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Challenges of Teaching Professional Communication

Dr. Manoj Kumar

Asst. Professor

Amity University Rajashtan

Professional communication is taught in colleges and universities. Professional communication

comprises of many things such as language, body language, interview skills, time management etc. In a
university where classes are heterogeneous, teachers face many changes. Students especially from
convent schools who feel comfortable at conversing in English take lightly to professional
communication classes. These students do not hesitate in speaking English but the weak students
(at speaking) do not tend to come forward. The heterogeneity of the class put challenges front of
teachers. This paper aims to bring forth the challenges faced by teachers and students in various
technical and non technical institutions.
It is seen that many technocrats have difficulties in speaking English. The term professional
communication is used to cover the English taught to a wide range for professional students in
full time education preparing for a career. The students of technical colleges learn English in first
year as a compulsory subject which becomes customary for students to pass the exam. They
don’t take it seriously. The common problems which are noticed in classroom are as follows:-
 Lack of motivation
 Over-crowded classes
 Heterogeneous classrooms
 Exam-oriented syllabus
 Educational background of the students
All human beings are born with a special skill that is language faculty. They can learn to speak
more than one language if suitable conditions are provided to them. Many of us learn more than
one language. Motivation also plays an important role in this regard. Some of the learners have
intrinsic motivation which comes from inside whereas some of them are provided extrinsic
motivation. Extrinsic motivation may be when a learner wants to get a job due to his/her
language skills.
Lack of motivation among some students takes them away from the objective of language
learning. In fact, they do not exposure to the target language outside the classroom demotivates
To understand the root cause of the problem, the learners’ background is to been see whether
s/he did his/her from regional medium or English medium. If students are from Hindi or any
other regional medium then they face difficulty in the class. They neither communicate properly
nor understand their core subjects which in English. They lag behind from other students due to
lack of proficiency in English. Here, teacher has to play an important role to motivate shy
students. Certain activities pertaining to peer group may be increased to get better results. It may

happen that students may feel hesitated to come front of the class for speaking but s/he may shed
their hesitation among their peer group.
Over-crowded classes also create problem for a teacher to meet his/her target. This problem
hinders effective teaching and learning. When a teacher cannot concentrate on her/his students,
students also start to feel negatively regarding it.

Heterogeneity of the classroom also becomes an obstacle. A common course delivery plan for whole
students may not work properly. This mainly happens in Engineering students’ classroom where
students are from various background. Here, teacher has to be very planned and organized otherwise
his class may go in vain.

Exam-oriented syllabus: it is seen that the main aim of the teacher and students to pass the
exam not to get proficiency in language. Though, now universities and institutions have started
thinking about it and theoretical exam in professional communication is removed and now
focusing on practical which lead to test real situation.
The language classroom gives the suitable environment for students to exercise their English
language skills. Teacher has to provide a rich TL environment so as to get better results. In
language classroom, teacher does not only have to stick to the text or content what s/he is
teaching but s/he should create real life situations. Classroom management and disciplinary
operations are part of this process. These actions fall under communicative purpose are closer to
real-life purposes for language use. (Principles of Language Teaching, 32)
In technical courses, generally emphasis is put on core subjects rather than language. Students
feel the need of learning English when they go for interviews especially for jobs in MNCs.
Students prepare for competitive exams so as to get jobs in government jobs. They may require
English afterwards.
Challenges faced by faculty
A faculty faces many problems in language classroom from students and management side.
There is always a pressure to complete the syllabus within a time including exams. Besides, in
technical or professional courses, a language teacher is given one or two classes per week which
is not sufficient for effective delivery. Thus, students also don’t find it more important exam per
se. Other problems are as follows:-
 Less number of teaches
 Lack of language labs or trained lab staff to operate computers
 Lack of training program for teachers
 Overcrowded classes
 Odd timing for communication classes
 Faulty examination pattern
 Over-loaded faculties (other than teaching task)

Challenges faced by students
In the teaching-learning process, students/learners are the sufferer. The regional background may
become a hindrance in effective learning process. The university syllabus cannot fulfill their
demands that are why they have to move towards private coaching institutes to learn language.
The other challenges faced by students are as follows:-
 More focus on domain subjects
 Lack of positive attitude towards language learning
 Misconception about rural background/regional medium
 Learn English as foreign language
 Lack of interest
 Aim to clear university’s exam
 Mother-tongue influence (MTI)
 Lack of awareness
After four or five year professional degree program, when students go for interviews, s/he needs
to have competency on professional communication skills. During interviews, s/he has to
perform in group discussion. Group Discussion is a formal round moderated by panelists. It is
nothing but a tool used by companies to gauge a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively.
( In a group discussion, not only communication skills but many other skills are
tested such as leadership skills, persuasive skills, interpersonal skills, general knowledge, proper
use of body language etc.
With the advent of technology, there are many new methods being developed to help learners to
overcome problems related to language. NLP (Neuro –linguistic problem) is one such program
which was developed in US in 1970’s. NLP can help to develop communication, personality
development and body language.

Principles of Effective Teaching, EFLU PGDTE Books, Hyderabad