Portrayal of Living a Borrowed Identity in Bhavani Prasad Mishra’s poem ‘Kya Karte Rahtein Hain’
- Written by Alka Tyagi
In this paper I would like to dwell on the subtle interiorization of coloniser’s culture by the educated Indian in the postcolonial city space as reflected in Bhavani Prasad Mishra’s poem ‘Kya Karte Rahte hain’. This poem can be read as a document of fractured modern identity of the educated class in Indian cities at the threshold of post Gandhian era. Gandhi had criticized this class for becoming obsessed with Englishman’s language and ways. Bhavani Prasad Mishra, a Gandhian in thought and by practice, is deeply disturbed by the Englishman’s parting gift, the poisoned sweet that is being spread by the modern education system. The poem is about a class which is obsessed with English language and culture. It describes how the Western mode of education and work patterns have shifted our attention and energy away from our more urgent problems to pursue the goal of becoming a ‘Developed Nation’, an idea propagated by the West. Mishra’s poem questions this belief and undercuts the notion that achieving the status of a developed country would provide us with immense power and endless zones of comfort and convenience.
Adoption of English language: Imitation and alienation
In this poem, Mishra reflects on the problems of adopting English language as the official language in India. The unheedful and blind imitation of the behavioural patterns of English people by our educated class results in individual and social alienation.
Facilitating Discourse Construction in Second Language
- Written by K.N. Anandan
I feel sad and even annoyed when I hear teachers and parents complaining about the poor performance standards of students in English. ‘This is unfair,’ I would say to myself. ‘Have we ever asked those kids to communicate their ideas?’ No. All what we have done is teach them bits and fragments of English in terms of discrete sounds, words and sentences. When we ask them a question we expect them to reproduce the information that has been given to them. We don’t want them to come out with their ideas; nor do we encourage them to ask us questions, as both involve risk, the risk of making errors. Probably we have taught them hundreds of questions and answers and also have made them do several vocabulary and grammar exercises. We even go to the extent of teaching them nuances of pronunciation. By definition none of these activities provide space for communication, though we may claim that we are following communicative language teaching. I feel annoyed because this is a collective treachery inflicted on the learners as well as the teachers.
As teachers most of us are too obsessed with teaching lessons from the textbook. We don’t add anything to them and we don’t delete anything from them. This is by and large our notion of ‘covering the syllabus.’ At the end of the show we take pride in claiming cent percentage results without worrying much whether we have been helping them to learn English or learn about English.
Critical Thinking and Technology-mediated Collaborative Learning: An Interface
- Written by Aarati Mujumdar
21st century has seen globalization, IT boom and the Internet shift the world focus from an industrial economy to a knowledge-based society impacting the ELT paradigm across the world. In the light of rapid pace of socio-economic development and the emergence of information age, demand has arisen for ‘knowledgeable workers’ and ‘smarter graduates’ equipped with a set of new skills and attitude towards work.
Understanding Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is not a new concept and has always remained one of the main goals of education in developing and improving student thinking. However, in the last decade there has been a growing concern that graduates at all levels do not demonstrate higher thinking abilities (Cromwell, 1992). Lack of critical thinking not only affects students’ academic success, but is also likely to affect their personal growth when they start working. It is a core life skill, which every individual requires to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life (WHO, 1999). Critical thinking is an intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by observation, experience, reflection, reasoning or communication as a guide to belief and action. In short, it is thinking, which is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective (Paul and Elder, 2006). If inference has to be drawn, it would amount to higher order thinking skills stated in the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001). Today, ICT has made information easily accessible, but the difficulty lies in acquiring thinking capabilities to deal with such information. Critical thinking thus, needs to be developed so that learners can explore, criticize, reason inductively-deductively and infer conclusions. However, a teacher’s dilemma lies in incorporating these abstract intellectual processes in instructional strategies. To integrate critical thinking in class the questions that seek to be addressed are: