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A comparative study between Personality Development Approach and technical approach This paper is a research on the English teaching methodology used in Indian schools in the state of Andhra Pradesh. I have chosen my place of study as the West Godavari District. In this district, the students are a mix education backgrounds from Telugu and English mediums. The reason to choose this area is that the students of this area are found to be a step behind the other districts in their communication skills, and especially in speaking English.
This study mainly focuses on the kind of teaching methodology used and the curriculum standard and the implementation. Major reason is that a teacher is trained only for 9 to 12 months, within which a potential teacher spends almost 6 months in listen9ing to lectures on teaching. Teaching is a professional course and the class room lecture method is not the pedagogy to teach or train a potential teacher. Students who come to B’Ed (Bachelor of Education) are those who are not as much capable students as doctors because the teaching profession is poorly paid in the fastest growing market based economy of India.
Due to the lack of high package incomes in this area. Brilliant students are not daring to look at teaching as a profession at all. A research has been recently done on the MBA students (Master of Business Administration)of DNR college of Bhimavaram and tried to find how many students among the 60 final year students will be interested to turn to management teaching. The research showed that 90% of the students are not willing to look at teaching as their profession and for the remaining 10 percent of the students stated teaching as their last professional option.
When the reasons were studied, the first and foremost reason is that the pay packages are attractive in teaching and the skill requirement to teach is high when compared to marketing or to work as an executive in some corporate. Trainers of the teachers are also not paid attractively. They are paid only the salaries of a senior teachers. So all the great teachers are attracted by the corporate education institutions and the government is not able to retain great teachers in its fold.
It is important the expertise and experience of these great teachers can be used for training the other teachers. All the teacher training colleges are government aided or government institutions. The amount of input for preparing the great teachers need talent pool to be retained by the government. The facts show that there are at least 50000 skilled labor flying abroad for teaching profession to countries abroad as African and Arabian countries are attracting talented teachers with attractive packages.
Problem Identification: The problem I had at hand is many of the students are not able to understand how to translate their conceptual skills into operational skills in the work place. Being management students if they are unable to utilize their conceptual skills in real life situations they will be no match for the corporate requirements. The problem lies in how to make them conduct live projects * or operational workouts * by using concept skills. To meet the demands of the demand theory I must concentrate on the data to be collected.
At that time what I needed most is “QUALITY DATA”. The quality of data lies in its completeness, its consistency, its timeliness and accuracy. Qualitative Research involves collection, study and use of variety of empirical materials such as Case Study, Personal Experience, Life Story, Interview and observational techniques. Hence I have chosen a live sample of students in my classroom and empirical method called Personal Experience. Inorder to have a clear picture of the situation I asked them to narrate their problems in an “Essay” format.
Essay format makes sense because the person in trouble will have an opportunity to explain himself properly. Soft Skills Classroom is a place where students work towards development of self and also participate in activities like interviewing each other and analyzing strengths and weaknesses. Teaching English through Soft Skills methods is the most successful method because it is done in a systematic manner by challenging the learner to grow up to meet different challenges and acquire skills required to accomplish certain tasks.
In this approach needs are identified through teaching a skill at a time and see how much of it students possess and suggest on where they need to improve Some of the most used methods in soft skills approach are Reading seminars, public speaking, group discussion, JAM and J2M and presentations. These methods can turn an Individual into one creative and active participator in Group activities. This is more important to the current society as the employees are often expected to work in teams
Industry Specific approach: Knowledge of the student in English Domain Knowledge and sector or industry based English (jargon) English for Hotel Management students and English for engineering students are the books that are popular among the students of this particular sector. This is a great way of making a student desire for English learning, as the domain is often the area of his/her interest, the student will pay interest to English classes. . Among the above list of methods, Soft Skills method is leading the path to success in enhancing the employability of the students.
And there is a need for reducing the academic burden on the student so that there is time for developing his/her skills In Conclusion it is recommended that the whole task of teaching English language be a part of all the classes from the KG’s to PG’s and there should be active researches taking place to build a curriculum with a step by step development approach towards abilities of the students in a systematic manner. There is lack of clarity for the student about why this particular lesson has come at this level (grade) or at this particular point or juncture.
The purpose of that particular design is also vague for the student. Recently the syllabus of English at Undergraduate level has undergone so many changes and some of the south Indian state universities introduced courses on listening and speaking apart from the regular literature text books. The current curriculums can be made better in the point of view of enhancing the employability. Then it suggests some of the need based changes to be essentially made to make Indian students more employable. Essay writing as a method: Also I have chosen essay writing as a tool to enhance the skills of the employees.
