- Books, Literature, and Writing
English Language Education: A second thought
Linguistic development in schools
As a child gets admitted into a school his language acquisition processes get a share of human control, and this share influences the processes a lot. Majority of the children stop proceeding with their language skills from their own and prefer to wait to see what their instructors tell them to do. They just do exactly as they are told and like to remain satisfied. In the exams too they continue this kind of satisfying themselves and their examiners and in this process they ensure good scores in the exams!
Quite unfortunately, this practice hinders their linguistic growth. The types and systems of the language classes impose some severe limitations to the expected growth. As a result , after long years of schooling only a small percentage of learners are seen to have developed a satisfactory language skills.
In schools grammatical skills are very often taught and drilled separately and the inseparable identity of grammar are not taken care of in works where learners make linguistic presentations. Learners learn and practice grammar very well, though they just miss the opportunity of enjoying making free language works. Though in a class, for severe limitations of objective realities, it is not always possible to work with every details, a little adjustment of our instructing attitude and philosophy may help the track well traversed.
Acquisition of Language
At the very beginning of a man's life language learning is a very spontaneous process that hardly needs any guided and directed efforts. In a society as a child grows up he goes through a long complicated involved multidimensional psychobiological process and he acquires familiarity and fluency in his mother tongue within the first few years of his life. These changes in learning and conditionin happen very rapidly to prepare the child as an individual of the society. He acquires his mother tongue, becomes fluent in expressing his thoughts and ideas and language of all kinds of expressions. All these, though major in importance, happens in a minor expanse of time. With this beforehand preparation a child begins schooling where he is carefully guided through well prepared curricular norms. For more than a decade he participates in classes, undergoes evaluation tests and comes out getting graduated. Very often it is seen that his presentation in English is not up to the mark. This situation is seen to be worse when English is a second language. If we follow the development of language in a child's early life as well as in his schooling years we would be able to pinpoint the underlying causes, and certainly the ensuing steps would help much to change the situation.
Literature and Language
In a school several subjects are taught. Though ' language' is a function to be found expressed in the works of all subjects, the learners usually take it for a single subject and they begin to learn to give emphasis only on that subject as far as language is concerned. At least our testing methods help them do so.
In many parts of the world exposing young learners to literature of English is becoming minimized , instead, they are encouraged to do discrete works in the form of gap filling and the like. Here they are deprived of the flavor and creative artful works of literature and this trend further weakens their eagerness for language excellence. They do not grow the tastes for literature in due time and can hardly appreciate the value of literature and the excellence of language works.This outcome is very disappointing and we can not blame our young learners for their setbacks. They are always on spirit and run at full speed on the track .
Functions of language and subject teachers
We are now passing an age when the works of language teachers in schools need to be reorganized . They need to feel with greater importance the fact that they are there in the classes not only to teach them one single or double papered language subject, they are there to monitor their overall growth of expressions in all subjects. So from the instructors' side ,presentations from a varied range of subjects upholding the artful use of language works always encourages the learners to try harder with their language. If the learners find that they need to show their language skills in all subjects, they begin to change their behavior enthusiastically and the consequence becomes an optimistic trend encouraging the instructors themselves.
Again , the subject teachers also have a lot to see and monitor the developments of the learners' language works and presentation. They have many things which they can share with the language teachers. They may report and suggest ways for improving the language works of the learners. Taking the feedback from the subject teachers the language teachers can rearrange their language schedules with a view to making expected effective change in the performances of learners. Helping the learners to grow logical thinking and presentation in their subjects is one of the major areas they can work in.
Where and why is the second thought
The weakness is there in the schools because despite long years of attending classes at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels individuals are showing very low level of performance in English. We , Therefore, must come forward not with a single unique strategy everywhere, but with a number of flexible strategies and run our school systems in a way that makes room for prompt adoption and design of means for achieving always a greater success.
We must have several methods working side by side and be ready to adjust the methods taking feedbacks from the performances of the learners in the classes and as well as in the evaluations. We must give up the idea that 'one method fits all' and we all may hardly need to work with a single method since the situations are in a good variance with one another.
Chalking out a number of strategies is indeed a formidable job that demands a meticulous analytical works with the findings from the diagnostic and achievement tests of the learners at their various stages of learning and growth.
We must do all these things to get the weakness minimized and vanished.