ENGLISH LANGUAGE CLASS ROOM
All of us know it very well that the basic principle of teaching is “know what we do and only do what we know”. Teaching requires certain directions. After all, success of teaching depends on the aims and objectives of teaching.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
Here is an excerpt from NCF 2000, and 2005:
Language education must aim at encouraging independent thinking, free and effective expression of opinions and logical interpretation of the present and the past events
The Nation has accepted the “three language formula” in order to meet the challenge posed by the multilingual situation prevailing in the country.
Language is a powerful tool for the empowerment of the individual. At the elementary and secondary levels, the learners should be able to use discourses as tools for creatively intervening in various social phenomena.
Thus, it is expected that the children in the elementary stage (Classes- Ito VIII) of school are supposed to . . .
Acquire the skills of listening, speaking, reading , interpersonal and intra personal communication skills and understand complex sentence structures
THE OBJECTIVES OF TEACHING ENGLISH AT PRIMARY LEVEL
Primary schools in Andhra Pradesh comprise of classes from I to V in which English has been introduced as a compulsory subject from class-I onwards.
- To acquire the Competence to listen to, understand, and respond (Understand)
- Competence to respond orally to what is viewed, read or listened to
context/person/topic of discourse while giving a lecture/ talk, or while participating in a debate/conversation responding to what is viewed, read or listened to.
- Competence to read, understand, and respond orally, or in writing
The learner should be able to construct meaning by reading critically posing questions while reading, drawing inferences, and relating the text with their previous knowledge / experiences. And also story/narrative, description, rhymes/poems, letter, diary, notice/message, poster, play, biography etc.
- Competence to respond in writing to what is viewed, read or listened to
The learner should be able to respond in writing to what is viewed, read, or listened to by organizing their thoughts coherently using a variety of cohesive devices such as linkers and lexical repetitions with a sense of audience and purpose.
- Competence to understand and use various words and idiomatic expressions
The learner should be able to understand and use various words and idiomatic expressions as they listen to, read, speak, or write while performing various tasks involving English language. Besides the register of school subjects, a student must be able to understand and use the variety of language being used in other domains such as music, sports, films, gardening, construction work, cookery, etc. (Syllabus for Language Teaching, NCF-2005)
- Competence to use language creatively
Children’s minds are imbued with creativity and imagination, so they should be given ample space to develop them. It can be a picture, a flow chart, a report, a script for a drama, a poem, a biography etc.
- Aesthetic sensibility and social responsibility
The learner should be able to appreciate the beauty of a literary piece by developing an awareness of literary devices like figurative language, imagery, allegory, and symbolism.
- Competence in Meta linguistic awareness
Meta linguistic awareness is the ability to view and analyze a language as a ‘thing’, as a ‘process’, and as a ‘system’.
- Objectives :-To enable to listen to English with proper understanding, read and speak English correctly comprehend and interpret the text.
OBJECTIVES OF TEACHING ENGLISH AT UPPER PRIMARY LEVEL
The upper primary level consists of classes- 6 to 8 in the State of Andhra Pradesh. By this time, the learners will have become familiar with basics of English language in terms of some vocabulary and functional grammar.
STATE POLICIES ON LANGUAGE EDUCATION
Language education plays a crucial role in the entire gamut of education. Language is basically meant for communication of feelings, thoughts, ideas, emotions, etc.
THE LANGUAGE EDUCATION POLICY IN INDIA
The use of regional languages as the medium of education in primary and secondary classes has been encouraged for many years now.
children should learn three languages at the secondary level. While talking about the development of languages, the National Policy of Education, 1986 has accepted that the National Policy of Education, 1968 should be implemented meaningfully and with speed. In this context, the Ramamurthy committee, 1990 reviewed the National Policy of Education 1986 and significantly commented that an important reason for why rural children are not able to access higher education is the continued dominance of the English language.
LANGUAGE POLICY OF ANDHRA PRADESH
The Government of AP has introduced English in class 1 onwards is taught as a compulsory subject from classes 1 to 10. The Government has also started parallel English medium sections in the existing schools and new opened English All normal children can attain basic linguistic proficiency like adults by the age of 4 years.
POSITION PAPER – NATIONAL FOCUS GROUP OF TEACHING ENGLISH
The demand for English emerges from many factors, as recognized by the position paper on the teaching of English produced by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in connection with the National Curriculum Framework 2005. ‘English in India today is a symbol of people’s aspirations for quality in education and fuller participation in national and international life’.
The debate on “instructed” and “incidental” vocabulary acquisition suggests that the very large vocabulary required of a high-school student for academic purposes is not acquired in an all-or-none, “taught” manner, but built up gradually and incrementally through reading (cf. Krashen 1989; Schmitt 2000).
learning definitions of words (the dictionary approach) to an enriched approach, which encourages associations with other words and contexts (the encyclopedia approach) (Fawcett and Nicolson 1991; Snow et al. 1991).
Materials used or available as texts in class libraries may be in print as well as multi- media formats. Children must be exposed to a whole range of genres. As at all levels, but particularly at this level, the materials need to be sensitive to perspectives of equity (gender and societal) and harmony (between humans, and between humans and nature),
The use of language to develop the imagination is a major aim of later language study. Provision may in addition be made in the curriculum for the optional study of literatures in English: British, American, and literatures in translation: Indian, Commonwealth, European, and so on. Simultaneously, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) approach can be adopted where necessary and feasible. (Formulaic uses of language, such as in tourists’ phrase books, do not presuppose any systematic or spontaneous knowledge of the language, and are excluded from our purview.) These approaches will serve as precursors of specializations to follow in the study of language at the undergraduate level.
CURRENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING / LEARNING PROCESSES AND THEIR ANALYSIS….
ఇంగ్లీష్ ని అత్యుత్తమంగా బోధించడానికి అధునాతన బోధనా పద్ధతులను అమలుచేస్తూ … సులువుగా విద్యార్థి (LSRW Skills )నేర్చుకునేలా బోధిస్తున్నారు..
BELIEFS AND ASSUMPTIONS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
The materials and methods used for teaching English reflect a few assumptions about language and language learning. Language is a skill subject. It can be learnt through practicing LSRW as words, structures, meaning, grammar, spelling, pronunciation, etc. English is taught the principle ‘simple to complex’, that is beginning from letters, then words, sentences and passages.
MULTILINGUALISM AS A RESOURCE IN TEACHING ENGLISH
The aim of teaching English is the creation of multilingual that can enrich all our languages; this has been an abiding national vision. Language is a complex phenomenon. Language and thought are inseparable. India is a land of many languages. Even in our state Andhra Pradesh many languages are spoken. While teaching the target language English, the teacher must understand the multilingual scenario and consider it an advantage rather than a handicap. He / She must respect the various languages like Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, and Oriya spoken by the children and provide space for each linguistic community in the English classroom.
THE ROLE OF MOTHER TONGUE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
Vivian Cook (2001) writes about the mother tongue in EFL classes as “a door that has been firmly shut in language teaching for over a hundred years.” Use of the mother tongue can help students to understand English more thoroughly and make a connection between their native language and English. It is also beneficial for them to become quicker at ‘code-switching’.
USING MOTHER TONGUE IN THE SECOND LANGUAGE CLASS
A possible way out is to use mother tongue for facilitating second language acquisition. ELT schools across the world have started advocating judicious use of mother tongue in L2 classroom. But the term ‘judicious’ is very vague. How will a teacher interpret this term? S/he may take resort to any one of the following strategies for mixing L1 and L2.
1. Translation 2. Code-mixing 3. Code Switching
E.g., ‘NENU EEROJU BUSY GAA UNNAANU’ (I am very busy today).
ORGANIZING ENGLISH LANGUAGE CLASSROOM
Classroom organization is evident in a room even if no one is present. Furniture arrangements, location of materials, displays, and fixed elements are all part of organization.
Eg :- Reading corner and Wall Magazine
ROLE OF THE TEACHER
In spite of the centrally prepared curriculum, the teacher enjoys full academic freedom to design, conduct, evaluate and provide appropriate measures to achieve the Curricular Objectives. A diagnostician, A researcher, A democratic leader, A co-learner, A facilitator A social engineer The teacher’s role has been re-defined
- Focusing on meaningful interaction with the learners to help them think and articulate their ideas.
- Facilitating collaborative learning
- Providing inclusive learning environment
- Treating the child as partner in the learning process not as a mere recipient.
Planning for teaching is a skill. Our trainings and orientation programmes should be designed in a manner that it should enable the teachers to adopt simple and flexible steps in planning, keeping latest trends in view.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE TEACHER
Professional development takes place in two ways one is a narrow way and the second is a broad one.
- The narrow view is to acquiring some specific sets of skills and knowledge handle new textbooks or to use new teaching aids.
- The broad view They grow not only as professionals, but also as persons.
Teacher Professional Development ని పెంపొందించడానికి ఎన్నో online websites, Online Communities అయిన blogging, face book, twitter మరియు ప్రఖ్యాత సంస్థలు అయిన EFLU , RIE , ELTI, CPD , IATEFL , British Council of India లాంటివి workshops మరియు Seminars ని నిర్వహిస్తున్నాయి
ERRORS IN LANGUAGE LEARNING
Second language instruction can be conceptualized as falling into two broad categories: meaning-focused instruction (Long, 1996; Ellis, 2001) and form-focused instruction.
Meaning- focused instruction is characterized by communicative language teaching and involves no direct, explicit attention to language form. The L2 is seen as a vehicle for learners to express their ideas. In contrast,
Form-focused instruction generally treats language as an object to be studied through discrete lessons targeting specific grammatical structures and rules. Such instruction can be called an isolated approach because attention to language form is isolated from a communicative context.
THE ROLE OF THE TEACHER IN ADDRESSING THE ERRORS
The role of teacher in the error correction is crucial. The following process is suggested for addressing the errors of the children through editing
- Thematic editing: After the presentation of the teacher’s version of the targeted discourse, the teacher can interact following: ‘There are a few points in my presentation that have not appeared in your write-ups or presentations. What are those points?
- Syntactic editing: There are three possible kinds of syntactic errors. These are: Excess words, Missing words and Wrong word order
- Morphological editing: There is a wide range of errors under this category.
- Wrong Tense form: There are two tenses in English: the present and the past. The learner may confuse between the two and use present tense in the place of past tense and vice versa.
- Aspectual Errors: There are two aspects in English: The Perfective and the Progressive. If there are aspectual errors, the teacher may underline the wrongly represented words and invite suggestions for refining the sentence.
- The Passive: The learners may make errors with regard to passive constructions . The teacher has to invite suggestions for refining the expression.
- Agreement: There are three kinds of agreement: Agreement in terms of Person, Number and Gender. In these cases also the teacher has to sensitize the learners on the correct expression.
- Affixes: There are prefixes and suffixes. Together these are called affixes. Wrong prefix, Wrong suffix/ no suffix: In all these cases the teacher has to supply the correct versions..
4) Spelling and Punctuation: Punctuation errors may be addressed negotiating with the learners.
- PARADIGM SHIFT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
Since the early 1980s, the term ‘paradigm shift’ has been used as mans of thinking about change in education. In second language education, the principal paradigm shift occurred over the postulates of behaviorist psychology and structural linguistics and toward cognitive and later, soico-cognitive psychology and more contextualized, meaning-based views of language.
A radical shift came almost a decade ago when the child’s capacity to construct knowledge (language) as a natural learner was recognized as central to the transaction of the curriculum, and the teacher’s role was primarily as facilitator of the learning process.:
DEVELOPING ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS – I
‘Listening’ is a six-staged process, consisting of ‘Hearing, Attending, Understanding, Remembering, Evaluating and Responding’. These stages occur in sequence and rapid succession.
When dealing with the listening process, it must be mentioned that there are two possible ways of performing this task:
1) the ‘Top-down’ listening process and
2) the ‘Bottom up’ listening process.
‘Bottom up’ listening process is essentially a linguistic process in which we try to make sense of acoustic signals by using knowledge of language. According to this model, sound is assumed to be decoded in a linear fashion – from phonemes, to words, to phrases, to utterances, to complete meaningful texts- whereby “meaning itself is derived as the last step in the process. (2006: 286).
the ‘Top-down’ listening in this process, the listener focuses on individual words and phrases, and achieves understanding by stringing these detailed elements together to build up a whole. Understanding the exact word is more important.
According to Lindsay and Knight, people have four different purposes when they listen: We listen for a purpose, but this purpose can be very different depending on the situation: listening for specific details, listening for general meaning, listening for the general idea or gist. When teachers are teaching listening, it is very important to follow a pattern. Bueno, Madrid and McLaren establish the following pattern:
- Establish context
- Create motivation for listening Pre-teach only critical vocabulary
- General questions on context and attitude of speakers Pre-set questions
- Intensive listening
- Checking answers to questions
Post listening (optional):
- Functional language in listening passage
- Learners infer the meaning of unknown words from the sentences in which they appear Final play; learners look at transcript
Listening Tasks are Dicto-gloss: dictation activity, Count it, Identify it, What is it?, Grid, Family tree, Timetables, bio-data forms, passport/bank forms, Flowcharts, Maps, Stories/Passages, Choice of titles:
Speaking is generally thought to be the most important of the four skills.
Many English teachers claim that the best way to acquire speaking skills is by interacting. This aim is fulfilled by means of communicative language teaching and collaborative learning. Communicative language teaching is based on real-life situations that require communication. Following this method in ESL classes, there will be opportunities for the students to communicate with their partners in the target language.
The following three are the key features of learners’ speech:
1. Fluency 2. Accuracy
Pronunciation, Speech function, Interaction management, Discourseorganization
According to Thornbury (2007: 40), the process of developing speaking skills consists of three stages:
- Awareness – learners are made aware of features of target language knowledge,
- Appropriation – these features are integrated into their existing knowledge-base,
- Autonomy – learners develop the capacity to mobilize these features under real-time conditions without assistance.
Examples of Speaking Activities :- The following activities will help the student to improve Speaking Skills
- The twenty-question game
- Surveys and interviews
- What do you think?
- Dialogues and role play
- Ideas and suggestions
THE ROLE OF INTERACTION IN DEVELOPING LISTENING AND SPEAKING
Three types of interactions will take place in the classroom.
- Teacher –pupil interaction
- Pupil – pupil interaction
- Pupil – text – interaction
Let us identify the slots in classroom transaction where the teacher can interact with the learners.
- Initial interaction
- Interaction based on the picture.
- Incidental interaction that might take place at any time.
AUTHENTIC MATERIAL FOR LISTENING
Authentic Materialsare real text designed not for language students, but for the speakers of the language in question and they are specifically produced for the purposes of language teaching.
According to Gebhard (1996), Authentic Listening-Viewing Materials: TV commercials, quiz shows, cartoons, news clips, comedy shows, movies, soap operas, professionally audio- taped short stories and novels, radio ads, songs, documentaries, and sales pitches.
Advantages of using authentic listening materials Exposing students to the real language:
Compared with non-authentic listening materials, authentic listening materials have the advantage of exposing students to the real language—language used in real life.
DIALOGUE / CONVERSATION
Conversation is one of the most widely used discourses in day to day communication. We converse generally with different people daily for different purposes, like conversing on telephone, expressing likes and dislikes, opinions, making a request, seeking permission, directions, thanking and responding to others, clarifying, inviting , complaining, congratulating, apologizing, advising, suggesting, agreeing and disagreeing, expressing sympathy, etc.
Certain etiquette is followed in both kinds of telephonic conversations. For example, polite tone, precision in expression and clarity of the message are required for telephonic conversation. So to take part in a telephonic conversation, it is necessary that one listens carefully, interprets well, makes logical connections in mind, gives references etc., while responding.
Requests, Permissions and Directions, etc.
- Requests range from very formal to informal. Indirect requests, such as ‘I wonder if you could help me with my luggage’ is more formal than the direct request ‘Could you help me with my luggage’
- ‘Would you ……..’ and ‘Could you …..’ are more polite and formal than ‘Will you
…….’ and ‘Can you …….’
- Use the rising tone when your request is in the form of a question.
STORY / NARRATIVE
While selecting a story to be told, a teacher needs to make it sure that story selected is of the interest and levels of the students. Since story telling is an art, a teacher should use his/her both verbal and non-verbal inputs effectively in order to have attentive ears of the students. Once the story is told, the teacher may ask questions, in order to ensure whether students understood it or not.
By encouraging the learners to narrate/tell a story, they get language proficiency. Thus, they will be able to 1) use a variety of sentences, 2) bring out emotions and feelings, 3) express sensual perceptions based on the situation, 4) understand a series of events and dialogues.
POEM / SONG
- Uses simple structural patterns
- Has a rhyme scheme
- Uses specific patterns (rhythm / structure /metre / music / theme, etc.
SHORT PLAY / DRAMA
Some of the stories can be performed as role-plays and dramas. They make sense of the text through collaborative reading and generate multiple texts from a given text through personalizing and localizing it. In the initial stages, children are likely to reproduce the dialogues given in the text. This will eventually help them improve their performance in terms of delivering dialogues, showing facial expressions and actions and maintaining some of the theatrical conventions.
Choreography is a performance art and it makes use of some theatrical components. It is a discourse that can communicate effectively to its views. As a pedagogic tool it can be used to facilitate the development of communication skills. Like the drama it caters to the development of multiple intelligences. Choreographing a poem implies deeper understanding of its theme.
INTERVIEW Interview is an interaction between Interviewee and Interviewer
A teacher must use the techniques while teaching lessons to improve students vocabulary. We are living in the 21st century and it is the age of technological advancement. The modern technology can be effectively used in teaching vocabulary.
The following are some of the techniques/strategies of teaching vocabulary:
Word Ladder, Guess the Word, Vocabulary Puzzle, Prefixes, Suffixes, and Root Words, Role Play, Use of Video, Group Work
Use of ICT
This is the age of Information dominated by the Digital Technology. The Digital Technology has influenced all aspects of human life. Education is not an exception. Using information and computer technology (ICT) in education really motivates students. A teacher must take the advantage of this technology in teaching vocabulary in the classroom and out of the classroom.
TEACHING OF GRAMMAR
A teacher gives students an in-depth explanation of a grammatical concept before they encounter the same grammatical concept in their own writing it is called The deductive method.
The advantages of deductive approach are:
- It gets straight to the point, and can therefore be time-saving.
- Many rules – especially rules of form – can be more simply and quickly explained than elicited from examples.
- This will allow more time for practice and application.
- It respects the intelligence and maturity of many – especially adult – students, and acknowledges the role of cognitive processes in language acquisition.
Some possible disadvantages:
- Starting the lesson with a grammar presentation may be off-putting for some students, especially younger ones.
- They may not have sufficient meta language (i.e. language used to talk about language such as grammar terminology
Michael Swan, author of teacher’s and students’ grammars, puts the following criteria:
Truth: Limitation: Clarity: Simplicity: Familiarity: Relevance:
The Inductive Method:
Learning Grammar through experience or the natural route to learning Grammar is called the inductive method.
Advantages of Inductive way of teaching Grammar:
- Rules learners discover for themselves are more likely to fit their existing mental structures than rules they have been presented with. This in turn will make the rules more meaningful, memorable and serviceavle.
- The mental effort involved ensures a greater degree of cognitive depth which, again, ensures greater memorability.
- Students are more actively involved in the learning process, rather than being simply passive receipients. Theya are therefore likely to be more attentive amd motivative.
DEVELOPING LANGUAGE SKILLS – II
- READING EXPOSITORY TEXTS
Expository text is non-fiction text meant to inform, analyze, explain or give additional detail about a topic. Some types of expository text include cause-and-effect writing, literary analysis, compare-and-contrast writing and reports.
Expository text differs greatly from narrative text in tone, style, structure, and features. First, expository texts purvey a tone of authority, since the authors possess authentic and accurate information on the subjects they write about. Second, these texts follow a style that is distinctly different from that of a narrative text. Expository text uses clear, focused language and moves from facts that are general to specific and abstract to concrete.
Another aspect of expository texts is that they utilize specific structures to present and explain information. And, it has long been known that the ability to recognize text structure enhances the student’s ability to comprehend and recall the information read.
The five most common structures utilized in informational text are cause-effect, comparison-contrast, definition-example, problem-solution, and proposition supporter sequential listing. To help students recognize and identify these structures, teachers can acquaint them with the signal or cue words authors use in writing each of the structures (See below). In addition, Doug Buehl (2001) has created a series of questions to help students in identifying each specific structure. The following table tells us the common set of words and phrases used in expository texts.
Text Structure Signal Words
Cause- Effect: because, consequently, If so, then since, therefore, so that, thus, not only, but, as a result
Comparison- Contrast: however, but, on the other hand, instead of, as well as, similar to, different from, compared to
Definition- Example : for example, for instance, specifically, in addition, described as, to illustrate, another, first, second, third
Problem- Solution : because, since, consequently, so that, nevertheless, a solution, however, therefore
in addition, as result
Proposition- Support :for example, therefore, first, second, third, before, after, then, finally,in conclusion
Some common features of expository texts include the following:
- a table of contents
- a preface
- chapter introductions
- chapter headings and subheadings
- marginal notes or gloss
- chapter summaries
- maps, charts, graphs, and illustrations
- an index
- a glossary
- Content overview
It is also beneficial to give students a content overview so they can ponder the many concepts and questions they will encounter throughout the year. Teachers must help them understand how the ideas in the textbook are interrelated. Teachers should utilize text previews in order to accomplish this.
STRATEGIES FOR READING EXPOSITORYTEXTS
Tompkins (1998) suggested the following three steps to teach expository text structures:
- Introduce signal words and phrases that identify each text structure and gives students a graphic organizer for each pattern.
Work on the Text, provides the students with chances to analyze the text structures in informational books, not stories. At this stage, students learn the signal words and phrases in the text that identify each text pattern. They also may use graphic organizers to illustrate these patterns.
- Invite students to write paragraphs using each text structure pattern-.
- ACTIVATING SCHEMA
A schema, then, is a generalized description or a conceptual system for understanding knowledge-how knowledge is represented and how it is used. Schema theory states that all knowledge is organized into units. Within these units of knowledge, or schemata, is stored information.
- BUILDING SCHEMATA
Learning novel concepts may require the reader to connect new information to a congruent mental model. A person’s mental model is a representation of a particular belief based on existing knowledge of a physical system or a semantic representation depicted in a text. For example, a person may hold a belief that balls are round, inflatable and are made to bounce. However, this person may encounter a football (an ellipsoid) that is kicked or thrown, or ball bearings that are solid, or a bowling ball that is solid
and has holes drilled into it for the purpose of rolling rather than bouncing. This new knowledge is integrated into a new, more complex, mental structure about the shape, substance, form, and function of balls.
As Bransford (1985) points out, schema activation and schema construction are two different problems. While it is possible to activate existing schemata with a given topic, it does not necessarily follow that a learner can use this activated knowledge to develop new knowledge and skills. Problem solving lessons and activities can provide learners with situations that aid in schema construction which includes critical thinking.
Hierarchical concept maps and Vee diagrams are two methods that students can initiate on their own for schema construction and application. Hierarchical concept maps (Novak & Gowin, 1984) are designed to help the reader clarify ambiguities of a text while simultaneously revealing any misconceptions that result from a reading. More importantly they provide the learner with a tool from which to initiate ideas that can be shared by visual inspection with someone else. The Vee diagram (Gowin, 1981/1987) is a method by which a learner can learn about the structure of knowledge and knowledge-making within a given discipline and use this knowledge in novel contexts.
Students can be taught to incorporate new information into their existing world knowledge. This can be accomplished through teacher guided instruction and self-initiated strategies that includes methods and meaningful materials that induce critical thinking with conceptual problems. In order for schema construction to occur, a framework needs to be provided that helps readers to elaborate upon new facts and ideas and to clarify their significance or relevance. Students need to learn more about themselves as learners. Notable in this learning context is the relationship between facts and ideas learned in formal school settings and those encountered in everyday learning environments. Perhaps within this inquiry we will be led to
discover the ways individuals choose to relate new information to existing schemata and how this new information influences their future knowledge and decision-making.
- READING TO LEARN
In today’s world, reading is basic to everyday life. As children we learn to read, and as adults, we read to learn. We read to learn about the news, to learn about rules, and to learn about how to do things. We also use reading to learn English.
- ACQUISITION OF REGISTERS
Language register is the level of formality with which we speak. There are five language registers or styles. Each level has an appropriate use that is determined by differing situations. It would certainly be inappropriate to use language and vocabulary reserve for a conversation between friends in a park, when speaking in the classroom. Thus the appropriate language register depends upon the audience (who), the topic (what), purpose (why) and location (where).
We must control the use of language registers in order to enjoy success in every aspect and situation we encounter.
- Static Register
- Formal Register
- Consultative Register
- Casual Register
- Intimate Register
- Reading activity/ Process involves different ways and processes
- Ways of Reading is a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency, and motivation.
Types of Reading
- INDIVIDUAL READING
- COLLABORATIVE READING
- BEYOND THE TEXT-BOOK
The extensive or free voluntary reading in a second and foreign language teaching has an important role in improving one’s reading skill.
- This method focuses on teaching readers rather than on teaching texts (Haas and Flower 1988, 169). Since we learn to read by actually reading, the aim of these methods is to build learners’ reading skill by encouraging them to read more.
- This is a supplement to intensive reading methods, in which the learners work with activities related to set texts.
- Textbooks are a good example of intensive reading, providing short texts and supplementary activities which allow learners to practice vocabulary and grammatical structures, develop various language skills and check their reading comprehension.
Thus, intensive reading tends to focus on details and to serve functions that reach far beyond the apparent purpose of reading.
While intensive reading is important, learners will not become fluent and confident readers if this is the extent of their reading practice. This is where extensive reading comes in. To become good readers, learners need to read as much as possible, and they need to read books that interest them and are at their own level of difficulty. According to Susser and Robb (1990), the key features of this method are “reading (a) of large quantities of material or long texts; (b) for global or general understanding; (c) with the intention of obtaining pleasure from the text. Further, because (d) reading is individualized, with students choosing the book they want to read,(e) the books are not discussed in class.” . Moreover, the immediate aims of this method tend to be directly related to reading: increased fluency and speed. This is not to say that comprehension is not important, since research indicates that reading speed and comprehension are linked; the overall message may be lost if the rate of processing information is too slow (Brown and Hirst, 1983). Thus, comprehension as well as fluency benefit from extensive reading practice.
- DIVERSE FORMS OF TEXTS AS MATERIALS FOR LANGUAGE
We use different forms of reading materials both inside and outside the class to encourage them to read more and more and acquire proficiency in English language. Let’s discuss some of the reading materials other than text-books.
- Academic Journals
- Language performs various functions in the society and the society does the same way. Language cannot survive in the absence of the society. Society cannot exist without using a language.
IDENTITY, POWER AND DISCRIMINATION
Human society is divided into some language groups. In India the reorganization of states had taken place based on the identity of social groups using a particular language. Those places with people who use Telugu for their social communications were identified as Telugu State – Andhra Pradesh. The places where Tamil is predominantly used were declared as Tamilnadu.
NATURE OF MULTILINGUALISM
Language is a complex phenomenon. It is not just a means of communication. Language is thought also. Language and thought are inseparable. India is a land of many languages. Even
in our state Andhra Pradesh many languages are spoken. While teaching the target language English, the teacher must understand the multilingual scenario and consider it an advantage rather than a handicap. He / She must respect the various languages like Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, and Oriya spoken by the children and provide space for each linguistic community in the English classroom. Instead of teaching English Grammar mechanically and boringly, the English teacher may think of comparing and contrasting the structure of English Language with those of the different languages spoken by the children.
- HIERARCHICAL STATUS OF INDIAN LANGUAGES AND ITS IMPACT ON CLASSROOM DYNAMICS
The languages of the Indian subcontinent are divided into various language families, of which the Indo-Iranian and the Dravidian languages are the most widely spoken. There are also many languages belonging to unrelated language families such as Sino-Tibetan, spoken by smaller groups.
Sanskrit Pali Hindi Urdu
Tamil Telugu Kannada Malayalam
The Indian constitution, in 1950, declared Hindi in Devanagari script to be the official language of the union. English was also recognized as a language for official purposes.
The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution recognizes the following 22 languages:- (1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8)
Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15)
Sindhi, (16) Tamil, (17) Telugu, (18) Urdu (19) Bodo, (20) Santhali, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri.
Due to the LPG factor, Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization, now we can see people moving across the country for employment, trade and other purposesIt is always better if the teacher possesses some knowledge of different language back-grounds of the students of an English classroom.
- WHAT IS WRITING?
We have read earlier that writing is a productive skill. It requires accuracy in language usage. Correctness in grammatical usage certainly goes a long way in making a piece of writing better. At present computers help us to write with accuracy as they check the spelling and grammatical errors automatically.
- RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN READING AND WRITING
Researchers found that reading affects writing and writing affects reading. According to recommendations from the major English Language professional organizations, reading instruction is most effective when intertwined with writing instruction and vice versa. Research has found that when children read extensively they become better writers. Reading a variety of genres helps children learn text structures and language that they can then transfer to their own writing. In addition, reading provides young people with prior knowledge that they can use in their stories. One of the primary reasons that we read is to learn. Especially while we are still in school, a major portion of what we know comes from the texts we read. Since writing is the act of transmitting knowledge in print, we must have information to share before we can write it. Therefore reading plays a major role in writing.
- DEVELOPING WRITTEN DISCOURSES
We can simply say that discourse means ‘a meaningful interaction in spoken or written form’. At high school level certain discourses were identified for practice. They are
Let’s discuss the features of some of the written discourses.
There are different kinds of descriptions. Title is a common feature of the description.
Let’s have a look into some descriptions.
- Description of a person
- Description of a place
- Description of an object/animal
- Description of an event
- Description of a process
- Description of a person
Narrative is the most familiar and often the first choice of writers. It gives us the basis of most of our writing. Much writing carries a narrative shape. Moreover, we are all story-tellers. Every anecdote, every joke, every piece of gossip, memory of every happening – all make a story.
Interview is a meeting in which someone asks you questions to see if you are suitable for a job or a course or asks questions about yourself for a newspaper article, television show etc.
Essay is an important discourse that has to be practiced at secondary level. Every essay has four important parts. They are:
- The title
The title of the essay is one of the most important things that we should never take for granted. There is a good reason why this is the case. It is the first thing that the reader sees when he/she gets our paper, and if it is not so good, we can be sure that he/she will lose interest in reading that.
Another thing that we need to know about writing an essay is to come up with the perfect introduction for our essay. Introducing our essay will give us the best foundation, and make it easier to convince the reader that we truly know what we are writing about.
The introductory paragraph consists of the following elements:
The “hook” sentence—the purpose of this sentence is to capture the reader’s attention.
There are six ways to write a hook sentence:
- Rhetorical Question
- Provocative assertion
- The thesis statement—the purpose of this statement is to tell the reader what they should expect to learn, understand, or agree with while reading the essay.
- The plan of action—is a brief listing of the main points the essay will cover. This is not the place to include specific details or facts.
- Transition sentence—leads the reader into the body of the essay.
The body of the essay includes the literature review, the discussion points and the analysis of the information that we have gathered in the subject area. This must be articulated and supported with relevant evidence. The body of an essay may run into many paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain certain elements.
The structure of a paragraph consists of four parts.
- The topic sentence (TS)—is the main idea (or topic) for that particular paragraph. Ex: The latest craze in telephone technology is the I-Phone.
- Supporting detail 1(SD-1)—is one fact that is directly related to the topic sentence. It provides more detail or description about the topic sentence.
Ex: One of the coolest features of the I-phone is the way it looks.
- Example/Explanation 1 (EE-1)—is comments, description, details, and information that adds to SD-1 and provides additional information about the topic sentence.
- Example/Explanation 2 (EE-2)—are additional explanations, comments, descriptions, and information that adds to and provides additional information about the topic sentence. EE-2 also contains the transition sentence.
The transition sentence serves the purpose of connecting the current paragraph to the following paragraph. It does this by providing a one sentence hint as to the topic of the next paragraph. Ex: In addition to having a cool look, the I-phone also has lightning fast Internet features. As the example topic sentence suggests, the next paragraph is going to explain the Internet features of the I-phone.
Finally, it is important for you to write a really good conclusion. This is supposed to sum up all the work that we have done so far, and put an end to the discussion.
Biographies tell us the lives of people who are living or lived in the past. Biography has certain features.
A script is a piece of writing in the form of drama/skit. It is intended to be performed.
A notice is a formal means of communication. It’s used to announce something important in schools or public places. A notice must be put in a box. Draw some designs to the box if possible.
Format for the Notice: (There is no restricted format)
A poster or an advertisement is a strong mode of visual, that is, pictorial and verbal communication. It influences the viewer easily by its attractive nature of colourful figures and brevity.
RESPONDING TO NARRATIVE TEXTS
How should we train our students to understand and respond to a narrative text? There are many strategies though which we can help our students respond to narrative texts. Let’s discuss some important strategies.
Teachers follow the following steps in guided reading.
- Preview text, introduce the genre, go over vocabulary, teach other skills, read the text to the learners, or use a K-W-L (Know-Want to Know and Learned) or DRTA activity (Directed Reading Thinking Activity).
- Have students read the text.
- Have students read the text.
- It should be followed by discussions, and by revisiting the text.
In this strategy the teacher is a model. The teacher might venture her or his own questions or responses to get a discussion going. The teacher speaks to get insight, but not for the purpose of lecture. For example he puts questions that may begin with “I wonder about…” to create curiosity among students regarding the narrative text.
Later the teacher helps students learn new roles in a literature circle: how to participate in a conversation in the classroom. The teacher moves the conversation forward by inviting other students to comment on something one student said. Teacher asks to clarify an idea, or pose an interesting open-ended question that she or he thought in advance.
The teacher supports literary learning by supplying students with concepts and terms they can use to give form to ideas they are trying to express or insights they are struggling to reach. The teacher also applies roles when conducting cooperative learning activities. He / She teaches the roles to the whole class, or one at a time. The teacher encourages students to ask questions from their roles. The roles are used for a rich discussion of the literary work. Roles are rotated among the students.
- The ABC Model (Anticipation, Building and Consolidation)
This model tells us about the activities that are to be taken up for responding to a text during before-reading, reading and post reading phases.
- INDIVIDUAL WRITING AND COLLABORATIVE WRITING
Writing tasks can be designed as individual writing tasks or collaborative writing tasks.
The same task may be given for individual writing followed by group writing.
The individual writing process is used to get an expert’s ideas on a topic. The expert’s ideas do not get diluted by the interference of other individuals who may not have equal expertise in the subject area of the text they are writing. In individual writing the quality of the product (text) depends on the competencies of the writer in the particular area, language proficiency and creative thinking ability of the writer who is producing the text.
In collaborative writing the knowledge base is wide and the task will be completed in the stipulated time. The opinions and strengths of different people will find an area in the text produced by them. Each individual writer’s expertise, creativity and quality are enhanced when individuals are involved in collaborative work.
- EDITING OF CHILDREN’S WRITINGS BASED ON THE INDICATORS
We should sensitize our students to edit their texts based on certain indicators for writing.
