Dear readers, I promise you don’t want to miss out on this!
We’ve uploaded Part 1 of Chetan Bhagat’s appearance at the Third Policy Dialogue. You can see the video at http://www.youtube.com/user/Britishcouncilindia#p/c/182A295AA1364815/24/dS9kh3qeWYg
We’ll be uploading the final parts in the next few days, so stay tuned. And tell us what you think of Chetan’s address.
It was a pleasure watching the conference sessions live online yesterday. I urge those of you who wanted to attend the conference but could not, to use this facility provided by British Council to watch it live and even take part in it by adding comments. You comments may get discussed.
I tuned in for some of the sessions. Some- like, ‘building skills for employability’- were gripping as well as hilarious. Especially the speech by Manish Sabharwal; was it eloquence epitomized! Some were eye openers–Policy implications for English teaching and learning. It was quite informative.
‘Policy implications for English teaching and learning’ dealt a lot with scenario in schools in different parts of India. I guess good English teaching and learning in schools will lead to ‘building employability skills’ in the long run! This points to the lacuna we have in India in this area.
Isn’t that one of the reasons that makes ‘building employability skills’ a necessity now? I have heard private school principals lamenting about the difficulty they face in recruiting good teachers. They have to place the good teachers in high school so that the 10th grade results are not compromised. So most often the worst teachers end up in the primary section.
Rod Bolitho, Academic Director of Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE), raised many questions which I felt are very relevant.
Some questions, about the shortage of English teachers in India, are listed below.
- How attractive is teaching as a career in India in general?
- What is the reason behind the English graduates choosing fields other than teaching as profession?
- Is there any appropriate formulated initiative in India to raise the number of English teachers in training?
- Has the government decided what the probable number of teachers required to be trained is in order to meet the demand in, maybe, the next 10 years?
- Are there enough institutions training teachers?
Some others, about the quality of English teachers/education, are below.
- What is the minimum qualification for school teachers? Is there any standardisation of qualification for the primary school teachers teaching English across India?
- In some states the minimum qualification set for the teachers of English is far lower than the others. So is bad English being perpetuated through the system?
- What type of pre-service training do they undergo?
- What kind of training is going on in pre-service level and how practical is it?
- Are the pre-service training institutions calibrated completely against the needs of the teachers?
- Are the skills of the teacher educator the skills which are needed to produce methodologically and linguistically competent teachers?
What is your opinion on these issues? Please write in your comments, would love to hear your ideas.
We’ve all had a bit of time to digest David Graddol’s ‘tiny tome’ (not my quote) during the Third Policy Dialogue. If not, you can still view the recording of his presentation at http://www.britishcouncil.org.in/efponline/sessions/18.html
What I’d like to know is what does it mean to you. His statistics and conclusions may be new for an international audience, but is there anything new for an Indian audience?
What are your views?
In this session entitled ‘Managing the Silent Revolution’ the audience watched a video which showed how Activity Based Learning (ABL) has been implemented in schools in Tamil Nadu. We saw the teacher in a non-traditional role, not as the teacher standing as an authoritative figure at the front of the classroom, but as a facilitator of activities in which children were able to participate much more freely. Children were encouraged to work in groups and help each other, as well as monitor their own progress. The classroom scene was a refreshing change from visions of children sitting in rows listening to a teacher; here the role of the child is very much a participative one in which confidence and motivation are key to the learning process.
The film was a great start to the session on ABL, and will truly motivate teachers in other areas to learn from this project.
How could other schools implement ABL?
Alison Barrett and Duncan Wilson began the second day of the Third Policy Dialogue conference by asking two questions:
What does English language mean to you?
What do you think the English language means to people in your country?
What are your answers?
What does English mean to you?
What does English mean to the people in your country?
Hello everyone, my name is Stephen and I am managing English for Progress online. This is our, virtual, version of the Third Policy Dialogue. We’ve tried to make this ‘invitation only’ event interactive and open to a much wider audience with using blogs, twitter and live session web streams and recordings. We’d love to have your feedback on EfPonline, and your opinions on the key questions we will be debating in Delhi 18-20 Nov:
What are the challenges and opportunities of English in the education sector?
Will English continue to be the ‘language of business’?
Is English a driver for development or an obstacle?
Are you a teacher, a policy maker, a learner? What are your views?
Don’t miss David Graddol’s major new research ‘English India Next’ which we are introducing at the Third Policy Dialogue. A recording of his keynote address will be available on 19 Nov. See www.britishcouncil.org.in/efponline for details.