In-service English School Teachers’ Education Programmes: Need for a Permanent Agency
- Written by S C Sood
The aim of this brief paper is to argue that for curriculum renewal projects for teaching English in schools there ought to be a specialized indigenous permanent agency with adequate resources so as to undertake research and development in curriculum design on a continuous basis to address the needs for reforms based on society’s requirements as these change with the passage of time. This argument is based on two observations: one, the nature of such projects; and two, the traits exhibited by the participants attending such programmes shortly after the training is over and also in the long run.
If we look at some prominent projects aiming at curriculum renewal in English in India, we find that these are cyclical in nature because the needs of society for English and English teaching keep changing with the passage of time and also because these projects follow a set pattern. They run through a certain life cycle: from initial enthusiasm and energy, particularly among those involved in the project, to a slowing down, weakening and eventual death and replacement with another one - much as a violent cyclone passes through with the passage of time.
The efficacy of an oral communication task analyzed at an ESL classroom from the perspective of Task based learning
- Written by S.Shanmuga Sundaram & Meenakshi Sundarm
A Task is ‘any structured language learning endeavour which has a particular objective, appropriate content, a specified working procedure, and a range of outcomes for those who undertake the task. Task is therefore assumed to refer to a range of work plans which have the overall purpose of facilitating language learning.’ (Breen 1987)
Dave Willis and Jane Willis emphasize the fact that ‘there has been an increasing interest in class-room based research, examining for example, the quality and quantity of the interaction produced by learners doing tasks in different circumstances. Small-scale research projects, carried out by teachers also shed light on aspects of TBL and learning through the use of tasks. Hence designing and implementing tasks for a wide variety of learner types and teaching situations is indispensable.
Using Newspapers in an English Class
- Written by Miti Dhingra
* Article first published in FORTELL May 2011
The following article is an attempt to promote the use of newspapers as an effective teaching tool for developing the basic skills needed for English language acquisition. However, the focus would be more on developing writing and reading skills of the learners although there are many activities which can cover all the four areas i.e. reading, writing, listening and speaking in an integrated manner.
Teaching English in an Indian classroom can be considered a bit of a challenge for any ELT teacher worth his or her mettle. The biggest problem is breaking through the mental barrier that students have against speaking the language in and outside the classroom. Most of the students come from backgrounds where English is not even the secondary medium of communication and, therefore, their usage of the language remains restricted to the 40 minutes or so of the English class. Coupled with that is the fact that most learners do not like to use English as lingua franca amongst their peer groups, making it an uphill battle for the English teachers to generate a feel for the language in the learners.
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