LEARNING AND ACQUISITION
Learning and acquisition are two different things in the teaching learning process although they are used synonymously by some educationists. We acquire the first language but learn the second language like English in the class room. But most teachers and the academicians don't discriminate between these two aspects of teaching learning process. That is the reason why most students in the schools in India where the medium of instruction is the mother tongue are not able to acquire English. They are not able to write or speak a sentence in English even after becoming graduates or postgraduates. There is something wrong with the system of teaching English in the Indian context. I feel that there should be change in the methods, materials and the mindset of the teachers who teach English. I think that we should switch over from out dated structural and behaviorist approaches to the constructivist approach.
Unless the students learn and think in English as they learn their first language like Telugu or Hindi, they will never acquire English. The Teachers of English should create some simulated English atmosphere in the class room and they should embrace discourse oriented pedagogy. Because language exists only in the form of discourses. Unless the teaching of English becomes a natural non-conscious entity acquiring English becomes a distant dream for most of its aspirant. In spite of their learning English for nearly 12 years their command of on English is negligible.
I think the British Council should ponder over this issue and impress upon the best English teaching institutes like central Institute of English and foreign languages (English and foreign language university) Hyderabad, India and the regional institute of English South India, Bangalore which prepare textbooks provide in-service and pre-service training to the teachers of English in south India and all over India to prepare textbooks which are based on constructivist approach and train the teachers so that they adapt themselves to the constructivist approach. Unless and until that is done Indian students acquiring proficiency in English is like a mirage in a desert.