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Effective English Teaching in Colleges

Effective English Teaching in Colleges

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Published by Joy Kirt
EFFECTIVE ENGLISH TEACHING IN COLLEGES- Need of the Hour with reference to colleges in India
EFFECTIVE ENGLISH TEACHING IN COLLEGES- Need of the Hour with reference to colleges in India

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Published by: Joy Kirt on May 07, 2009
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01/25/2011

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EFFECTIVE ENGLISH TEACHING IN COLLEGES- Need of the Hour
Joy Kirt SidhuHimalaya College of Education, Ranwar, Karnal
 Abstract 
Teaching of a language is an art, a skill and a science. Teaching and learning by its verynature is an interactive process which involves active participation of the college student in the actual process as opposed to the conventional passive lecture method.There are certain common problems in both teaching and learning of English languagewhich act as a barrier in colleges. The students come from diverse backgrounds and thecollege teaching has to be similarly modulated and adjusted to be able to cater to theneeds of the college level learner. Different boards of senior secondary school educationhave a well structured syllabus for English language teaching but actual teaching  practices being followed vary vastly at school levels depending on region to region and  family to family same as in colleges. The main difference being that at the school level  standardization is the main purpose of the board examination whereas at the collegelevel there is a fundamental paradigm shift in the expectations from both the teacher and the taught.Career and communication skills are directly interlinked and the onus falls inevitably onthe shoulders of the English language teachers particularly in the present global  scenario when the brand name of the college is a hallmark of competence. The studentshave to be prepared from many points of view. Interviews and group discussions are anintegral part of the selection process for all competitive examinations for which the syllabus at the college level does not cater to. Quality conscious institutions pay closeattention to youth development through well integrated activities drawn from many sources since the syllabus has its typical limitations handed over by the British as alegacy to cater to the human resource crunch in the lower level bureaucratic ladder. Effective teaching of English language depends on a fair command on all the four  fundamental factors of language learning like listening, speaking, reading and writing. It also depends on the fundamental principles of communication which is the basis of theteaching-learning process. Effective English teaching also depends on sound classroommanagement skills, knowledge of the subject area, the ability to explain well, anenthusiasm for the subject and an understanding of the students. Teaching and learning the language should empower and not weaken the spirit of the learner. It should inspireand awaken in the learner the desire to make language learning a lifelong process. Therole of the teacher has to be redefined as that of a facilitator, a coordinator and anorganizer who is both creative and sensitive to the needs of the diverse learners. Effectiveness of language teaching and learning has to be interpreted and evaluated according to many perspectives which need to be our area of focus in designing and interpreting the needs of the college level learner.
“To teach is to love.” Love for the subject, love for teaching and love for the learner, allthree combined together result in effective teaching-learning at all levels. “Thinking back 1
 
about my favorite, most inspiring, teachers, I have found that they are the ones who notonly have classroom management skills, know the subject area, and can explain well, butthose who have an enthusiasm for the subject and an enthusiasm for their students.”(Davis, 2009).
Why Teach English Language in Colleges?
English has emerged as a universal language since it is used in almost all parts of theglobe, thanks to the British colonial past by virtue of which they ruled the empire wherethe ‘sun never set’ thereby establishing a base for the language. A language with thisapplicability and outreach definitely brings together the divergent regions. The exampleof the North-South divide in India is a strong case in justification of English and the needfor learning and teaching it.India and as to that matter the entire world is broken up in tiny fragments of narrowregions and barriers. There are so many divisive forces at work that to have somethinglike a language to bring people closer is a great idea to aspire to and work for. Englishlanguage has also established itself as a language of technology, science and research. Noregional language has so successfully established itself as a language most suitable for scientific reporting and publishing. English language has broken down barriers of cultureand art as well and the evolution of English music and literature has definitely played a big role in bringing cultures and peoples together. English has by its adaptable natureacquired the stature of an international medium of communication and commerce.The computer systems and the entire IT industry owe a debt of gratitude to the Englishlanguage for its widespread applicability and usability. It has emerged as a language for the global citizens of the new age. The new age heralds an era of open communicationchannels and delimitation of narrow spaces.The most important reason and need of all is our survival in the modern scenario. Weneed to master this language among other skills to be able to command the attention of the world and aspire to be the world leaders we have every right to work and dream for.Mastery over the English language has definitely added value to our global presence andwe have to continuously monitor the latest changes and incorporate them in oueducational institutions for implementation so that we remain ahead of the game torecapture our place among the world leadership. 
Purpose and Aim of Education
2
 
According to Swami Vivekananda, the aim and purpose of education should be to “createin the learner the desire and the ability to serve mankind.” Every achievement andattainment has to have a purpose to make it fit as an object for attainment. “Gyan”,“Moksha” and “Nirwana” have long been the aims of education in the past. Every Karmahas been directed towards sublimation of self with the divinity,”Atmawith“Paramatma”, the divine cord which runs through us all and binds us in the bond of common brotherhood. The procedure to follow this is called “Dharma”. Indian thoughtand philosophy is very comfortable with the concept of brotherhood of man since ages.To fulfill and meet the edicts of education it becomes imperative that the learner on onehand is trained and made capable to serve humanity and on the other to have the desire todo so. Therefore education will have to do something to change the very behaviour of thelearner. To make the learner a productive and useful member of the society he inhabits isthen the aim of education.Language learning is needed to bring us all closer to each other and to have the ability tocommunicate with each other. The idea of brotherhood makes sense only when we beginto communicate with fellow beings. “Man is a social animal”, and has to abide by therules laid down by the society he lives in. To be able to understand the laid down rulesand laws man has to have the ability to understand and comprehend what transpiresaround him.
Problems in both teaching and learning of English language which act as a barrierin colleges
There are certain common problems in both teaching and learning of English languagewhich act as a barrier in colleges. The students come from diverse backgrounds and thecollege teaching has to be similarly modulated and adjusted to be able to cater to theneeds of the college level learner. They have to be prepared from many points of view.Effectiveness of language teaching and learning has to be interpreted and evaluatedaccording to many perspectives.
Career and communication skills
Career and communication skills are directly interlinked and the onus falls inevitably onthe shoulders of the English language teachers. Interviews and group discussions are anintegral part of the selection process for all competitive examinations for which thesyllabus at the college level does not cater to.3

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