Indicators for conventions of writing
- Approximation of use with beginning of the names and sentences
- Uses wherever it is applicable
- Punctuation Marks
- Full stop
- Question mark
- Quotation marks
- Space between words and sentences
- Abbreviations, acronyms
After editing the texts based on indicators related to certain conventions of writing we should train our students to look into the following indicators while editing each written discourse.
Written discourses :- Conversations, Descriptions, Poems / Songs, Narrative/Story, Diary, Letter, Slogans/Placards, Drama/Skit, Essay (All types), News report / Report, Review, Biographical sketch/Profile/Autobiography
- TEACHER IS A FACILITATOR
A facilitator is the person who assists a group of people in grasping at their common targets and in achieving them without any intervention on his/her behalf.so that the process of learning becomes comprehensive.
- ASSESSMENT OF WRITING
A teacher isn’t the only one who can assess a writing sample. Students can assess their own writing by working in pairs or small groups. Small groups of students can meet and conference about one piece or each student can bring a piece to exchange and have reviewed.
Student self-assessment of writing.
Many teachers ask students to read over what they’ve written before it’s considered finished. It’s often helpful to provide students with a basic checklist to use as they review their work. This student checklist is based on the SEVEN traits of writing.
The seven traits of writing to be assessed are:
- Word choice
- Sentence fluency
Students can work together in pairs or small groups for assessing the writings of the students of the same group or other group. This peer assessment can help students learn about parts of their writing that was unclear, discover which parts an audience found exciting, and get some suggestions for other things to add. Peer editing takes place in three steps: compliments, suggestions, and corrections.
Assessment of student’s writing can be done by using portfolios, rating scales, observations (both direct and indirect) etc. The students’ overall competencies are being assessed in the form of Formative Assessment and Summative Assessments. We have discussed these areas elaborately in fourth paper.
- WHAT IS LITERATURE?
Definition of literature:
“Literature is written works of artistic value. (novels, plays and poems)”. (e.g. Sanskrit has a very ancient literature)
“Literature is all the works, articles, etc on a particular subject.” (There is a lot of literature available on the subject of ‘Global warming’)
“Literature is printed material, especially giving information”. (Have you got any literature on the new medicine?)
Let’s find out how some of the critics had defined literature:
- ‘Literature is language well used’ – Laurence Lerner.
- Great Literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost degree.
– Ezra Pound
- Literature is the art of saying something that will be read twice. – Cyril Connolly
- Literature is the human activity that takes the fullest and most precise account of various-ness, possibility, complexity and unity. – Lionel Trilling
- All that is literature seeks to communicate power; all that is not literature to communicate knowledge. – De Quency
- Literature has as one of its principal allures that it tells you something about life that life itself can’t tell you. I just thought literature is a thing that human beings do. – Richard Ford
- Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become. – C.S.Lewis
We can understand from the above definitions and views that literature gives us ‘pleasure’ and it is ‘beautiful’ (artistic).
THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING LITERATURE
We study literature for two obvious reasons.
The study of literature supports complements the language and 2.communication skills. It helps us appreciate other people’s point of view, to understand other’s problems and become one with his/her situation, it provides a kind of blueprint of human civilization and it develops communication strategies.
- ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN LIFE
Language is the ability to acquire and use complex systems of communication, particularly the human ability to do so, and a language is any specific example of such a system. Language is the divine gift of the god. It is language that distinguishes man form animals. Language is man’s finest asset. To the philosopher, language may be the instrument of thought, for we think through language. Language is an extremely important way of interacting with the people around us.
- John Stuart Mill referred that “language to be the light of the mind”.
- Wittgenstein says “The limit of my language is the limit of my world”.
- As Chomsky proves the purpose of language he said “the purpose of language is for communication”.
The role of language in the life of the individual and for the human civilization can be stated as following:
- Vehicle of thought: Language is the vehicle of our thought. We think through language. Thought is called sub-vocal speech. The thinking process is disturbed if the individual has deficiency in language.
- Medium of expression: Language is the medium of expression of our feelings and experiences.
- Medium of communication:
- Communication with other countries:
- Moral development: Language is also connected to the moral development in a child. The process begins when the child is about 18 months old.
- Developing and grooming one’s personality: Language aids in developing and grooming one’s personality as a whole.
- Human developmental process: Language is one of the key factors of our human developmental process, which sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom and knits a strong feeling of kinship among us. A baby at the age of 4 or 5 can speak hundreds of words in a language.
- Child’s growth
- Bases of Education: Language is the bases of all education.
- Medium of literature: All great literature is produced through the medium of language.
- Growth of civilization: Language contributes to the growth of our civilization. Language and civilization are inseparable.
- Development of peace: International understanding and international peace have been possible through the medium of language.
- DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
Literature is produced by the creation of works in a particular language by the writers of the language.
A language on the other hand is a mode of expression of thought by means of articulate sounds. This is the main difference between language and literature.
- TYPES OF LITERARY TEXTS
According to the functions of the texts we can categorize them into five types. There are 5 major texts types:
- READERS’ RESPONSE THEORY
The above diagram tells us the importance of readers’ response to a text. The author produces a text for the readers to interpret and the readers’ response gives him/her a scope to improve himself/herself in producing further texts.
Readers may respond to express their emotional reactions, to explore difficulties in understanding, to corroborate or verify their opinions with others, to build a social relationship through sharing responses, or to clarify their attitudes. These different purposes imply an equally wide range of response strategies.
These strategies can serve as basis for devising various response activities (Beach and Marshall). Reader-response theory also gives us grounds to acknowledge a steadily widening range of response media, including, for example, oral interpretation, role-playing, art-work, rewriting texts, or creating new ones.
Given these multiple roles, purposes, text types, and contexts, reader-response theorists tend to focus on different aspects of these components.
RESPONDING TO LITERATURE
How do readers respond to literature?
Researchers have found that readers respond to literature in a variety of ways.
For example, the teacher might show students how to ask good questions about a book, make an oral comparison for students, or give an oral summary of a book. Through these procedures, the teacher is also modeling the constructing of meaning through response activities
Linguists, cognitive psychologists, and psycholinguists have used the concept of schema (plural: schemata) to understand the interaction of key factors affecting the comprehension process. Simply put, schema theory states that all knowledge is organized into units. Within these units of knowledge, or schemata, is stored information.
A schema, then, is a generalized description or a conceptual system for understanding knowledge-how knowledge is represented and how it is used. According to this theory, schemata represent knowledge about concepts: objects and the relationships they have with other objects, situations, events, sequences of events, actions, and sequences of actions.
A simple example is to think of your schema for dog. Within that schema you most likely have knowledge about dogs in general (bark, four legs, teeth, hair, tails) and probably information about specific dogs, such as collies (long hair, large, Lassie) or springer spaniels (English, docked tails, liver and white or black and white, Millie). You may also think of dogs within the greater context of animals and other living things; that is, dogs breathe, need food, and reproduce. Your knowledge of dogs might also include the fact that they are mammals and thus are warm-blooded and bear their young as opposed to laying eggs. Depending upon your personal experience, the knowledge of a dog as a pet (domesticated and loyal) or as an animal to fear (likely to bite or attack) may be a part of your schema. And so it goes with the development of a schema. Each new experience incorporates more information into one’s schema. What does all this have to do with reading comprehension? Individuals have schemata for everything. Long before students come to school, they develop schemata (units of knowledge) about everything they experience. Schemata become theories about reality. These theories not only affect the way information is interpreted, thus affecting comprehension, but also continue to change as new information is received.
We have schemata to represent all levels of our experience, at all levels of abstraction. Finally, our schemata are our knowledge. All of our generic knowledge is embedded in schemata. The importance of schema theory to reading comprehension also lies in how the reader uses schemata. This issue has not yet been resolved by research, although investigators agree that some mechanism activates just those schemata most relevant to the reader’s task.
The three classifications of schemata are content, formal and abstract.
Content schemata are defined as being based on “abductive judgments about particular facts and states of affairs” (Oller Ibid. p.286, quoted in Sasaki 2000, p.87).
Formal schemata seem to be developed from more distant connections of states of affairs that are somewhat similar.
abstract schemata includes pure symbols and inductive integration. Abduction is recognizing a distinct representation; however induction is done if the recognition is more personal. The abstraction is an expansion of a single reference to act as a type through deduction.
Here is an example for Schema Classification. Suppose we are thinking of a hotel. The ‘Abstract knowledge’ tells us it is a place rented to sleep the night at, whereas ‘Formal knowledge’ fills in additional information about the concept of hotels; having floors, an elevator, room numbers, keys, perhaps a bell hop, and ‘Content knowledge’ would be things like the specific name of the hotel, its actual location on a map, even the color of the carpet in our room.
VARIOUS LITERARY GENRES
Genre is a word taken from French language which means ‘a kind’. It is pronounced as
/’yd˜ra,’ydnra/.The dictionary meaning of genre is ‘a style or category of art, music, or literature.’
