
  • Advertising-Theory and Practice

Apart from the above-mentioned subjects, here are some other ones that you may get to read-

  • Critical Reasoning, Writing and Presentation
  • Translation and Communication in Other Languages
  • Methodology Functional Language
  • Methodology – Humanities
  • Oral Communication Practice
  • Communicative Grammar
  • Electronic Media
  • Applied Phonetics

Careers in Functional English

After pursuign a course in Functional English, you can enter a variety of field. The table given below highlights some of the leading career options available to learners: 

Associate Community ManagerIncharge of all the communications in an organisation.
Proficiency in Social Media, Content Creation & PR is needed. 
Translator & Interpreter
Major work of these personnel is to convert the writer, verbal or audio of one language into other. There is a high demand for such candidates in case of international business of trade. 
TeacherEnglish is widely spoken in all sectors of society. Thus, a person with a good hold in functional English can become a teacher. 
Cross Functional Marketing ManagerThese professionals build marketing strategies for the services their host organisation offers. Also coordinates with sales and other counterparts. 
Technical Account ManagersManages the technical aspects of a company. Also looks into the relation of the organisation with clients. 

Job Opportunities

Students with a degree in Functional English have a wide range of opportunities they can apply for. With a degree in hand, you are eligible to apply for all English language-related jobs. In the age of the Internet, you can start your own video English tutorial classes as well. Some of the key employment areas for Functional English students are:

  • Embassies
  • Universities 
  • Consultancies 
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Hotels
  • Aviation
  • Publishing Houses
  • Translation departments

The job types that are suitable for students with a degree in this field also include profiles like an Associate Community Manager, Teacher, Language Translator, Announcer, Copywriter etc.

Salary Prospects

After completing a course in Functional English, you will have the opportunity to explore immense career opportunities in this relatively new field. Offering a colossal scope for growth and learning, you can pursue Teaching prospects or explore the writing-related work opportunities in the corporate sector as well. After a degree in Functional English, you can expect a base salary of around 4-6 lacs a year.

Functional English Books 

  • Functional English Grammar by Graham Lock
  • Functional English for Communication by Tanu Gupta and Ujjwala Kakarla
  • New Approach to Functional English Grammar and Composition by S. K. Khandelwal
  • Comprehensive Functional Grammar And Composition by S. K. Khandelwal
  • Learn English: A Fun Book of Functional Language, Grammar and Vocabulary by Santanu Sinha Chaudhury
  • Cbse Functional English For Class-11 by Nalini Ravindran and Nilam Katara
  • Edexcel Level 1 Functional English Student Book by Clare Constant and Keith Washington

Functional English Topics

Here is a list of Functional English topics-

  • English for Basic Mathematics as a Tool for Logical Thinking and Scientific Research
  • Corpus Methods in Data Science, Digital Humanities, and Applied Linguistics
  • Spoken Fluency Measurement and Development
  • Introduction to Computational Psycholinguistics
  • Cognitive Neuroscience – An Introduction Focusing on Human Language
  • Animal Cognition and Communication – Approaching to the Evolution of Language
  • Topics in University Chemistry and its Language

Functional English vs Elective English

As stated above, functional English primarily emphasizes on the communication part of the language. Whereas, elective English is majorly focused on the literature part. If you pursue a course in Functional English, you may be familiarised with some important parts of literature but the major focus will be on the communication side of the language. For those in elective English, you will be studying the literature as well as communicative English in depth.


What is functional English in BA?

Just like any other BA programme, BA Functional English is yet another course offered by universities. In India, the duration of this course is 3 years divided into 6 semesters, whereas, international universities provide this course over a duration of 4 years or 8 semesters.

Why functional English is important?

Functional English involves specific usage of the language as per the platform like academic study, hospitality, communication skills, etc. It helps the learners to perform well in different situations.

How can I learn functional English?

Given below are some tips and tricks to make functional English an easy process for you: 
-Improve general writing and listening abilities. 
-Concentrate on improving your grammar. 
-Watch English shows 
-Read books and newspaper 
-Communicate in English

Hence, the career field of Functional English is rapidly gaining momentum as English is becoming a commonly spoken language across the globe. We understand that choosing a course is as challenging as selecting an ideal career. A decision taken at the right time makes a real difference. Whether it is about opting the right course or a career path, our Leverage Edu experts will guide you throughout your career journey thus helping you land successfully in your dream field of interest.

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