#46, Research Paper: ‘Analysis of Responses of Learners in the Learning Resource Centre’ by Dr. Ravi Bhushan
By Tarun Patel
Analysis of Responses of Learners in the Learning Resource Centre (Language Labs) at Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidayalaya, Khanpur Kalan (Sonipat), Haryana
By Dr. Ravi Bhushan, Assistant Professor & Head, Learning Resource Centre, Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidayalaya Khanpur Kalan (Sonipat), Haryana.
Learning Resource Centre at Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidayalaya, Khanpur Kalan (Sonepat), Haryana was established in August 2007. This paper raises the following issues:
1. Are learning resource centers successful/failure.
2. f they are successful, what and how much learners benefit from it?
3. If they are failures, what are the reasons that make the learning resource centre unviable.
This paper reports on the performance of thirty learners (30) over a period of 15 hours in a Learning Resource Centre (Language Lab).The data in Learning Resource Centre was collected at two stages i.e. at the Ist hour and at the 15th hour, when the learners leave the learning resource centre. The interpretation of the data together with questionnaires and structured interviews with learners reveals the following:
A. There is a sense of fear at the beginning of the use of learning resource centre.
B. Fear gives way to cautious reciprocation to what the learning material demands.
C. Progressively learners understand the advantages of the learning resource centre and begin to like it and learn from it.
Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidayalaya, Khanpur Kalan (Sonipat), is a young women’s university, established by the government of Haryana in November 2006. It became a sub-center of the University of Cambridge in August 2007. The prime motto, rather the fundamental vision of the university is to empower and add value to the lives of women/girl students. One of the means to achieve this grand objective is through improving the communication skills of the students, grooming them for better job opportunities in their future careers.
There are approximately 3000 girl students enrolled in the different courses run by the university. The good thing is that proficiency in English language has been made compulsory for all of them. Teaching of English is divided in two parts. On the one hand, in order to cater for their aesthetic sensibilities, conventional items like prose, poetry, fiction etc are taught in a classroom. On the other hand, to hone their communication abilities, training is imparted through learning resource centre.
Objectives of Learning Resource Centre:
- To improve communication competency of the learners.
- To prepare the target learners for job market.
- To prepare the target learners for international certificate courses like Business English Certificate.
Three fundamental issues pertaining to the viability of Learning Resource centers:
A. Are Learning Resource Centers successful or failures:
Undoubtedly language resource centers are successful. At least language resource centre at Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidayalaya, Khanpur kalan (Sonipat), is a grand success. In terms of proficiency enhancement of any language, the role of language resource centre is paramount. It gives learners a structured pattern of language acquisition. The paraphernalia makes the whole process standardized and easy to acquire. Language resource centre at Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidayalaya, Khanpur kalan (Sonipat), is a success because this is the first of its kind and the first instance for the learners to learn English this way. The response is overwhelming. The data shows that once the learners come out of the language resource centre, they try to identify themselves with the speakers and the dialogues they come across while in the language resource centre. The data indicate that after the learners put in certain number of hours in a language resource centre, there is a marked improvement in their pronunciation.
B. If Learning Resource Centers are successful, what and how much learners benefit from them?
It goes without saying that learners are greatly benefited from a language resource centre. The difference between the two stages i.e. pre and post language resource centre is quite obvious. It clearly indicates that language resource centre gives a tremendous ignition to the desire of a learner to speak English. The learner’s accent, pronunciation, stress, tone etc are controlled and modified according to the standard pattern.
In order to analyze the success of a language resource centre, I have collected the data of 30students. These 30 students were selected at random and they were observed over a period of 15 hours. The comparison was made between the stage when they just started using the language resource centre and the stage they reached at they end of the 15th hour.
The procedure adopted for collecting such data is as following:
- Listening for specific information test was administered.
- Students were asked to listen and were made to respond to the questions given.
- A list of words spoken in Received Pronunciation was transmitted for listeners.
- Then they were asked to repeat the pronunciation.
- Whatever was spoken by the learners, it was recorded and listened by the teacher.
- The tests were repeated once again, the responses were once again recorded and corrected.
- This way all the responses were compared over a period of time.
- It was found that there was a marked change in the pronunciation, stress and intonation.
Based on the above test, it can be concluded that even the slow learners perform very well when they are exposed to learning resource centre. Because in a learning resource centre the individual space allotted to each student gives enough opportunity to a learner to feel confident to make mistakes with out being ridiculed by others.
C. If learning resource centers are failures, what are the reasons that make the learning resource centre unviable?
Learning resource centers are not failures but there are certain limitations which at times hamper the smooth and targeted performance of a learning resource centre.
The limitations faced by the learning resource centre at BPS Mahila Vishwavidayalaya, Khanpur Kalan are varied; a few of these are as follows.
- The first and foremost problem is that of uninterrupted power supply. At times the electricity supply is so low that it becomes totally impossible to run any system.
- Faulty equipment dampens the whole process.
- The demand for English learning is so high that it is in fact very difficult to accommodate each and every student of the university. Moreover teaching/non teaching staffs too want to come to the learning resource centre.
- The trained manpower/teachers are not very large in number which at times affects the quality of instruction.
- Computer literacy of the students is very poor, which is a stumbling block in the handling of learning resource centre paraphernalia.
- At times many functions of the teacher’s console do not work properly, which defeats the very purpose of smooth transference of data from the teacher to the learners.
It becomes imperative to carry out a comparative study of teaching through learning resource centre and conventional mode. It is observed that there are certain advantages of conventional teaching which are really not covered under teaching through learning resource centre.
Advantages of conventional teaching:
- Eye contact is maintained between the teacher and the student. Teaching is synchronized with the student’s mind. Immediate remedial action such as repeating the material already taught or altering the pace of teaching can be executed.
- Doubts on the part of the student are immediately cleared by the teacher.
- The teacher does not spend time grappling with technology.
- Rapport and bonding develops between the teacher and the student through regular face to face interactions in class. The teacher acts as a role model for the student, thereby enhancing the learning process.
Based on this comparative analysis of two types of teaching of English, some questions were asked to the students in the form of a structured interview; a few of them are as following:
- Do you feel the need of learning English?
Response: Single answer was, yes.
- Do you consider learning resource centre, a success or failure?
Response: Definitely, a success.
- Are you satisfied with the learning material used in a learning resource centre?
Response: the response was mixed, 60% said yes and 40% were in a dilemma
- Are you satisfied with the pronunciation and the teaching style of the teachers?
Response: Again the response was mixed.
e. Do they feel confident in using the learning resource centre equipment?
Response: Gradually fear gives way to smooth handling of the equipment.
Based on the interpretation of the data together with the questionnaires and the structured interviews with learners reveal the following:
- There is a sense of fear at the beginning in the use of learning resource centre.
- Fear gives way to cautious reciprocation to what the learning material demands.
- Progressively learners understand the advantages of the learning resource centre and begin to like it and learn from it.
Though, initially the students are hesitant and afraid of even touching the state of the art learning resource centre paraphernalia, but gradually it was observed that the learners adopt the technology and started participating in the process of learning English through learning resource centre. They respond and reciprocate favorably to the demands of the learning material. The responses of the learners indicate that, learning resource centre really helps in expediting the whole process of teaching English language. The learners show a marked change in their behavior towards learning of English skills, especially listening and speaking.
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