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.
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.
Besides certificate courses, there are more detailed diploma courses in Functional English offered by various universities as an alternative to lengthy degree programs.
Functional English is offered at differed academic levels ranging from undergraduate to certificate programmes. How does one decide which Functional English course they should pursue? Even though the level differs, there are some subjects that are to be there in your course curriculum if you are to make a career in this field. Given below are those:
- 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
- Advertising – Theory and Practice
- English Language Teaching
- Creative Writing
- Translation Studies
- Communicative English (open) & Project
- Advertising – Theory and Practice
- Business English
- Communication Skills in English
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 Manager||Incharge 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.|
|Teacher||English 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 Manager||These professionals build marketing strategies for the services their host organisation offers. Also coordinates with sales and other counterparts.|
|Technical Account Managers||Manages the technical aspects of a company. Also looks into the relation of the organisation with clients.|
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:
- Advertising Agencies
- Publishing Houses
- Translation departments
The job types that are suitable for students with a degree in Functional English also include profiles like an Associate Community Manager, Teacher, Language Translator, Announcer, Copywriter etc.
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.
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.
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.
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.