Sunday, October 30, 2016


1.1 Importance of English Language (International language, window to the world, library language, link language, language of scientific research, trade & commerce)

1.2 Historical development of English in India during the pre-& post-colonial periods

(Charter Act, East-West controversy, Macaulay’s Minutes, Downward Filtration  Theory, Three-language Formula)

1.3 Present Status of English in India (Medium of instruction, Associate Official

Language, NCF & KCF reports on English Language)

1.4 General Aims of teaching English in India (cultural, literary, utility-based)

1.5 Conditions under which English is taught in schools today. 




Position of  English  in India.

The position of English in India is unique. On the one hand it is a foreign language, the genius of which is widely different from that of the native languages. On the other hand  no foreign  language in any other country enjoys such an alluring position as English in India. This , of course, is largely due to her historical background. British rule in India gradually led to the establishment of English Education in the Asiatic Subcontinents and English had its great impact on the social, political, and economic life of the country.


In India 20 million people speak English.3% of the people use the language. English has become an Indian language today. In terms of the number of people who use English  India can be classed with Canada, the country with the greatest number of speakers of English after  UK and USA.

Even today, English enjoys a privileged position in India. It is assigned as Associate Official Language of the country. It is the language for interstate and international communication. English is the language for commerce, practically for all business at international level. It is the medium of instruction in most of the universities. English  has enriched our cultural heritage by bringing it in contact with western thoughts and culture. English is retained as a compulsory second language in the secondary school.

In Kerala , English is the medium of instruction from the higher secondary level onwards. Technical and  professional  education are also taught through English.

But in spite of its privileged position in , we must not forget it as a foreign language. Though akin to several North Indian languages of Indo- Aryan , its genius is widely different from    that of the   Indian    languages. In structure and syntax there is not much  in common between them. In pronunciation and intonation it demands new speech habits that are not easily acquired by the Indians. The physical and social environment reflected in English is so unfamiliar to the average Indians, that they often fail to grasp clearly what is symbolized by words and expressions.

Tagore said many years ago, “In no country in the world except India, is to be seen the divorce of the language of education from the language of the people”.


Functions of English

¢ 1.Link language,

¢ 2.International language,

¢ 3.Library language,

¢ 4.Window to the world,

¢ 5.Language of Trade, Science and  Technology




-India is a multilingual country.

-18 regional languages recognized by the constitution besides about 380 languages /dialects spoken across the country.

-No common Indigenous language for communication.

-Hindi spoken by only 38% of the population- to be Developed  as  the link language by 15 years.

-Instead English continued to be the link language. (‘Lingua franca’)

-Adopted by the constitution of 1950 as the ‘National Official Language’.

- A history of 200 years of dominance in the Indian scenario.

- Gained popularity all over the country.

-Adopted as the link language (lingua franca) by an act of the Parliament in 1965 for an indefinite period.

-‘Associate official language’ of India.

According to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, “language link is a greater link”   and “a  unifying force in the country”.

He was “anxious about the possibility of Hindi, occupying the role of a common link language” and  “afraid that if English is neglected it will result in a great calamity.”

-English has a bright future in India

-Second language and not a foreign language

-Fashionable to converse in English.

-English is the link language not only in India.

-But in international level also.

-Medium for all discussions in the UNO and commonwealth.

-International trade and commerce technology etc. depend on English.

-Link language in India as well as between India and foreign countries.

-Significant role in the struggle for independence in bringing together our national leaders from various parts of the country.

-Correspondence between the  Union government and the state government.

-Language understood by the educated people all over the country.

-Unifying factor helps for national integration in a multilingual country like India.

-Unifying link between the Hindi speaking and non-Hindi speaking people of India.

-Important language inter-region and intra-region communication since  no regional stigma attached to that foreign language.

(Ref: Pg:21-Binod, Pg:4-Jesa, Pg:15-Sivarajan)


-Mother tongue and the official language of the UK since 1362.

-Spread by trade, colonization and conquest.

