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Learner-centred English textbooks from this year

Staff Reporter



TRAINING TEACHERS: English language course for primary school teachers in progress. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

KOZHIKODE: The State Government textbooks for English taught in sixth and seventh standards from this academic year and based on the new curriculum are learner-centred, rather than teacher-centred.

`The Cognitive Interactionist Approach,' which had been adopted by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) while preparing these textbooks, tries to strike a balance between the `linguistic autonomy of the learner on the one hand and the social interaction on the other'.

``There is a change in approach and material selection in the new textbooks. The material selection is such that it correlates to the `emotion orbit' of students. The approach has been such that the emphasis is on language as a phenomenon. The three types of learning--cooperative, collaborative and discovery--are emphasised. The cooperative component is there when the students learn in groups. Also, there should be collaboration between the teacher and students. The projects and assignments are framed to evoke discovery learning, for the students to learn/discover something new,'' says S. Ravindran Nair, assistant professor of English, SCERT.

``Now the teacher is encouraged to teach with his/her own bit of English, rather than wait for the teacher to train themselves,'' says R. Raghuchandran, tutor, District Centre for English, Kozhikode. The new curriculum takes care of the development of `multiple intelligence' (conceived by Howard Gardner) by introducing a slew of classroom-based activities.

``Mistakes are not pointed out as it affects the learning process,'' points out Mr. Raghuchandran. District Centre for English (DCE), Kozhikode, one of the many district centres envisaged by Union Ministry of Human Resources Department to improve teaching of English in the country, has been conducting workshops and training programmes based on the concepts of the new curriculum. A ten-day in-service training programme in English Language Teaching for primary teachers began at the DCE on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ravindran Nair said the Government had tried to revitalise the teaching of English in the State.English is being introduced from second standard orally and as an academic subject in third standard. He said that NCERT is thinking of dropping examinations till eighth standard.

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