SECOND LANGUAGE ENGLISH IN NCF 2005
English is a West Germanic language that originated in medieval England and has developed into one of the most widely spoken and used languages in the world. It belongs to the Indo-European language family and is characterized by a diverse vocabulary, a relatively simple grammar structure, and a widespread global presence.
English has become a global lingua franca, used for international communication in various fields such as business, science, technology, and entertainment. It serves as a first language for millions of people and as a second language for many more. The English language has had a significant impact on global culture, science, and diplomacy. It continues to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of its speakers across the globe.
NCF suggest to develop multilingual learners. No doubt the importance to Multilingualism is given to great extent but multilingual learner need learning other languages as well as English language. According to NCF 2005- The multilingual character of Indian society should be seen as a resource to promote multilingual proficiency in every child, which includes proficiency in English. Educationist think that English does not stand alone. The aim of English teaching is the creation of multilinguals who can enrich all our languages. This has been an abiding national vision.
TWO FACTORS OF ENGLISH ACQUISITION
NCF discuss the learning environment for English learning. It might depend on two major factors. Following two factors influence English acquisition:
- Teachers Proficiency: The major factor is teacher’s mastery in English language. The very sad fact is that teacher’s largely are poor in English. Various news articles revealed that English teachers are poor in vocabulary spelling.
- Outside School exposure: Generally outside exposure about English is poor. Only learners studying in private school with educated parents use English vocabulary with their kids. They also motivate them to learn English whereas in Government schools or parents with no education have negative exposure to English.
In which class English should be introduced is a big problem. Here political interference is more because leaders want to collect votes. They take decision according to vote bank. Hence no rational base exists for introduction of English at which level. It means academic aspects or practical problems or psychological aspects are not preferred.
According to NCF 2005 – People ‘s choices about the level of its introduction in the curriculum will have to be respected, with the provision that we do not extend downwards the very system that has failed to deliver the adoption of English language at whatever level.
NCF suggests, Where qualified teachers and adequate infrastructural facilities are available, English may be introduced from the primary level, but for the first couple of years it should focus largely on oral skills, simple lexical items, or some day-to-day conversation. Use of the languages of children should not be forbidden in the English class, and the teaching should as far as possible be located in a text that would make sense to the child.
If trained teachers are not available, English should be introduced at the post-primary stage and its quantum increased in such a way that learners should soon reach the levels of their classmates who started learning English early.
TWO GOALS OF SECOND LANGUAGE CURRICULUM
NCF discuss two goals of second language curriculum. Following are these goals:
- Attainment of basic Proficiency: It means to enable learners to attain mastery in English language skills. Learners can read, write, talk/speak and listen English with maximum fluency. In the words of NCF it is acquisition of natural English language learning.
- Using English as tool: Second goal is to enable learner to use English as means, For example tool for thinking, creating and acquiring new knowledge through English skills. For example, learners while preparing assignment can get new information from internet, English books, journals etc. According to NCF 2005- This argues for an across-the-curriculum approach that breaks down the barriers between English and other subjects, and English and other Indian languages.
ENGLISH AT TWO LEVELS
NCF suggest English learning at two levels:
At initial stage: At primary stage NCF give flexibility to teach English according to resources and type of schools. According to NCF 2005- At the initial stages, English may be one of the languages for learning activities that create the child’s awareness of the world.
But in the case of Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas, where Hindi and English are used from Class I, the practice may be continued.
At later stages: Integration of language skills of English and Mother tongue is suggested. Here NCF make transportability as base. According to NCF 2005- learning one language skill i.e. reading (eg in Punjabi) is a transferable skill. Improving the language skill in one language improves it in others, while reading failure in one’s own languages adversely affects second language reading. That is why all language learning should go together.
PLACE IN OTHER LANGUAGE
NCF does not give any outmost importance to English in comparison to other Indian languages. NCF also consider state wise differences for English teaching. In some states English is given more importance whereas in some states lesser. According to NCF 2005 – English needs to find its place along with other Indian languages in different states, where children’s other languages strengthen English teaching and learning.
ROLE OF ENGLISH MEDIUM SCHOOLS
NCF describes that English Medium Schools are not playing balance role for language learning. They give more importance to English than Indian languages. This imbalance disturbs language learning goals. These schools have created a domination, supremacy or over control of English. NCF suggest remove this imbalance. According to NCF 2005, “English-medium schools”, where other Indian languages need to be valorised to reduce the perceived Hegemony of English.”
COMMON SCHOOL SYSTEM
Common school system does not mean a uniform type of education across the country. Rather, the word common guarantees a common equal quality of education to every child from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Every child here means every child. And this is irrespective of her economic class, caste, gender, disability, religion or any other discriminatory factor.
The instrumentality of Common School System is the neighbourhood school funded solely by the government but controlled by the neighbourhood. Now According to NCF 2005, we should in this way move towards a common school system that does not make a distinction between “teaching a language and “using a language as a medium of instruction.”
By referring English Medium School’s success NCF encourage to use meaningful context to teach English and not only as a subject. According to NCF 2005- Thus English must be seen in relation to other subjects; a language across the curriculum is of particular relevance to primary education, and later all teaching is in a sense language teaching. This perspective will bridge the gap between “English as subject” and “English as medium”.
INPUT RICH COMMUNICATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
NCF emphasize on Input Rich Communicational Environment for both first as well as second language English. Inputs include textbooks, learner-chosen texts, and class libraries, allowing for a variety of genres :print (for example, Big Books for young learners);parallel books and materials in more than one language; media support (learner magazines/newspaper columns, radio/audio cassettes); and “authentic” materials.
ENVIRONMENT FOR DISADVANTAGED LEARNER
According to NCF 2005- The language environment of disadvantaged learners needs to be enriched by developing schools into community learning centres. Higher-order skills, including literary appreciation and role of language in gendering, can be developed once fundamental competencies are ensured. For this purpose, NCF suggest use innovative materials used for such learners. For example, facilities and extension material for visually or hearing-impaired learners.
METHODS OF TEACHING
NCF does not suggest separate approaches and methods for different learners as well as for first and second language. They suggest using methods and strategies on the basis of constructivist theories. Particularly Vygotsky and Piaget’s theory-based methods or emphasized. Additional implementations of Chomskey’s theory is also highlighted.
HIGHER ORDER SKILLS
NCF suggest developing Higher Order Skill in English language when basic skills are developed. Higher order skills include literacy appreciation. “Literacy appreciation” means learning to appreciate or to respect and to enjoy the literature. The reader is able to gain pleasure and understanding for the literature, understand its value and importance and admire its complexity. So literary appreciation, like art appreciation, teaches students what to look for in literature, and helps them to well appreciate the literature.
NCF suggest to make better English teachers through affective teacher education. There professional awareness must be increased through formal or informal support system. According to NCF 2005- All teachers who teach English should have basic proficiency in English. All teachers should have the skills to teach English in ways appropriate to their situation and levels based on some knowledge of how languages are learnt. A variety of materials should be available to provide an input-rich curriculum, which focuses on meaning.
EVALUATION OF ENGLISH PROFICIENCY
NCF suggest important change for evaluating English language. Following are suggestions given by NCF 2005 in this regard.
- Language evaluation need not be tied to “achievement ” with respect to particular syllabi, but must be reoriented to the measurement of language proficiency.
- Evaluation is to be made an enabling factor for learning rather than weakness.
- Ongoing assessment could document a learner’s progress through the portfolio mode.
- A student may be allowed to “pass without English” if an alternative route for English certification (and therefore instruction) can be provided outside the regular school curriculum.
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