17th and 18th century British settlement in North America.Got control over …

English test is a must to get American citizenship.

Later half of the 19th century as the international language in the west.

First language of the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia, NewZealand and South Africa.

Spoken by many millions of people around the world.

It is the second language /link language in many countries.

People of different nations communicate in English.

The English Choice

Undeniably, English has played a central role as the common international language in linking people who have different mother tongues. Although it ranks second only in terms of number of speakers, English is far more worldwide in its distribution than all other spoken languages. It is an official language in 52 countries as well as many small colonies and territories. In addition, 1/4 to 1/3 of the people in the world understands and speaks English to some degree. It has become the most useful language to learn for international travel and is now the de facto lingua franca of diplomacy.

Experts have provided various reasons for the global spread of English. Some claim that the language is popular because of its inherent structural openness; still more researchers attribute the phenomenon to the economic and cultural dominance of the English-speaking countries.

Watson provides five reasons for English as a global international language:

(a) flexibility of the English language itself, which has been prepared to absorb words from many different languages; (b) the process of economic globalization, part of which is the process of control of

aspects of the global economy and hence an external penetration of internal economies by transnational corporations, the media and international organizations;

(c) the economic dominance of the United States and the influence of US culture spread around the world;

(d) the growth of mass tourism and advertising has advanced the spread of English; and

(e) migration to Canada and the United States has created a segment of the world population whose aim is to learn English for survival purposes.

According to FG French, “because of …

English has become a world language.

Language for international trade and commerce.

Science and technology.

Official language of UNO.

Link language for common wealth countries.

Medium of international communication.”



-Modern information in any branch is more easily avialble and accessible mostly in English.

Kothari Commission “library language” because 80% of course books and reference books.

Through English translation

Storehouse of knowledge

Horizon in regard to world affair widened.

More than 60% of the world’s technical journals, newspapers, and periodicals, are published in English.

Access to fast developing knowledge.

Helpful for higher studies especially in the field of science and technology.

“If at all I love anything, of the West, it is  the English language with its galaxy of literary talents” Tagore


-“Sun never sets over its linguistic empire”.

-The chief agent of globalization during past two centuries was English language.

-In the age of globalization, English equips us to face the challenges of the technical world.

-gateway of the world’s culture.

Window to all scientific, technological, legal, socio-cultural and medical progress.

-As a pipe-line for the stream of knowledge in all branches of learning.

 “English is a language of international commerce; it is the language of diplomacy and it contains many literary treasures. It gives us an introduction to western thought and culture.” Gandhiji.

“English language, with its galaxy of literary talents enriched Indian literature.” Tagore



The use of English language for cross-border communications is important in many areas of trade ranging from tourism to the trade in financial services. This is in order to build a stronger regional economy through freely and openly communicating with one another.

Efforts have been made by the government to encourage the internalization of the English as a second language  has become a trend in many developing countries specifically in the East Asia and notably in South East Asian. (English as the Language of Trade, Finance and Technology in APEC:  An East Asia Perspective : Dorothea C. Lazaro and Erlinda M. Medalla.)

The intense globalization and human migration taking place

has highlighted not only an appreciation of the multiple languages and cultures but also the significance of the ability to communicate effectively with people across language barriers. English in this era of globalization will increase the capacity of people to communicate and exchange ideas and goods across borders. The English language skill has become a necessity for establishing linkages with the rest of the world in international trade, economic development and even in the use of new technology.

The ability to communicate across language barriers is essential to

international trade and to building mutual understanding among

interconnected global economies. Due to the primacy of English in diplomacy and trade, APEC members from Eastern economies have further stressed English language education.


II. The Language of Trade, Finance and Technology

The use of English and other foreign languages for cross-border communications is important in many areas of trade ranging from tourism to the trade in financial services. Free and open communication across borders is important in building a stronger regional economy. The increasing involvement in trade, tourism and international relations among APEC Member countries where English is not spoken as the first language poses some problems and barriers in achieving aspired regional cooperation. For instance, the understanding of local laws and regulations which would be in a language other than English might result not only in confusion nor misunderstanding but even misinformation among businessmen and traders due to lack of readily available translation. The simplest forms of international transactions must have English translations if only to achieve increased global transparency.

