BANGALORE: A popular professor has come up with a book to help Kannada speakers learn English for everyday communication.
Called Smart English, the book is slated for release on May 31. Dr R Rajaram, who worked off and on for over a year to complete the book, teaches English at St Joseph College of Commerce in Bangalore.
"Smart English talks about how to use English in specific situations, and does not lay down rules," he told City Express. The book features 100 self-contained articles on different aspects of English usage.
A PhD from Bangalore University, Rajaram was overwhelmed by the response he got when he wrote a weekly column on English usage in a Kannada newspaper. "I got 300-400 emails, mostly from northern Karnataka," he said.
Rajaram believes his grounding in psychology — he is also an MSc in that subject — helps him devise lessons that are easy to grasp. "We need to bring an intimacy to the learning of English," he said.
Children who study in the Kannada medium find it difficult to switch and crack English, even though at one point, they realise English is "a language mobility and opportunity," Rajaram explained.
Smart English can be understood by anyone who knows Kannada, and possesses high school-level familiarity with English.
Rajaram, who studied in a Kannada medium school in Cubbonpet till the ninth standard, attributes his ease in English to his wide, out-of-syllabus reading as a child.
His 224-page book contains 100 standalone articles, providing tips on, for example, how to greet people, how to write a resume and face an interview, and how to ask for information.
For Rajaram, writing the book has been a fulfilling experience. "It is good to know it helps people in farflung places," he said.
Rajaram offers to help readers of the book should they have any questions. He can be contacted on 9845214004.
(Smart English, Vikasa Prakashana, Bangalore, Rs 160, will be launched at the Indian Institute of World Culture, B P Wadia Road, Basavanagudi, at 10.30 am on May 31).