With so many people of all ages using their mobile phones to communicate, it’s easy to lose the gentle art of good English.  Txt spk rules!

But that’s not an excuse to skim over English language homework.  Most employers will expect potential recruits to be competent in English and it can make the difference between someone getting their dream job or missing out on a fantastic opportunity.

At 10 or 11 years old it’s hard to look that far ahead – it seems like a lifetime away – so it’s down to Mum and Dad to encourage the children to persevere with developing a good command of English.

The trouble is that English has so many irregularities, that it takes some effort to learn all the different varieties of verb endings – and then there’s the American influence, with different spellings and, in some cases, different words for the same thing.  As children spend so much time online they’re bound to see variations in spelling.

Is it worth it?

Good English will make a difference in:

Work experience – where the host company will expect students to have a reasonable level of English grammar and punctuation.  Especially as tasks often include working on written material.

Personal statements for university applications – this is a written document and poor English won’t help to get that all-important university place.

Dissertations and theses – regardless of the core subject, accurate and fluent English is an expectation.

Job applications – most forms have an ‘anything else you want to tell us’ box and it shows enterprise to complete this.  In fact, some recruiters don’t even consider applicants that haven’t written something in this space.  Again, poor English is the fastest way to the ‘No, thanks’ file.

At work – regardless of the role your child ends up in, there will be occasions where they have to communicate in writing.  Whether it’s right or wrong, people make judgments based on errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation.  This affects the employee’s reputation internally and the company’s reputation externally.

Good English is not noticed, but incorrect spelling, poor grammar and inaccurate punctuation all stand out.  It’s a lifelong skill that’s worth learning young, to make life go more smoothly.