ELT in India

If we look around, it would not take long to realise that not everything is well with the teaching of English in India today. With all its innumerable 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. This is all the more so because English is a language seldom had in the streets of India. Perhaps, the classrooms and the libraries are the only places where the language could possibly be learned. Leave alone 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, paucity 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. Besides there are the problems created by over-crowded classrooms, indifferent students, parents and educators. Under such conditions, the teacher resorts to a kind of ‘hit or miss’ type of instruction which very often fails to click.

For many decades teaching 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. However, if we browse through the studies made on these four language skills, we find that listening has been the most neglected area of study, due to the misconception fostered by many of us that we imbibe this skill as we mentally mature. We take this language skill for granted under the assumption that without any conscious efforts, facility in listening can wholly be acquired. Proper training of teachers is of great importance in improving the quality of English education. With the rapidly changing conditions in the life of the people in the world, the old system of teacher training no longer seems to meet the requirements of our schools and society. It is however difficult to reform the teacher training system very quickly and in a direction which is not heavily based upon the mastery of the subject matter. There is still considerable scope for research in teaching in order to discover the specific competencies which the teacher should develop. It is equally important to develop a training system which will not only encourage the development of such competencies in the short run, but will also sustain it at a desirable level. Especially in the case of the language teacher, the language skills are acquired strictly so that in future they can make their students imbibe it at the very early stage of their learning.

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Gurlalbrar's picture

 I have gone through the article ELT in India. I agree with the authuor.First of all there is no definite policy of the government about teaching of English in government schools in India.In my state Punjab, Social study teachers are teaching English in schools .They do not have the requiste qualification.Most of them have not cleared their English Paper at  graduation level. They teach English in the first languge of the student. Listening  and Speaking skills are totally ignored in the class-room. They themselve do not know how to speak in Englsh. How can they do justice with the subject and students. The situation is even more grim in primary schools

                Gurlal Singh Brar





payal.khatri's picture


 Hi,I think with Project English coming in India,an initiative of British Counci,elt teaching will not remain as bleak as it was.


nidiacec's picture

Iam really surprised. In 1995 it was passed the Federal Education Law in Argentina and from that moment, English was incorporated in the curriculum as a compulsory subject in all levels, but there  were not enough teachers to cover the vacancies.So teachers without official degrees had to start studying in order to keep their posts. Nowadays the situation is getting better. There are a lots of teachers and policies to regulate the teaching of the Language.

There is no doubt that the solution must come from the government.