The Five Main Genres of Literature:
Literature is a broad term that encompasses almost everything we read, see, and hear. It helps to be able to break it down into categories, for ease of understanding and analysis. Here are 5 genres of literature commonly taught in the classroom, with explanations and examples.
This is often considered the oldest form of literature.
In general, though, a text is a poem when it has some sort of meter or rhythm, and when it focuses on the way the syllables, words, and phrases sound when put together.
Poems are heavy in imagery and metaphor, and are often made up of fragments and phrases rather than complete, grammatically correct sentences.
And poetry is nearly always written in stanzas and lines, creating a unique look on the page.
Poetry as experienced in the classroom is usually of three types
- There are the shorter, more modern poems, spanning anything from a few lines to a few pages. Often these are collected in books of poems by a single author or by a variety of writers. Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” is one of the most commonly taught poems of this type.
- Then there are the classical, formulaic poems of Shakespeare’s time, such as the blank verse and the sonnet.
- And finally there are the ancient, epic poems transcribed from oral stories. These long, complex poems resemble novels, such as Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey.
Prose can be defined as any kind of written text that isn’t poetry (which means drama, discussed below, is technically a type of prose). The most typical varieties of prose are novels and short stories, while other types include letters, diaries, journals, and non-fiction (also discussed below). Prose is written in complete sentences and organized in paragraphs. Instead of focusing on sound, which is what poetry does, prose tends to focus on plot and characters.
Prose is the type of literature read most often in English classrooms.
Any text meant to be performed rather than read can be considered drama (unless it’s a poem meant to be performed, of course). In layman’s terms, dramas are usually called plays.. Students respond best to dramas, and grasp their mechanics more fully, when exposed to film or theater versions or encouraged to read aloud or act out scenes during class.
The dramas most commonly taught in classrooms are definitely those written by the bard.
Non-fiction can be creative, such as the personal essay, or factual, such as the scientific paper. Sometimes the purpose of non-fiction is to tell a story (hence the autobiography), but most of the time the purpose is to pass on information and educate the reader about certain facts, ideas, and/or issues.
5. Biography, form of literature, commonly considered nonfictional, the subject of which is the life of an individual. One of the oldest forms of literary expression, it seeks to re-create in
words the life of a human being—as understood from the historical or personal perspective of the author—by drawing upon all available evidence, including that retained in memory as well as written, oral, and pictorial material.
The newest type of literature that has been defined as a distinct genre is media. Media literature can serve a wide variety of purposes—among other things it can educate, entertain, advertise, and/or persuade.
Other Genres of Literature
These are far from the only important genres of literature. Here are a few more that are sometimes used in classrooms:
The oldest type of literature, and the foundation on which culture was built. Now most oral texts have been written down, of course, and are usually taught in the form of epic poems or plays or folk tales.
A distinction is often made between regular prose and folklore. Most folk tales were originally oral literature, and are short stories meant to pass on a particular lesson or moral.
Graphic Novels and Comic Books:
It used to be that most educators saw comic books as the lowest form of literature, not suitable or valuable for children. But times have changed, and many teachers have come to realize that comic books and the more modern graphic novels are both appealing to kids and are a valid form of literature in their own right.
- ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF VARIOUS LITERARY TEXTS
While analyzing a literary text we should look at the following elements in it.
- Physical appearance
- Words and phrases
- Word order and sentence structure
- Rhyme and rhythm
- Scene setting
We should also help and train our students to understand the writer/narrator’s attitude to the objects/people/situations that are presented in the text. We should also look through the point that the writer is making in his text. As part of interpretation the readers may be asked express why they like/dislike the text or writer.
IDENTIFICATION OF LITERARY FEATURES IN A GIVEN TEXT
Rhythm gives a poem its sound, and there are many different ways that rhythm is used, and lots of elements in poetry that are related to rhythm.
Stress / Accent
A line of poetry is filled with syllables. When a syllable is given emphasis, it is called a stressed syllable. Stress is the emphasis given to the syllable. Example: “water” has two syllables: wa – ter. The first syllable (“wa”) is the stressed syllable – it is pronounced with more emphasis than the second syllable (“ter”), which is the unstressed syllable.
A foot is a combination of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry. There are many different combinations, but some are more popular than others. The stressed syllables are marked with the symbol (‘), the unstressed, with the symbol (<).
This is the number of feet that is in a line of poetry. A line of poetry can have any number of feet, and can have more than one type of foot.
POETRY’S FORM There is no one way to write a poem. In fact, there are many ways, and many different forms! Sometimes it is the meter of the poem that gives you the form, sometimes it’s the content, and sometimes it is the organization of it.
UNDERSTANDING OF TEXTBOOKS, PEDAGOGY AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
- PHILOSOPHY AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEXTBOOKS:
There are great teachers who can do away with textbooks and do a great job. But for many an Indian teacher, a textbook is an essential part of English language teaching. It saves time, gives direction to lessons, and facilitates a wide variety of activities in the classroom. A good textbook, for a teacher with limited language proficiency is often a good tool to improve his/her own language competence.
- The present English textbooks are developed based on of the principles of constructivism and critical pedagogy.
- Critical pedagogy explores the social dimension of a constructivist, child-centered and process oriented classroom.
- The approach to language followed here is the cognitive- interactionist approach, which conceives language as both the ‘social construct’ as well as an ‘individual construct’.
- The language skills are integrated and the scope for constructing different discourses is in-built in the classroom process which we call it as holistic approach..
Features of English Textbooks
- The content selected should match the cognitive levels and socio-cultural background of children, and uphold and encourage all the secular values enshrined in the constitution.
- They should be suitable for the assessment procedures in vogue.
- THE NEW PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF TEXTBOOKS:
The recent trends and developments have proposed a shift in language teaching in the following dimensions.
- the shift in approach to language and language learning.
- the shift in academic standards.
- the shift in classroom process.
- the shift in assessment.
- the shift in the role of the teacher, learner.
- the shift in societal needs
- CONTENT, APPROACHES AND METHODS OF TEACHING ENGLISH LANGUAGE
An approach forms the basis for the methods and methods in turn give rise to techniques and strategies. There have been different approaches and methods in teaching/learning English language to young learners, based on both behaviourist and cognitive theories.
- INTERACTIONIST AND PARTICIPATORY METHODS:
Interactionists take the cognitive view of learning. They believe that second language acquisition relies much more on the learner’s innate abilities than on the inputs supplied by the environment. Interactionist refers to a person who believes that successful second language acquisition is a product of meaningful interaction between internal and external factors.
When done well, role plays increase the participants’ self-confidence, give them the opportunity to understand or even feel empathy for other people’s viewpoints or roles, and usually end with practical answers, solutions or guidelines.
Teacher talk and teacher’s questions: Teacher talk and teachers’ questions elicit students’ use of English through speech production, which develops their ESL listening capabilities. Questions provide teachers with feedback regarding how well and how much students learned as well as what needs to be re-taught.
The Participatory approach is under the umbrella of Content-Based Instruction (CBI) in that it uses topics for specific purposes.
A classroom using a participatory approach is different from many teacher-fronted classrooms that have been typical in language learning setting. Participatory approach, through the concept of Freire, opposes the old “banking method” of teaching where the teacher acts as depositor of information and students act as recipients.
The Participatory Approach is a brainchild of Brazilian language educator Paulo Freire. Freire is the author of the book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. Many researchers have also referred to this method as the Freirean Approach to language literacy education. The goal of this method is to use language learning as a tool to provide solutions to social problems that impact learners in their daily lives.
.Language domains can be taught even in specific content-area subjects and it can be used to empower people to free themselves from the social ruts they are in.
- To use the language learning as a tool to provide the solution to social problems.
- To help the students understand social, historical or cultural factors that effects their life.
- To help the students to empower themselves to take decision on their own.
- THEMES AND STRUCTURE OF THE UNIT
The following themes that are compatible with NCF are suggested for making of textbooks.
- Core themes:
- Self, family, home, friends and pets;
- Neighborhood and community
- The nation – diversity and heritage;
- The world-India’s neighborhood
- Adventure and imagination;
- Sports and Games;
- Issues relating to adolescence;
- Science and Technology
- Peace and Harmony;
- Travel and Tourism;
- Mass media;
- Art and Culture;
- Health and Reproductive health.
- Other Themes:
Environment; Mystery; Fashion and shopping; Films, Media; Festivals; Education and career; People-differently abled, marginalized sections etc; Freedom; Disaster management; Crime and violence; Agrarian Issues; Social issues-Dowry, Migration, violence against women, Old age problems, Child labour, unemployment, Globalisation etc.
Structure of a Unit in the English textbooks for school children
The following are the components (structure) of each Unit in the English textbooks of Andhra Pradesh for school children.
Face Sheet / Trigger: Each unit starts with a picture / quotation / poem followed by some interactive questions. This is to warm-up the students and to generate genuine interest towards the theme and the reading texts in the unit. The teacher can put more number of questions that demand divergent responses from children in order to encourage them to interact more effectively.
