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.
Can Our Students Learn English?
- Written by Robert Slaterry
Why is it that there are so many programmes of “Spoken English”? Why is it that even in small villages English medium schools are started and in the towns more and more “prestigious” English medium schools have sprung up and parents are rushing to get admission for their children? Why is it that even lowly paid persons like rickshaw pullers, when asked, say that they would like to send their children to English medium schools? It seems that more and more people feel that if they are to get good jobs they must know English. But if it is true, then what will happen to our students who, in Hindi medium schools, have attended 6 periods of English a week for 10 years and apparently still cannot speak or write English correctly or with confidence read an English newspaper? What has gone wrong? And what can be done to help our vernacular medium students to gain competence in English?