Trade and Finance

Most governments have long acknowledged that knowledge of the languages of the countries with whom they trade provide advantages. Albert Breton and P. Mieszkowski  who applied the neo- classical international trade model and interpreted the use of one common language as resource-saving technical progress. To wit: “The benefits resulting from knowledge of a second language are spread over time. Learning a second language therefore is an investment or the acquisition of an asset… It is a form of human capital, capable, like all capital, of being increased or depreciating—although, unlike material goods, it does not deteriorate with use—or even of becoming outdated.” the international trade data indicates that majority of exports and imports for both intra-APEC as well as APEC Member Economies’ trade to the World comes from English speaking countries.

Skills Development

There are two potential benefits of a working knowledge of English. First, English proficiency is needed to upgrade workers’ skills or to enable them to participate in workplace flexibility and multi-skill initiatives. Second, the knowledge and proficiency in English of its

local workforce is undeniably a competitive advantage a country may have. A classic example is the outsourcing by many developed countries which have benefited not only ICT skilled but English speaking labour suppliers like India and the Philippines The strength of India was the two  million graduates of proficient English speakers with strong technical and quantitative skills.

Aside from local employment, access to English language training has been useful for the successful participation of non- English speaking jobseekers abroad. Some governments are now providing for English language training programs for potential overseas workers and immigrants.


English is important to information technology for various reasons. IT is used in businesses and is basically the backbone of the commercial world at the moment. English the the international language of trade currently, and so the two are interlinked in terms of being able to operate many systems. Many programs are produced in the US or they are made in English in other countries, and so English is essential for understanding them. It is an international language of communication and so allows communication via electronic means in a single language, which avoids subsequent confusion. Also, a vast majority of information on the internet is in English and so in many ways its necessary to be able to understand English to understand a lot of that. The majority of the most visited websites on the net, were created by native English speakers as well, and so are all written in English. In addition a lot of computer 'jargon' has come from words, or is an acronym of an English expression, and so people across the board can understand these terms if they speak English. What is more, using a single language as the primary IT language, has streamlined computer processing. The commands for many programs are in English, and so a program might not respond to other language commands, unless it was specifically reprogrammed to understand those languages. Even if the user is able to use a program in another language, at the base level it may be programmed in English. 

Language is also an important vehicle to promote development and IT transfer improvement.

With English being the primary language of research and development and science and technology, having English language skill is of critical importance in terms of acquiring and deepening IT knowledge.

From the economics point of view, language is an essential input to the output of the activity called communication.

A good number of literature suggests a strong link between globalization and ICT technology. ICT is regarded as one of the principal drivers of the process of globalization. ICT however may lead to a form of virtual economic integration based on non-spatial complementarities, as the communication barriers to exchange are reduced. One obvious complementarity is a common language. Promotion of localization may occur because of the virtual economic integration of language groups separated across space that ICT makes possible.

Language on the Internet

The internet is widely regarded as a tool for strengthening trade and investment. To boost economic competitiveness, e-learning, which indicates a country’s ability to produce, use and expand internet-based learning- both formal and informal, fits this role. In an Economist Intelligence Unit White Paper18, countries where English is widely spoken are at an advantage, given the predominance of English-language content on the internet. In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea is the only top-ranked country where English is not

commonly spoken in business settings.

In a series of survey conducted by International Telecommunications Union (ITU), language continues to play an important role in Internet usage. Countries where English is widely spoken such as Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, have a strategic advantage vis-à-vis their neighbors. The Indochina countries, Thailand, Laos and especially Cambodia on the other hand face extra barriers because their alphabets are Sanskrit based making them difficult to adapt to computers. Global internet statistics show that English shares around 36% of the total online language.

