English, a difficult language
A FEW years ago when I was still a communications student, I learnt about a new phrase called semantic noise.
The phrase refers to any form of disturbance in the transmission of a message that interferes with the interpretation of the message due to ambiguity in words, sentences or symbols used.
I have noted with great concern a high number of black graduates who are struggling to crack the world of employment.
As lousy as it may sound, I must highlight that the English language is a major contributor to the failure of these prospective employees.
Most of us who come from rural areas had it hard learning English.
The truth is, there are teachers in rural areas who cannot speak proper English and this affects their pupils. The learners grow up thinking that English is a very difficult language and cannot be learnt because even some of their teachers cannot speak it.
The fact that job interviews are conducted mainly in English makes it difficult for candidates to express themselves to the fullest.
What is more tragic is that in most cases, candidates are judged by their ability to express themselves and not necessarily their qualifications and skills.
Priority is given to those who have an excellent command of English as it is perceived to be a sign of intelligence.
If candidates were interviewed in their home languages, more especially for jobs that pay little attention to English, many of those who are currently unemployed would be working today. Hatfield, Pretoria