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Simpler textbooks for English from next year

Special Correspondent

Books have been made less dense for easier access


They are meant for first to fourth standard students

Texts have been made student and teacher friendly


Bangalore: English textbooks for students in standards one to four, which have been simplified and made more student and teacher friendly, will be introduced in government schools from the next academic year.

The Director of the Regional Institute of English (RIE), South India, P. Mani, said that portions of the old textbooks, which were considered “dense” — either because they were too long or the language used was complicated — had been simplified. The texts had been rewritten by a committee constituted by the Department of State Educational Research and Training in consultation with the RIE. A survey was conducted earlier to detect areas of difficulty for teachers and students, he said.

Same focus

Prof. Mani clarified that the texts had retained the “communication-oriented approach” as in the old textbooks. English would continue to be taught as a “living language”, with a degree of autonomy to teachers to choose the most appropriate methods and material, rather than as a text-driven exercise.

More training

“Teachers are enthusiastic about teaching English, but it is a challenge for them to understand the nuances of teaching English as a second language. This requires additional training,” said Prof. Mani. He added that the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan had activated its training wing to help the teachers.

English was introduced as a subject from standard one in Karnataka in all Kannada-medium government schools in 2007 in an effort to make the schoolchildren more competent in the use of the language, given the nature of the job market today. Though this decision faced some opposition from Kannada activists, the move was welcomed by parents and students.

Seminar

Earlier, addressing a press conference here on Monday, Prof. Mani said the institute would hold a seminar from February 10 to 12 on the theme of “Curricular Interventions and Classroom Implications” in which teachers from all southern States would participate.

The seminar will focus on innovative practices and developments taking place in the English language curriculum at the global as well as local levels. The seminar, to be inaugurated by Jnanpith Award-winning writer U.R. Ananthamurthy, will also focus on the application of technology in classroom practices.

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