Importance of English Language Teaching in India
By Prof (Dr) Shefali Bakshi, Deputy Director, Amity School of Languages
Since the colonization of India, English became the language of our country and is soon expanding. The teaching of English is gaining importance in every area today. With all its countless, instructional objectives like the aural-oral skills of listening and speaking, graphic skills of reading and writing, appreciation, etc, it has become one of the most difficult subjects to teach in the Indian situation. The complexities of the skills involved, alienation and other problems such as differences in the levels of initiation of instruction, differences in the socio-economic status, differences in urban and rural background, scarcity of teachers well-versed in content matter as well as the methodology of teaching, lack of adequate aids and instructional material, hamper in their own way the successful handling of English in the classroom. The teaching of English whether for beginners or for the advanced learners has been a challenging pursuit for the teachers of English especially the area that cover the acquisition of four skills of language – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
Proper training of teachers is of great importance in improving the quality of English education. We need to understand the ethos, culture and the present Indian situation so as to have an effective methodology of developing a second language in our learners. One needs to conduct workshops, training programs, in-service training to our ESL teachers. The process of the training program in ELT will be discussed in detail with relevant, practical examples.
A One / two day training can begin with an Icebreaking session on ‘The Teaching of English Language’, in which the teachers can express their views about the English language. This also gives an insight to the resource person about the level of the group that he/she is dealing with. Integration of skills is a very important technique in the teaching of any language. No skill can be taught in isolation. The four primary skills and how to develop Vocabulary and Grammar among the students will be discussed with relevant examples.
ESL training becomes very important as the work scenario is moving towards a broader perspective, involving a global output.
There is a constant demand for ESL teachers due to the increase in English speakers globally. There is a marked shift in the balance of economic power and therefore the need of English in the new rising economies. Thus more people will need to acquire a high proficiency in English.