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PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING

Dont try to fix the students, fix ourselves first. The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior. When our students fail, we, as teachers, too, have failed. - Marva Collin. Introduction The importance of English in the global set up is increasing day by day. The visible impact of this presence of English is that it is today being demanded by everyone at the very initial stage of schooling. Many reasons contributed to the dominance of English. For example, we use it for communication between people around the world, and it is the language of modern times. English is also the language of science and technology. There is no doubt that, the English is language of communication between the people with different cultures. It is also the language of computers that help to communicate with the people around the world through Internet technology and e-mail. People who know English can deal with the Internet, which is regarded as an information and communications revolution. Proficiency in English language helps one to explore the labour market around the world. English is an important requirement in most government and private

jobs. It is quite clear that English has become a necessity today needed in different fields of life. Lakshadweep has a well developed educational system with good infrastructure. But it is observed that the standard of English of the students and the people of Lakshadweep is not up to the mark. Against this back drop, the present study tries to explore the issues related with English teaching in the Island. The study take the case of Minicoy island. I. Objective To study the issues related with English language teaching in Minicoy Island and to give suggestions and recommendations for improving the quality of English teaching in the Island II. Methodology The study was based on primary data. A questionnaire survey was conducted during December 2010-March 2011. Total sample size was 36 which were collected through random sampling from LKG to Plus Two classes. Besides, I also included the teachers who have been helping the village students in personal capacity/private

coaching/private tuition in the survey. The study also used documents of the schools where the survey was conducted. Data were collected from Govt. Senior Secondary School, Govt. Senior Basic School, Govt. Junior Basic School, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Minicoy, Govt.

Nursery

School Minicoy, Peace Pre-School and from two village

tuition centers.

III. English language teaching and learning in Minicoy: Reflections from the field It is revealed from the survey that English language teaching and learning has been facing many problems from the availability of qualified teachers from the same discipline and access and usage of technology. Only a small number of teachers are trained in English language .Most of the teachers are having degrees in different subjects other than English as the main. They studied English as a subsidiary subject. So, it affects the quality of English teaching. Majority of the respondents surveyed opined that they have communication problems and difficulty with teaching English grammar. Though the general opinion is that the class room conditions for teaching English is fairly good, some opined that class rooms are overcrowded. At the publication and blogging front also teachers have to do a lot, for the survey reveals that the effort in this direction is almost nil. The use of audio visual tools is now confined to nursery classes only. It should be really used in all classes.

Teachers are also not getting any opportunity to undergo any

specialized training in teaching of English. It will help a lot to bring about necessary changes in mode of teaching which in turn will be of great benefit to the students. The teachers felt that all the promotion system (1 to VIII) in vogue now is doing harm to the standard of students in general, particularly in English. Since, within a short span of time CBSE texts will be used for all classes. The teachers think that they need more training and proper guidance in teaching these texts. Similarly regarding the qualification of Primary School Teachers handling English is also a matter of concern, for vast majority of teachers are not fully qualified. The Primary school Teachers will benefit if an English Forum is formed and imparts training, conducts discussions, seminars etc at least once in a month with the help of PGTs and TGTs in JNV and GSSS. It is disheartening to note that even though most of the teachers are residing near the Public Library only 5% of the teachers have given membership in the library. It is found that the performance of the teachers in JNV and the methods and approaches in Peace Preschool to be good. Only if proper care is taken from the very beginning learning of any language, especially English, which now enjoys a global status, will become smooth and sound. It is high time to take steps to improve the quality of English teaching and learning in order to tap the global opportunities.

IV. Conclusion: Suggestions and recommendations

I.

To improve the standard of English the foundation itself should be made stronger and better. For this the appointment of qualified teachers with specialization in English [B. Ed (English)] for teaching at the primary school level should be made obligatory.

II.

There may be some primary school teachers who have ability and special interest in teaching English. Such teachers may be identified and trained at National Level English Institutions like EFL Hyderabad for handling English in primary level. This will go a long way to improve standard of English among students.

III.

It may also be noted that English is taught only from 9th standard onwards by trained teachers with specialization in English. Such specialized teachers should only be allowed to handle classes from 8th standard onwards.

IV.

Another vital matter to be considered seriously is the necessity for providing English newspapers, magazines and journals, for the curriculum itself demands extra reading of such materials. It will be highly desirable to make available the reference books suggested in text books, so that in the long run

it will certainly help students. V. According to the NCF-2005 the curriculum especially for lower classes should have a strong link with the local environment, culture and life. Unfortunately in the primary school text books need improvement / change in the light of the above factors. VI. In view of the need to teach Phonetics giving special stress to the pronunciation, reading and even comprehension by listening, the setting up of language labs in each islands to begin with and later on in each schools will be of great value and use. Regular and proper use of language labs will facilitate a better handling of English in every way by the students and of course the teachers too will help to list speaking and use of English almost near to the native speakers. Therefore setting up of language labs may be taken up on a priority basis. Proper training at regular intervals for English teachers will be of immense value for promoting the standard of English at the school level in general.