I did offer them a topic of their choice on which they have to write an essay and I have asked them to present it effectively on paper such that it reflects exactly what the writer wants to pose. This assignment was given with the intention to identify the writing abilities of students and their expression levels, communication ability and language skills. Critical Incident essay method: On a recent visit to a IX standard class of a high school I thought of identifying the problem solving skills of those students.
Hence I have applied critical incident essay method in which he/she has write about a critical incident he/she has faced in real life and how he/she has handled the situation. Critical incident essays are very much in vogue presently because they present the evaluator with an insight into the writer’s personality. By reading the essay the evaluator will be able to tell the personality type of the writer, his analyzing abilities, his presence of mind in tackling the situation and decision making skills.
Surprisingly after evaluation many of the respondents on whom the research activity was carried presented fresh and genuine answers. Soft Skills and Reading ability Test: Because the study is chosen in a rural area reading ability in English is am obstacle for many students. The use of a soft skills and a reading ability class helps the students in improving their communication skills, both oral and written skills in many ways. I have developed a small exercise in which the classes of twenty students have to come and read a passage from text book in a specific time period.
The objectives for this exercise are the passage read by the student has to be i. audible, ii. Understandable iii. Fluent During the presentation other students in the class will be asked to listen keenly to test their listening ability. Also if they do not understand anything that is read they can ask the presenter to represent the topic. After the presentation the audience will be scribbling pads to reproduce what is being read to them. I have used this exercise as a method to enhance the presentation/reading skills and the listening and reproduction skills of the others. Teachers Remarks:
After a series of three sessions each of two hour duration I have enquired the effectiveness of the exercise with the Class teacher and the head master of the school. The class teacher remarked there is a marked improvement in the children’s listening abilities and reciprocating to the questions asked after the third session. She noted that atleast 30 % of the weaker students are listening better and are trying to compete with other people. Similarly I have enquired with the head master regarding the conduct and use of the program he was very positive with the results observed.
When enquired specifically what would be the future modifications he would like to make in the program and customize to the needs of his students he said he would like to add 1) a writing component to add impetus to the program and also I have recommended to improve their oral skills development a reading and accent program of 15 days duration in which concepts like phonetics can be taught to the pupils. Peer Opinion & Findings: “As a soft Skills trainer I would say that the challenging part of executing a live project or an operation workout would like some mentioned below.
I had to grab student by hand and practically show him how to do these workouts and projects just because he is not psychologically prepared for it. Student is rarely concerned about the application part of his studies Students are often pre-occupied with their examination performance Unwillingness of the student to get into interaction with the strangers Student not willing to sweat out (work hard) and their readiness to take the easy path. Student’s limitations like language barrier and stage fear.
My observation in this process is that the right approach comes from the right attitude of the student. The teacher needs to deal more with mentoring than teaching in this small town where students are not much aware of the corporate environment. The teacher also needs to leave the text book and look for teaching material outside as theory does not suffice anymore. ” Mr. J. Jaya Prakash (Soft Skills Trainer). Findings : During the research activity I have visited nearly 13 schools in the district I have chosen for study.
In all these schools I have found because of the existing government policies not many are accepting teaching jobs, in fact my study reveals that almost 30% of the teaching positions are vacant. Because I have done the study primarily in government schools I understand that low pay scale offered in government and the plenty of opportunities existing in corporate are some of the factors influencing the poor employment in teaching. Also In some schools primary facilities and teaching aids are missing. Many of the teachers were not even aware of the methodologies they can use to make an interesting reading.
Often when professionals like us visit these schools for conducting programs such as this it is a god sent opportunity for the school managements as well as the students. Simply they are not lacking in talent but in opportunities. The rural India thrives on an intricate chemistry of its own what we can do for its sustenance is offer a helping hand for its growth and survival. Suggestions: I would like to offer my own thoughts as recommendations in this context. I still believe that corporate in India have a huge role to play in uplifting the educational standards in the rural India.
Corporate needs to participate and conduct student development and empowerment workshops in schools simply to let the students and the teaching fraternity understand the corporate needs. Also by doing so the students will understand the practical applicability of the concepts learnt in the class room and they will enjoy the lessons because they will be able to understand the essence of all the learning they do. Once a student is encouraged to understand this important piece of information he/she will continue to do so in the future.
Preparation of Action Plan: Student & Teacher combined together can plan on the action process such as i. Task ahead ii. Prioritizing iii. Scheduling iv. Accomplishing. Conclusion: I would like to conclude that it corporate participation in conduct and evaluation of academics especially in the rural areas will make education more interesting. This can be done in the four ways suggested above. References A. P. R. Howatt, Howatt, H. G. Widdowson, A History of English Language Teaching – by – Foreign Language Study – 2004 – 417 pages
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