CHENNAI: Engineering students in Chennai and Hyderabad needed maximum improvement in spoken English among a sample of 30,000 graduates surveyed across six metro cities including Delhi, Mumbai-Pune, Kolkata and Bangalore, according to a study. In comparison, New Delhi, Mumbai-Pune region and Bangalore were found to have students with good spoken English skills.
The grading was based on SVAR – a spoken English assessment tool used by many industries in the country prior to hiring employees. The automated test judges parameters such as fluency, active listening, vocabulary, grammar, spoken English comprehension and pronunciation.
The SVAR scores were mapped to CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference), the international standard for measuring Spoken English. As per the report, C2 grading is the highest level of spoken English while A1 grading is the lowest level.
Among the metro cities, Chennai and Hyderabad had the lowest percentage of engineers in the highest CEFR level – 0.2% and 0.9% respectively. The two cities also had the highest number of engineers in the lowest scale of A1 – 34.3% and 25.6%. A member of the study team said the low levels of spoken English in Chennai and Hyderabad were such that “it was either local words being mixed up with English or thinking in the local language and translating it as it is into English.”
The study conducted by Aspiring Minds, an employability evaluation and certification company, which analysed spoken English skills of engineering grads across 500 colleges in the country, said barely 7 % of engineers could speak English fluently and coherently.
The location of the college was found to have major influence on quality of spoken English. On an average, the spoken English of candidates are comparatively worse in campuses in lower tier cities. There is further degradation of spoken English skills from tier 2 to tier 3 campuses.