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Functional English

Functional English is usage of the English language required to perform a specific function. This
is typically taught as a foundation subject as a good command of English is often required for
academic and career progression this functional English is used in various situations like……

Greeting Friends, elders, superiors, strangers

Introducing self & others
Making Telephone calls or answering them
Asking for or giving information
Asking for things in shops, counters & restaurants
Describing things, people, places or processes
Expressing opinions or reactions to programmes, plays, books or films
Participating in discussions & debates
Giving or receiving Instructions
Narrating anecdotes, stories & discussing them
Carry on sustained conversation with friends or strangers
Giving a report of an event

Functional English is related to spoken form

Spoken language is less structured, a little loose,
We don’t have to be sticklers for too correct grammar
Spoken language is more informal, more spontaneous like yeah for yes
Speaking is processed in real time
Speaking depends on intonation, stress, facial expression, body language, speed of delivery

To make us aware that as engineers we will later be dealing with all kinds of people, clients,
colleagues senior or junior, friends & strangers. In all these kinds of professional or social
encounters, it is our conversational skills & emotional Intelligence that will play a key role in
executing our work & contribute to our success in the choosen profession.

Objectives of Learning Functional English

• Ability to respond quickly and accurately in speech situations
• Knowledge of sufficient vocabulary to use with grammar patterns.
• A practical command of the four skills of the language with special emphasis on oral skill.
• Accuracy in both pronunciation and grammar
• Automatic control of basic structures and sentence patterns.

Learning techniques and activities

• Dialogues.
• Role plays.
• A situational presentation of new sentence patterns.
• Drills to practice the patterns.

3 things a speaker needs to keep in mind while speaking

1) Why am I speaking? (Purpose)

For Ex: Am I requesting?
Am I complaining?
Am I telling a story?
Am I instructing?

2) Who am I speaking to?

A stranger, a friend, a superior

3) The setting
Is it a formal or informal setting?
Office or at home

For intractional function, a speaker needs:

Use of correct sounds (pronunciation, intonation & stress)
Use of correct structures (syntax)
Acceptable degree of fluency (vocabulary & grammar)
Transactional & interpersonal skills
Taking short & long turns while speaking
Management of interaction
Negotiating Meaning
Listening skills
Using formulaic language (stock sentences)
Wow, that’s great …outfit you are wearing,
Oh! Really….
That’s too bad. / Sad….

In a conversation, a speaker needs to know:

When to initiate a conversation,
How to maintain a conversation,
How to close the conversation

Initiating an conversation
Anusha: Hello Nalini, How are you?
Nalini: Am good, how are you?
Anusha: Fine
Nalini: And how’s you project coming along?
Anusha: It’s progressing well, thanks. Hey look, there’s Deepak.
Deepak, hi, how are things?
Deepak: Things are just great, oh hello, Anusha. Haven’t seen you for ages, where have
you been?
Anusha: Was out of station the whole of last week. Went to attend my cousins wedding,
Deeapk: I see.

What do we do for Initiating an Exchange?

Attention getting
Acknowledging presence

Mantaining a Conversation
An Example:
Kishore: Ramesh! How nice to hear from you. Have you had a good holiday?
Ramesh: Had a wonderful time. I went away actually
Kishore:oh, did you? Where?
Ramesh: Guntur
Kishore: How nice!
Ramesh: We went to see my parents
Kishore: Really, where do they live in Guntur?
Ramesh: In a small village near Guntur actually, it’s a place called Vadlamudi.

What do we do to maintain a conversation?

Asking questions?
Giving Information

Closing a Conversation
An Example:
Anusha: Gosh! It’s almost eleven, I really must go.
Nalini: Are you sure, you don’t want to join me for lunch?
Anusha: I have a meeting with my team at 12.
Nalini: Well, it has been nice talking to you, that too after such along time. We hardly
meet these days. Anyways keep in touch
Anusha: I sure will. Sorry to rush off like this. Bye
Nalini : Bye

What do we do to close a Conversation?

Announcing departure
Saying goodbye
So conversation is 50% speaking & 50% listening.
If I did not listen effectively & make the right & intelligent response, the other person tends to get

Other things that matter

Voice modulation
Facial Expression
Body language
Speed of delivery