Reading Texts: Every unit consists of three reading texts (Reading A, B and C). The reading texts include different genres such as stories, narratives, biographical sketches, short plays, speeches, monologues, letters, interviews and essays related to the theme of the unit. All texts are followed by glossary, and a few comprehension questions. Questions are provided that help students think critically, reflect on what they have read, and interpret the text in their own words. Teachers should follow the suggested transaction process for reading in the classroom.
Vocabulary: synonyms / antonyms, phrasal verbs, multiple shades of meanings, collocations, homonyms, homophones, homographs, idioms, word-formation
Grammar: This section contains some grammar tasks/activities/exercises.
Writing: conversations, descriptions, narratives / stories, messages, e-mails, SMSs, diary entries, letters, paragraph, an essays, biographical sketches, songs / poems and some other discourses.
Study Skills: verbal and nonverbal activities like pie charts, bar diagrams, tables, advertisements, dictionary entries, route maps, etc.
Listening: a few tasks/activities/exercises to improve speaking and listening competencies.
Oral Activity: conversations, discussions, debates, compering, presenting reports, speeches, etc.
Project: collection, analysis and interpretation of data, to prepare a report and to present their findings before the class.
Self -Assessment Checklist: The checklist given at the end of each unit helps the learner to assess his / her own learning.
- NATURE OF EXERCISES AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
The exercises provided in the textbooks are designed and based on the academic standards targeted at elementary level. The exercises are thought provoking and challenging. They are in tune with the multiple intelligences of the children. (LSRW)
- ANALYSIS OF ENGLISH TEXTBOOKS (Classes VI-VIII)
- Earlier, there were separate textbooks, supplementary readers and workbooks. The new English readers are designed in an integrated manner. Now, a single book which is a combination of the main reader, listening material, and workbook is prepared.
- ACADEMIC STANDARDS
We are familiar with performance indicators stated under the ideal domains of grammar vocabulary and the domains of skills, and discourses. Since assessment is inseparable from learning, it is something that has to take place at every stage of transaction. Grammar, Vocabulary and language skills can be assessed only by embedding them in discourses targeted at a certain level of transaction. Thus, the language competencies can be put in six broad categories;
The six broad categories of the Academic Standards
- Listening and Speaking
- Reading comprehension
- Conventions of writing
- Grammatical awareness
- Creative expression (Oral and Written discourses)
Grading Indicators: Listening and speaking, Reading Comprehension, conventions of writing Poetry and Prose, Vocabulary and Grammatical awareness, Creative Expressions Conversations / Dialogues
LEARNING RESOURCES FOR EFFECTIVETRANSACTION OF LANGUAGECURRICULUM
Since one of the goals of English language teaching is to make the child an autonomous learner by transforming language into an instrument for knowledge acquisition, children should be encouraged to learn on their own from a variety of resources everything is a resources.
- ROLE OF ‘ICT’ IN TEACHING ENGLISH
Traditional methods of imparting higher education have become less motivating. Here, technology plays an important role in creating innovation and motivation for the learners. The word ‘ICT’ includes any communication device such as computer, mobile phones, radio, television, satellite system etc.
Today teacher can make use of these different tools of technology and can make his/her teaching innovative and interesting.
Web 2.0 Applications
After 2005, web 2.0 emerged. It encourages sharing between users. It includes variety of application such as blogs, social networking websites etc. Blogs are regular opinion, columns posted on the internet. The writer posts a diary entry which others can read and comment on. The learners can be encouraged to write their own blog.
Radio and Television – The radio and television are one of the most useful devices for teaching English Language..
Language Laboratory A language laboratory is modern technological teaching aid. There are different types of language labs. These are:
Audio Active Laboratory This type of laboratory consists of a teacher’s console and individual head sets. A tape is played from the console. Everyone has to go at the speed of the tape. A limitation is that the students cannot proceed at their own pace.
Audio-Active- Comparative language laboratory (A.A.C.)
Wearing ear phones, students sit in booths with separate tape recorder to speak and listen. The teacher is provided with a console which permits him/her to listen or speak to each student. It is an effective technological device to teach pronunciation and intonation.
Government of Gujarat has also set up DELL (Digital Education and Language Laboratory) in Government and Grant-in aid colleges across the state. The complete infrastructure including furniture, computer system, server, LAN, software, AV facility is provided.
Films present the reading material in the form of stories. With the help of this aid, it is to present and systematic and orderly knowledge of the subject. Knowledge acquired through films has a lasting effect. We can show to the students in the class-room, the Plays of Shakespeare while teaching English Literature.
It is a useful alternative to chalk board. Writings or pictures on transparencies are projected on a screen. It saves time by preparing the materials in advance. Proper infrastructure facilities are required for the use of such equipments.
- ACTION RESEARCH
Any practicing teacher cannot go without action research. We all do action research, but many of us do not record and keep evidence fur further research. Classroom planning may not go as we wish all the time. Often, we come across some situations that upset us and obstruct the smooth progress of classroom transaction process. We have to find solutions for all these problems sooner or later only by conducting Action Research.
Stephen M. Corey defines ‘Action Research’ is the process by which practitioners attempt to study their problems scientifically in order to guide, correct and evaluate their decision and action for improving their current practices.
Kurt Lewis defines “Action Research is applying scientific thinking to real life problems (classroom problems for teachers) and represents a great improvement over teachers’ subjective judgment and their limited personal experiences”.
Action research is an approach that has become widely used in research in education and schooling. Action research is a well organised systematic inquiry conducted by teachers, in the teaching learning environment to gather information about any immediate issue. The primary objective is to gain insight, develop reflective practice, foster effective positive changes in the school environment and improve student outcomes. Action research is the research done by teachers for themselves.
Objectives of action research
- To develop research skills useful for classroom enquiry.
- To develop deeper understanding of teaching-learning process.
- To bring about changes in classroom teaching and learning.
- To empower teachers by giving them the tool which they can use to make changes within the profession in which they work.
- FEATURES OF ACTION RESEARCH
- Action Research is a process for studying practical problems of the classroom.
- It is a process to improve the teaching/learning practices.
- It is systematic and follows scientific procedure.
- It is a personal research used to solve problems.
- It is teacher initiated and teacher driven.
- Findings are applicable to local area only and will have very less scope for generalisation. Hence, the results are owned by teachers rather than research community.
Action research and professional development of teachers
Action researcher starts his research by asking “How can I solve my classroom issue?” This will lead to improved class room practice. People working in the area of teaching have more demanding expectations of themselves and their colleagues because they regard the process of professional development as continuous and ongoing.
- STEPS IN ‘ACTION RESEARCH’ IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
Sue Davidoff and Owen van den Berg (1990) suggest four broad stages of action research in English Language Teaching:
Teach / Act
Teacher educator presents a discussion paper on ‘what, why and how’ of action research as a way for professional development.
EVALUATION OF ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT
The teacher educator can assess the awareness about the action research using the following ‘research assessment format’. Teacher educator distributes the format in the class. Student teachers are divided into pairs. Let the pairs assess each other using the format. It can also be used for self assessment.
Research assessment format
5= Excellent 4=Very good 3= Good 2= Average 1= below average
DIFFERENT AVENUES FOR CONTINUING PROFESSIONALDEVELOPMENT
Professional development for second language teachers is defined as the process of continual intellectual experiential and attitudinal growth of teachers. Reflective language teaching will help a teacher for professional development. Those who engage in reflective teaching can develop,
- A deeper understanding of teaching
- An evaluation of what stage they are at, in their professional growth
- More skills in self-reflection and critical thinking
- More complex and clearer schema about teaching
- A more coherent personal approach to classroom teaching
- More elaborate pedagogical reasoning skills
- More practical decision making skills
Continuing professional development
Traditional professional development assumes that teachers can improve their classroom practices as a result of gaining new information and knowledge from taking a workshop or course.
Formal professional developmentworkshops
- Learning from colleagues
- Maturing as a language teacher
- Development of self-belief
- Public recognition
- Engaging in further study
Catalysts for change come in the form of ‘further study’ to all teachers.
Traits of good language teachers
Language awareness workshops
This helps not only to raise the awareness of the role language plays in the classroom, but also encourages teachers to apply what they learned in their various subject areas.
Professional Learning Community (PLC) journal
Professional Learning Community (PLC) provides a collaborative environment for teachers, administrators, other school staff, parents and community members, with their varying knowledge and skills come together to learn. PLC can create innovations in the traditional implementation process. Experiences and resources can be shared by means of a journal.
Professional development journal
Professional development and performance-specially in terms of the portfolio is a process that supports teacher learning and contributes to establishing new norms for professional development and evaluation. Each teacher can develop his/her own professional development plan.
They should review the learning resources, including CALL (Computer Aided Language Learning) and digital media, and discuss developing their own course materials for use in their classrooms by using a variety of oral, visual and written sources.
