Keeping ‘Reading Habit Alive’
- Written by Zahra Ramish Rizvi
* Article first published in Fortell, May 2011 issue.
For those who are avid readers, reading perhaps is the most interesting and pleasurable activity but the present day youth would perhaps defer. They have a plethora of interesting things to keep them engaged, where do they have the time to waste on the printed word found on paper! For these young people there is the electronic media- the TV with such a wide variety of programmes being aired 24*7, the computer abounding with websites. And so we all agree, all but the community of teachers, specially the language teachers.
Everyone who is connected to the teaching fraternity would agree whole-heartedly that reading is an important aspect of the process of acquiring knowledge. And thus the job of language teacher gets even more challenging. It is not to make the learner comfortable in using the language; it is to give the learner the ability to read with interest, to read with speed, to read with comprehension. This, according to me, is because of two major issues: first, one needs to read to gain knowledge of any subject and second; leisure reading is the most beautiful way to relax.
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?