KOZHIKODE: English language, especially spoken English, has been a hard nut to crack for the students as well as teachers of government or aided schools. However, the scenario has started showing signs of change in the primary classes in Kerala with the introduction of the revised curriculum and text books in 2008 (Study by Regional Institute of English South India, Bangalore, 2011).
English teaching in government and aided schools in the state received a boost through a novel programme, 'Hello English,' launched in 2016. Conceived by the SSA, Kerala, with the support of SCERT and IT @school, it has gained wide popularity in all the schools with over 1,000 trained teachers taking classes for the students.
"The confidence level of English usage among learners has gone up considerably. The children across the state have started creative writing in English in the form of stories, poems and other ways," said Mr N. Johnson, SSA district official. The programme has two central objectives - improving the teacher quality and enhancing the learner's proficiency to use English. It has an enchanting theme song, 'Let's say hai to English lang.'
The state has chalked out a roadmap to make teachers confident users of English and enhance the English language proficiency of the learners at elementary level, he added.
The module for the teacher empowerment programme has been prepared in accordance with the curriculum and teaching-learning process in vogue in Kerala. It includes processes for different sessions and inputs on different areas.
Education Minister C. Raveendranath said, "the project is in a developing stage and hence we are implementing measures to effectively use it and make it beneficial for the students."
Training to teachers in all districts at BRC level is in progress. The programme has motivated teachers and given confidence to them to carry out teaching-learning processes better in their classrooms, he added.
Mr Rajeev Nair, teacher, Government Boys School, Kozhikode, said, "there are a few concerns that need to be addressed. Proficiency in English is still a distant dream for most students." Kerala has to strive hard to make learning a joyful experience to the learners. Most of the students are competent users of their mother tongue.
They should be confident users of English as well. For the people of Kerala, English is not an alien language; it is a language of opportunities and a window to the world of knowledge, he added....