The changing demands within the workforce challenge the usefulness of traditional schooling and university education in many developing Asian countries. Individuals need to be sure that skills learned at school will be useful in the workplace. For example, computer

and ICT skills need to be taught as well as English as a foreign language. There is also a sense of urgency around the introduction of technology and the requirements of training and retraining teachers in the effective use of ICTs owing to the fact that English is not the first language of teachers in a majority of APEC economies.

The teaching of English has steadily increased in APEC economies. In several non-English speaking economies, the teaching of English as a Foreign Language has become a priority for educational reforms and development strategies. Japan, Hong Kong and Korea launched major initiatives to increase the use of English, bringing foreigners to teach English or to assist local English teachers. In addition, the purpose of teaching English has changed from being an academic tool, with emphasis on grammar and translation to a working and business language with an emphasis on communication.

                          Several recommendations have been made in various studies to facilitate the promotion of English in the education sector. This includes the development of curriculum and learning materials, professional development programs for teachers, funding for schools, and integration of ICTs access to language learning through satellite, computer, video/television and distance technologies.


1.2 Historical development of English in India during the pre-& post-colonial periods

Historical Development of English in India : The Milestones

15th Century                      -Portuguese Occupation

 1498                                -  Arrival of Vasco da Gama.

16th  Century                   -French and Dutch rule.

17th Century                   -British Occupation

1600                              - Establishment of British East India Company 

1773                              - Charles Grant’s ‘Observation’.

1813                              -Charter Act  

1835                             - Macaulay ‘s  Minutes

1854                             - Wood’s Despatch  

1913                              - Self-government.

1947                              -Independence

1948                               -Radhakrishnan Commission 

1950                              -The Constitution of India adopted

1955                            -Kunzru Committee

1963                            -Bill: English as the ‘Associate Official Language of India’. 

1964                            - Kothari Commission

1968                           - The National Policy on Education 

1986                           - The National Policy on Education

2005                           -National Curriculum Framework(NCF)

2007                          - Kerala Curriculum Framework (KCF)                                           

Para1the his---conquest

Origin of English schools in India

About AD1600 East India Company was established.( AD 1600-1813). During this period the Christian missionaries came to India and established schools for the Europeans and Anglo-Indians. This marked the origin of English schools on Indian soil.

By 1757 political power was bestowed upon the East India company.

The Charter Act of 1813 and East West Controversy

The Charter Act of 1813The Charter Act of 1813 (43rd section) stated, “…a sum of not less than one lakh of rupees in each year shall be set apart  and applied to the improvement of literature and and the encouragement of the learned natives of Indians and…” in favour of vernacular languages.

East India company encouraged indigenous schools (vernacular)  and came in to conflict with the missionaries and  finally was given responsibility for education in India.

Charter Act of 1813 led to controversies  between Orientalists and Anglicists  about the    i)Aim, ii) Objectives iii) Policies  iv) Methods  of spread  v) Content and vi) medium of instruction. And led to experiments up to 1854.

The Foundation of English Education in India

Macaulay ‘s  Minutes( 1835)

The controversies between Orientalists and Anglicists  were solved when in 1835 Lord William Bentinck , the Governor  General referred the issue to Lord Macaulay (The laws member of the Executive Council, and Chairman of the General committee).

Para 9Macua----administration.

Lord Macaulay wanted to “…create a class of people , Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinion, in morals and intellect” . To Lord Macaulay, the objective of the educational policy  in India was the spread of western learning through English.

Lord Macaulay, wrote his ‘Minutes’ in 1835 . Lord Bentnck accepted his vies in his ‘Resolution of  7th March 1835 and English education was imposed upon India.

Macaulay ‘s  Minutes( 1835), resolved the earlier controversies between the Orientalist and Anglicists and laid the foundation of English Education in India with focus on western learning.

By 1853 education in India had taken shape, and it came under state responsibility. English education along with its literature and science , were introduced.

