International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online)

Integrating the Functional and Interactional Views - A Study from a Task-Based Engineering Classroom
Dr. Maria Mercy Amutha Amalraj

Introduction
If ever at the celestial gate we English teachers are judged by our classroom sins I think most of us will tremble and be afraid to answer, "Have you killed letter-writing?" Only a hope for final regard of truth and absolute forgiveness of sin will ever give us courage to answer "Yes"(Mish, 1928).Letters can be used as an instructional material to teach and bring about an understanding to write effective business letters. The article here is based on a classroom research, conducted on two batches of students who registered for a course ‘English for Engineers’ offered at an Indian Technical University. The primary design of this class-based research was to compare letters written by aboriginal and non-native speakers from the business perspectives and examine it. In summation, the task also showed to be an indicative to understand communication in terms of cross-cultural communication. The two batches of students registered and chosen for this research were students who were in their first semester of Engineering. They were between 17 – 19 years of age. These two batches comprised of scholars representing the diversity in India. Hence, the classroom had a multicultural and multilingual environment to it. There were about 60-65 students in each section. Learners want to increase their probabilities of finding an appropriate job, and proving their potential in it, they aspire to function more efficiently on the work floor, because they want to get better acquainted with their neighbor’s, because they want to read certain books, articles, or magazines, etcetera.

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