Teaching of English: A Plea for Practical Attitude by R. K. Singh (Indian Institute of Mines Dhanbad)
Smt. S. B. Gardi Department of English,
Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University Bhavnagar
M.A. Semester 3
English Language Teaching 1
Unit 1: The role of English in India
“To know another language well, to experience in personal immediacy the transparencies or opaqueness which link or divide it from one’s native speech – to do these things is, quite literally, to harvest a second self. It is to open a second window on the landscape of being.” ~ George Steiner quoted as R. Gefen 1985:26
- English in India is a potential national resource. It is important to develop tolerance and positive attitudes towards English. Practical approaches can be adopted in the areas of its teaching by making it more need based, flexible and innovative.
- English Language – lingua franca – link language
- National resurgence (reappearance), political awakening, cultural unification
- Socio-political historical reasons for growth of English in India
- Dominating language, language of power, utility of Interactional communication today
- Need to change our attitudes towards English
- English as a neutral language of communication without identifying with the UK or USA and
teach it in addition to the mother tongue as a means of widening the cultural and intellectual
horizons of our students.
“The development of sensitivity, not only to the processes of language acquisition and use, but above all, to the understanding and interpretation of human differences, essential to the mature evaluation of one’s own language and culture.”~ Savignon (1987:19)
- A plea for tolerance and mutual understanding
- The larger vision inspired by tolerance will always triumph over short sightedness.
- Language tensions
- First Language (L1)
- Second Language (L2)
- Foreign Language (L3)
- National Language
- Regional Languages
- Emphasizing the need for practical and accommodating attitudes besides the role of teachers of English - If we aim to teach well, and if we want to ensure that pupils should achieve a basic command of the language, then we must
- Encourage a teaching program that is responsive to their specific needs.
- Pursue such teaching activities from which pupils know they are learning something useful.
- Adopt a flexible teaching approach that results in success of the pupils
- The three didactic aims
1.Need-based teaching program responsive to their specific needs
2.Pursue such teaching activities from which pupils know they are learning something useful
3.Adopt a flexible teaching approach that results in success of the pupils
- The essence of communication is meaningful interaction
LSRW Skills enhancement
- Opportunities to use language in intelligent and relevant interaction
- Opportunities to think, to provide info. From their world of knowledge, to express, their personal opinions and to disagree with other people’s
- Actual requirements unless we are sensitive to their problems and are flexible and adaptable
- From reading serious texts to everyday conversations – not necessarily in RP or GA, but rather in different accents and varieties of educated Standard English
- The activities must relate to students’ intellectual awareness, by challenging their cognitive and creative ability and students should realize they are equally responsible for their learning, that it is enjoyable and useful.
- Motivating students to experience success, to make them believe it is possible. The negative feelings of futility of learning or teaching English have to be changed. Failure can be avoided.
- Teacher should keep in mind various approaches rather than a specific method
- Teacher should clearly state the demands pertaining to class work, objectives, class discipline, and home work.
- Big class with mix group of learners - spot independent learners – teach certain material as a whole – pair work – group tasks – activities.
- Teaching English should be seen as an opportunity.