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?
In the parallel session, ‘In-service and Pre-service English Language Teacher Education’, the room split into two groups to discuss the best way forward for in-service and pre-service teacher education.
One recomendation that came out was that Teacher Educators should come from schools and not from institutes or universities. They should be good teachers with a lot of practical experience and not traditional academics with doctorate degrees. What do you think?
Who is going to select these teachers? How to select them?
Should teachers be allowed to nominate themselves?
How do we replace the good teachers who we take out to become teacher educators?
Your comments please.
Stephen Jenner, Deputy Head Corporate Training, British Council India, poses this question as one of the parallel speakers for the Session ‘Meeting the Recruitment Challenge’.
Stephen stresses the need for a global benchmarking tool and suggests the CEF, or rather ‘CF’ as it is more commonly being referred to.
Stephen summarises the BPO recruiter’s daily challenge:
1. I need people with good English, but what does that mean?
2. What exactly are the communication skills I need for this specific process?
3. What do I do with borderliners?
4. How do I transform new recruits into first class employees?
We would love to hear your ideas, suggestions and answers to these questions! Keep your comments coming in…
Som Mittal, president of NASSCOM, speaks at the Third Polcy Dialogue as part of the first panel discussion – English Next India: Policy implications for English teaching and learning.
Som believes using the labels 1st, 2nd and 3rd language is wrong and wonders why we can’t just use the term ’languages ‘ like we do with other subjects, such as sciences. Should equal importance be given to L1, L2 and L3? What do you think?
The panel discussion is getting lively. Watch it live or recorded online!
Among the many fascinating statistic’s in David Graddol’s address last night,one comment resonated with me, and with many others if my conversations at the reception that followed were typical. Any programme is only as good as the teachers on the ground. Teachers sometimes attend training at the start of a new initiative but are then left alone to get on with it.
In Sri Lanka, there is a network of 30 Regional English Support Centres (RESCs) with well trained and committed staff who act as mentors to teachers at the local level. The more I interact with the RESC staff the more impressed Iam.
Is there such a netwrork in other places that provides continuing in-service support to teachers and is it well supporgted from the centre?
There has been an awful lot of talk about c ontent and language integrated learning (CLIL) over the last few years and a number of well publicised initiatives around the world. More recently there has been a reversal in policy in Malaysia on CLIL. Is this the beginning of the end or just teething problems?
What does English mean to you?
What does English mean to the people in your country?
I’m Seamus and I’m a Senior Training Consultant for Project English based in Sri Lanka. I’ll be blogging my way through the third policy dialogue giving you my impressions and talking to other delegates and giving you theirs too.
I’m looking forward to hearing about David Graddol’s research for English Next India and the debate around his findings. I’m particularly interested in how this might relate to Sri Lanka and will be talking to the Sri Lanka delegation to get their reactions.