Teaching of any subject becomes much effective and more systematic only when the teacher is fully aware of the aims and values of teaching that particular subject. Because the basic principle of teaching is "Know what you do and only do what you Know". Hence we have to understand the aims and values of teaching English.
Aims and Objectives
The words 'aim' and 'objective' are often used interchangeably in books on education. There are several words like aims, goals, purposes, objectives learning outcomes used loosely and indiscriminately by students and teachers so that a terminological confusion has taken place. An aim can be defined as a general expression of intent and an objective is characterised by greater precision and specificity. To make it more clear aims are long term intent and purposes and objectives are short term goals.
The difference between aims and objectives is made clear point wise in the following
Aims of Teaching English in India
In India English now exists as a second language and it should be taught as a language and not as a literature. The aim of teaching English in India is to help students to acquire practical command of English i.e, students should be able to understand spoken English, speak English, read English and write English. Thus these are the four basic aims of teaching English.
According to Thompson and Wytt the four specific aims of teaching English at school stages are:
i) To Understand Spoken English (Listening)
ii) To Speak English (Speaking)
iii) To Understand Written English (Reading)
iv) To Write English (Writing)
To Understand Spoken English
The student should be able to understand spoken English required in ordinary conversation, exchange of greetings, receiving orders and directions, listening to lectures, talks etc. This aim can be achieved if we give opportunities to our students to listen to English through Radio, Tape Recorder, Gramophone etc.
To Speak English
To speak English a student is required to produce sounds with proper stress and intonation. Speech occupies a unique position and it is the base for all the language learning. Many linguists are of the view that language is primarily speech. This aim stands totally neglected in our schools.
We expect our students to talk fluently in English after 5 - 6 years of learning English. This ability to speak English is required in big cities to communicate with persons from other Indian states and to talk with foreigners.
To Understand Written English
We expect our students, when they leave the school, to be able to understand the written English in books, magazines, news papers etc. It is also expected that he will be able to adopt English as the medium of instructions and examinations in his studies. At present our students are not able to comprehend material published in English. Recognition vocabulary of students should be increased to enable them to read English with Comprehension.
To Write English
Writing English is in no way less than speaking English. In teaching English we aim to enable our students to write in English simple letters, applications, description and accounts of events. Developing note-making and notetaking skills, paragraph writing, precise writing, composition writing are the basic skills to be developed through teaching of writing.
Objectives of Teaching English
According to the dictionary of Education Objective is "The end towards which a school sponsored activity is directed". Effecting tangible changes in pupils behaviour at the end of schooling is known as objective.
Dr. B.S. Bloom has defined educational objective as "the desired goal or outcome at which instruction is aimed". With regard to the teaching of English is concerned Thompson and Wytt rightly remarked that it is necessary that the Indian pupil should not only understand English when it is spoken or written, but also he should himself be able to speak and write it.
Objectives of teaching English are framed keeping in mind questions like what we teach, whom we teach, why we teach and how we teach. If the objective of teaching English is to help students pass examinations it becomes a short term and immediate objective. This does not help the learners achieve proficiency in English. If the students are to be trained to acquire proficiency in English and mastery in language skills then the objective is to teach language as a medium not as a subject. This is a long-term objective and in the long run helps the students to become autonomous learners. So the focus of English language teaching has shifted from vocabulary and grammar to skill development and functional use of language.
Some of the objectives of teaching English at the primary and upper primary level are :
* To familiarise pupils with the spoken and written forms of English.
* To make learning an enjoyable activity.
* To help the learners understand the language spoken by the teacher and the classmates.
* To help the learners to speak English words and short sentences with the help of the teacher.
* To help learners read and understand simple words, sentences and passages.
* To help the learners to write words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs.
* To help the learners recite, rhymes, poems.
Once the aims and objectives are determined then it would be easy to frame the curriculum write text books, design methods and techniques of teaching and prepare an evaluation system. The objectives can be materialised if the text books, materials and methods of teaching are learner friendly and chosen with care to suit the age and ability of the learners. Input rich communicational environment becomes a pre-requisite for language learning. Inputs include text books, class libraries, news papers, magazines, language games, media, story books, cassettes etc. If all these are included in the regular class room activity it can promote the child's engagement with English language and its performance. Listening and speaking skills should be strengthened first before the child gets ample practice in regarding and writing skills.
Certain milestones in school education and teacher education with special reference to English education:
* NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training), a premier institute in the field of school education was established in 1961 by the Government of India.
* NCERT's principal function is to assist the central and state Government's in the implementation of policies on education and to ensure quality in education and teacher preparation.
* The NCERT has developed Curriculum Frameworks for School Education (NCFSE) in 1988, 2000 and 2005.
* The National Curriculum Frame work-2000 advocated to introduce English from class III. Many states including Andhra pradesh introduced English as one of the subjects from class III.
* The National Curriculum Frame work-2005 envisaged child centred education with an attempt to link it with life outside school
* Chapter-3 of NCFSE deals with language education in general and English in particular.
* NCTE (National Council for Teacher Education) was established in 1995 under the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993. The main objective of the NCTE is to achieve planned and coordinated development of the teacher education system.
* The Government of Andhra Pradesh introduced English medium in Government run schools from class-VI onwards. As per GO MS No.76 (10 - 06 - 2008) English was introduced as the medium of instruction with CBSE syllabus from class-VI in the academic year 2008 - 09 in about 6500 schools. This move is a part of the world Bank Aided Project. These schools are known as SUCCESS schools. SUCCESS- stands for Strengthening and Universalisation of Quality and Access to Secondary Schools.
* The CBSE syllabus was replaced with State Government syllabus after a resentment from the public and teachers in the year 2010 - 11.
* English has been introduced as one of the subjects from class-I in the academic year 2011 - 12.