6. CLASSROOM PLANNING AND EVALUATION
- TEACHING READINESS
When we say teaching is a skill, what do we mean by it? Let us look at the definition of a skill. A skill is an ability we have such as speaking, writing, singing, drawing even eating and drinking. All these skills have been cultivated by us. They become better with practice. When you practice a skill and have total control over it, the skill becomes an art, and you become an artist. The artist continues to practice to keep his art alive. Let us see this concept in the form of a diagram.
Teaching is not different from fine arts like music and dance. It needs practice to become better and constant practice to keep it alive. Micro teaching is one way of providing the initial practice in a discrete manner to help a novice acquire different skills of teaching.
Let’s look at the sub-skills of teaching. There are many sub-skills. But the most popular sub-skills of teaching English are given below.
- Stimulus variation
- Black-board work
- Classroom management
These sub-skills do not exist in isolation. They do occur simultaneously and a good teacher shifts from one sub-skill to another in a facile manner that makes his/her teaching meaningful.
For Micro-teaching, the entire student-teacher class will be divided into small groups of 10 or 12 students. Each such group will be called a ‘peer group’. Peer group means all the members of the group are equal and there are no differences among them. Each peer group will have a supervisor who is generally your teacher educator he or she will observe all.
Lesson plan for a Micro-Lesson is components for each of the sub-skills are Questioning, Explaining, Narrating, Describing, Illustrating, Stimulus variation, Reinforcement, Black-board work, Class room management
- PLANNING OF TEACHING LANGUAGE
Every lesson and class is different. The content depends on what the teacher wants to achieve in the lesson. However it is possible to make some generalizations. Students who are interested in, involved in and enjoy what they are studying tend to make better progress and learn faster.
When thinking about an English lesson it is useful therefore to keep the following three elements in mind –
Engage- Explore – Explain – Elaborate – Evaluate
Study: Every lesson usually needs to have some kind of language focus.
Activate: Telling students about the language is not really enough to help them learn it. For students to develop their use of English they need to have a chance to produce it
What is a lesson plan?
A lesson plan is a framework for a lesson. If you imagine a lesson is like a journey, then the lesson plan is the map. It shows you where you start, where you finish and the route to take to get there. One of the most important reasons to plan is that the teacher needs to identify his or her aims for the lesson.
What are the principles of planning?
- AIMS – considering realistic goals for the lesson, not too easy but not too difficult. You may find the following checklist useful:
- VARIETY – an important way of getting and keeping the students engaged and interested.
- FLEXIBILITY – expect the unexpected! Things don’t always go to plan in most lessons. Experienced teachers have the ability to cope when things go wrong. It’s useful when planning to build in some extra and alternative tasks and exercises.
- YEAR (ANNUAL) PLAN
We find the annual plan in every text-book itself. But the teacher can plan on his/her own keeping in view of the respective classroom level. Here is an example for Annual Plan from 8th Class English.
|Unit||Month||Name of the unit||Periods required||Strategy||TLM / Resources||Programmes /Activities|
- UNIT PLAN
Unit plan relates to all the activities in a Unit are meticulously planned for the teachers to transact in the classroom. A model Unit Plan is given below for better understanding.
Model Unit Plan
Class: VIII Unit: Family
Subject: English No. of periods required:24
- Reading: The Tattered Blanket
- Reading: Poem- My Mother
- Reading: Letter
- ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION
There are different ways to quantify and qualify the teaching and learning experiences. The process of learning is based on Test,/Measurement,/Assessment /Evaluation. This can be represented diagrammatically as follows.
Test is a procedure for assessing learners’ knowledge of content assimilation. This is done by responding to a set of questions independently. One example of language test is Test of English as a Foreign Language. [TOEFL] Other tests are MEASUREMENT, ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION
NEED AND IMPORTANCE OF EVALUATION
Evaluation is an important process to measure teaching learning strategies. It is multi – dimensional process. It gives us an understanding of the existing learning behaviours in order to explain, design and modify the learning experiences.
“The purpose of evaluation added a new dimension to the process of evaluation namely, accountability, which is the modern concept in which teacher is accountable to leaners, parents, society and to his own profession.” – R.C.Sharma.
- CONTINUOUS AND COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION
Comprehensive evaluation means it should not concern itself with knowledge but it should take into account, the factors that are inherent in learners’ growth such as skills understanding, appreciation interest, attitude and habits. It covers in curricular as well as co-curricular areas of the learner. It should be carried out in relation to learner’s cognitive affective and psychomotor growth.
Evaluation is a kind of cyclical process as the following diagram explains us.
Every teacher should evaluate the learners’ continuously and comprehensively to find out the effect of teaching and learning process and re-plan his teaching strategies very effectively.
- ASSESSMENT AS, FOR AND OF LEARNING
Assessment as Learning is the use of ongoing self-assessment by students in order to monitor their own learning, which is “characterized by students reflecting on their own learning and making adjustments so that they achieve deeper understanding.” (Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Education [WNCP], 2006, p.41) The table above provides a summary of Assessment as Learning as a part of a three-part assessment pyramid. (taken from WNCP, 2006, 85).
ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING
Assessment for learning, a type of formative assessment, is utilized by teachers in order to gain an understanding of their students’ knowledge and skills in order to guide instruction. Assessment enables teachers to determine steps in advancing student learning.
ASSESSMENT AS LEARNING
Assessment as learning, as previously mentioned, is also a formative assessment which focuses on teaching students’ the meta-cognitive processes to evaluate their own learning and make adjustments. Assessment guides and provides opportunities for each student to monitor and critically reflect on his or her learning and identify next steps. Each student’s thinking about his her learning is assessed. It also gives clarity about the strategies he/she uses to support or challenge that learning. Assessment ensures quality by improving accuracy and consistency of students self-reflection, self-monitoring and self-adjustment. Students record their own learning and improve it. Assessment provides each student with accurate, descriptive feedback that helps him/her develop independent learning habits.
ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING
Assessment of Learning is a summative assessment used primarily to compare students and report progress according to Earl (2003). Unit tests are a commonly used form of Assessment of Learning. The assessment helps the teachers and administrators to certify or inform the performance to parents or others. The students’ proficiency in relation to curriculum
learning outcomes are assessed and reported. Students’ key concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes related to the curriculum outcomes will be assessed. Assessment provides accurate, consistent and fair information regarding the performance of the students. With this information students can plan the next steps in their learning.
Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation, as we have read in Paper- IV of 2nd year, is being implemented in the form Formative Assessment and Summative Assessment.
- FEED-BACK AND REPORTING PROCEDURES
In language learning and teaching, varying types of feedback can be provided to students. As in other disciplines, feedback that motivates students’ language learning should receive particular attention. On practical grounds, feedback for motivation and language correction are a key concern for language educators.
Feedback can be defined from various perspectives. Based on Hattie and Timperley’s (2007) work, feedback can be defined as “information provided by an agent with respect to one’s performance or understanding” (p. 81). However, feedback also encompasses the consequences of performance.
There are different kinds of feed-back. Let’s discuss some of them which are very popular these days.
DIRECT CORRECTION FEED-BACK
Bitchener and Knoch (2010) claimed that direct feed-back provides for correction of linguistic form or structure at or near the linguistic error. They explained further that this feedback can be the crossing out of a word, phrase, or morpheme, the provision of grammar rules, or the oral clarification of written meta-linguistic explanations. To address oral performance, teachers may point out that the learners’ utterance is wrong. As such, they directly identify their students a specific point of error. (Carroll & Swain, 1993, as cited in Varnosfadrani & Basturkmen, 2009)
Some debates rose against grammar correction. Some researchers found grammar correction was not helpful (Sheppard, 1992; Truscott, 1999). To discover if learners benefit by having grammar errors corrected by their teachers, researchers have produced some interesting findings. For example, Leki (1991) found that ESL (English as a Second Language) students had wished that their writing teachers would have provided them direct feedback on their writing.
INDIRECT CORRECTION FEED-BACK
Implicit feedback or Indirect Correction Feed-back is defined as furnishing the type of error that has been made but not providing a correction (Bitchener & Knoch, 2010; Bitchener, Young, & Cameron, 2005). In their writing, Bitchener et al. (2005) claimed that the means of implicitly correcting errors could include underlining or circling an error and recording in the margin the number of errors in a given line. Coded feedback points to the exact location of an error, with the type of error involved indicated with a code. Bitchener et al. illustrated the use of coded feedback in correcting an English tense. For example, PS means an error in the use or form of the past simple tense. They (2005) defined uncoded feedback as “instances when the teacher underlines an error, circles an error, or places an error tally in the margin, but, in each case, leaves the student to diagnose and correct the error” (p. 193).
Among different types of corrective feedback, the recast was the most frequently used
in oral correction. Furthermore, adults benefited more than adolescents from recast in their learning of conditionals and relatives. The teacher’s corrective recast was found to be very effective in removing erroneous structures from the students’ language. Interestingly, Abdollahzadeh and Maleki (2011) stated that “Leaving learners’ errors unnoticed might result in the fossilization of erroneous structures; hence, they should not be neglected, instead learners’ errors should be corrected either on the spot as in this study or with delay” (pp. 64-65).