Syllabus and the text book for a subject
Keeping the needs and aspirations of the learners in view, the curriculum designers frame the syllabus for a given subject which eventually turns out be a reader, course-book or the text book. The text book comes into the hands of the teacher who most times consider it a magic wand. some teachers consider it a crutch without which they become inoperative and crippled.
I feel that both the syllabus and the texts are mere pretexts to run the schools or colleges. The success of a teacher depends more on his efficiency and creativity rather than the syllabus or text book. There is no guarantee that the same syllabus gives the same result to all the learners. The syllabus is always emerging. What the curriculum designers perceive might be different from what actually emerges in the mind of each and every student in any class. As a teacher and trainer I try to uncover the syllabus rather than cover it. If time permits, I always go beyond the text. Teaching learning process is something which rotates from teacher to students and students to teachers.
As a textbook writer, I read the objectives of a text very thouroughly and plan my lesson accordingly. The process is more important than the product. I consider the text only an aid and I go beyond the text so as to make my students reach the minimum levels of learning (MLL) or the desired academic standards. Whatever might be the syllabus or the text books, I see to it that most students will be able to speak English well, write the written discourses like dialogues, have some coherently grammatical competence and to do the project work in the stipulated time. I am of the opinion that a teacher cant do justice to his/her students if he depends too much on the text book and tries to complete the syllabus in a hurry just for so called revision. A unit well taught is worth 3 units completed without fulfilling the desired objectives.
These are the ways in which I try to uncover the syllabus in the given period of time.
Class room English or the teacher's talk
A teacher can use live and informal English while transacting his business of completing a lesson. He/she should neither speak in mother-tongue nor allow his/her students to speak it. The teacher must use simple and correct English which sounds more natural than the bookish English. The students may be allowed to make some grammatical mistakes.
Vocabulary: Though the vocabulary is well selected and graded properly in the lesson, the glossary might not be sufficient. So I write meanings for all the difficult words on the black board both in english and in mother –tongue and use them in the context.
Grammatical Items The examples and illustrations given in the text may not be exhaustive. So I use my own exercises besides those given in the reader. For example, no text book writer can explain all the vagaries of voice, tense and speech etc.
Discourses: discourses like dialogues, conversations, letters and stories are the most important aspects of teaching learning process. We can never find sufficient discourses in any text. So we must make our learners to create discourses on their own. For example, we may ask the learners to write a discourse like a dialogue this way. The situation is a patient goes to a hospital and greets the doctor
P. Good morning, doctor!
D. Very good morning. What exactly is your problem?
P:I don’t feel like eating anything. is it very serious, sir?
Thus a teacher should supplement the material in the text book in which the exercises are never exhaustive. The more creative the teacher is, the more is the output from the learner.