English for Arts students

Students who study art subjects study a lot more than just “Arts”. The subjects in the arts or the humanities stream consists of many compulsory and many optional subjects from which a student can choose to pursue. One of the biggest misconceptions in India has been that Arts is a subject for students who are academically weak.  This could not be any farther from the truth. Arts can be a very difficult subject to study and it requires comprehensive understanding of a lot of theoretical subjects. The syllabus for the subjects in the Arts curriculum is quite vast, and students need to be dedicated and disciplined with their studies so that they can study the subjects within the stipulated time. One of the biggest advantages of studying in the Arts stream is the liberty it provides in terms of scope and choices. The students of Arts can choose their career or professional choices from a number of options. There are some subjects which are compulsory for all art students and they are English, History, Geography and Political Science.  The list for optional subjects for Arts students is quite long. Students can choose from Fine arts, Sociology, Dance, Music, Economics, Psychology, Graphic designing, Philosophy etc.

The truth is that as times have changed, the perception of people about students who pursue Arts have also changed. However, one thing has been persistent and constant and that is the mandatory requirement for proficiency in English for all subjects in the Arts programs.

Although in many schools English is the medium of instruction, there are still a large number of schools where the medium of teaching is the regional   language depending on the region in which the schools is. This makes it difficult for the students who want to pursue arts to continue with higher studies as most reputed colleges and universities with some of the best art programs in the country have English as their medium of instruction. This difference in mediums of instructions causes a lot of students to perceive arts as a very difficult subject to pursue at higher levels. And sadly, a lot of students drop out from courses solely because they find the subject completely hard to understand. So, the students need to have good understanding of the advanced level of the English language to pursue Arts at college and university level.

Once a student acquires his bachelor’s or master’s degree in arts there are many professional avenues which become available to him/ her. There is wide list of professions from which a student can choose his. Career options including teaching, law, social work, singing, content writing, fashion designing etc. .  Most of these courses are offered in some of the best colleges in the country which require the students to qualify in a competitive entrance test. Again, here  the importance of the English language comes in. All these tests are conducted in English and most of them are followed up with Personal Interviews as well as Group Discussions. Personal Interviews and Group Discussions are held to assess a student’s communications skills and that requires expertise in English. The levels of competition are so high and the proportion of number of available seats and the number of students applying is so low that the screening process is very intricate for all the reputed colleges. They make sure only the best in the country are able to secure a seat in their institutions. Now many students may have the  same degree or some other qualification so eventually it is their communication skills that set them apart from the rest of the hundreds and thousands of students.

Admission in to one of the best institutions in the world is just the beginning of the journey. Once the course is complete the student goes on to establish himself professionally. The requirement of excellent spoken English skills becomes even more. More and more companies today put equal emphasis on the academic qualification as well as the communication skills of a candidate. They want to recruit people who have the potential to represent their company effectively and confidently across various global platforms. So, most recruiters these days conduct multiple rounds of interviews which are not only aimed at testing your professional knowledge but also your ability to communicate and present yourself impressively.

Gone are the days when the only aim of students of Arts was to get into a good college. Now a job requires much more than just that. The proficiency in oral as well as written English has become a mandatory requirement in various industries. So students of Arts need to take a reality check about their communication skills and work hard to improve them so that they can get ahead and become successful in their careers.

Dr. Mitalee Shome is a top English Language Expert, based in Mumbai, India. Dr. Mitalee is a PhD in English literature, with over 30 years of rich and varied teaching experience. For all your editing, copy writing, English Language teaching, content & Blog writing requirements, please contact us at English Expert India.