Wood’s Despatch(1853)

In 1853 Charter came again for renewal and a select Committee  of the House of Commons appointed for educational development.

Sir.Charles Wood , Director of the company  wrote his dispatch on 19 July 1854. It  include a   detailed  educational plan company will take in future.

Aims propagated by company were:

i)                   To confer up on Indians ,western knowledge.

ii)                To supply the company with reliable and capable public servants.

“We desire to see extended in India , English knowledge”. It emphasized that both English and mother tongue would be the media for the diffusion of European knowledge.”

University was established in 1857. Western culture is taught in the schools and colleges through the medium of English. Vernacular languages    were neglected in favour of English. English was the language for public administration and the ‘Lingue franca’-the link language.

National Consciousness

After 1920 the National Education Movement took a different turn when Gandhiji called for a boycott of all educational institutions imparting education in foreign language and culture.

Present Status of English in India : as the Associate Official Language of India, as the Second language in school curriculum, English as a lingua franca.

In Independent India, English steadily looses its privileged position.

Associate Official Language

 In 1950, Indian Constitution gave a lease of 15 years to English in favour of Hindi. But later it was realized that Hindi can not replace English. So in 1963, a bill was passed in the  parliament in favor of English as the ‘ Associate Official Language of India’.

Three Language Formula

Educational Commission (19640  - 66) led by Kothari  recommended regional languages  as the medium of instruction  and English as the ‘library language’. 

The university curriculum was recommended with the ‘three language formula’ by Kothari Commission. The medium of instruction has been changed to mother tongue.

Radhakrishnan Commission stressed the importance of English as the “window to the world”.

Nehru and Rajaji recommended English for its utilitarian and cultural values.

English still enjoys the position of ‘Associate Official Language ’ of India and holds the unique position in the various fields in India.


Present Status of English in India



-English as an International language

-for international trade and commerce.

-medium of international communication

-in China, Japan ,USSR

-More than 300 million people use

-1/10 uses and another 1/10 can understand English.

-most widely spoken and written language.

-standard language for international conferences.

-language of employment.

-Second language in schools in various countries.

-language for science and technology.

-language of medicine

-guiding literature.


English has i) Utilitarian value   ii)Cultural value. 

 Utilitarian value

-Useful in daily life.

-language of employment

Window on modern world

-must for career growth

-must for higher studies and technical education

-link education

-must for interstate communication –administrative  educational and commercial.

-helps for national integration as the link language.

Utilitarian value

-for authoritative and up-to-date  literature for all branches of knowledge.

-must to keep in touch with the modern trends.

-providing world platform for free expression.

-introduction to western thoughts and institutions

-reference   language.

-useful in IT   world.

-Language with rich vocabulary and rich   literature.

cultural value.

-Gateway to enter the world of knowledge.

-Enriches the mother tongue and own culture.

-Enriches the cultural heritage.

-cultural transaction.

-glimpse of Indian culture through translation to English.

Present day needs

Library language

Link language

International language

Language of trade, commerce and politics.

Window on the world.

Language of employment, science and technology.

THE ROLE OR FUNCTIONS  OF ENGLISH AS :i)Library languageii)Link language iii)International language iv)Language of trade, commerce and politics.v)Window on the world. vi)Language of employment  and Language of Trade, Science and Technology.



Scope and Objectives of teaching English as first, second and foreign language

Aim  Objective and Specification:

The  educational process helps to achieve certain immediate goals , which take  us nearer and nearer to the ultimate goal. These Immediate goals , are known  as Objectives. An Objective is a specific and immediate goal attainable as aresult of classroom teaching.Four fold language skills namely :Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, Communication Skills, Reference Skills, Study Skills and Literary Skills are the objectives   of teaching English  at secondary  schools.

Each objective, when fulfilled will create a behavioural change and an ability in the pupil. This ability which is attainable observable and measurable  is termed ‘specification’(learning Outcome).Specification (Learning outcome)  is the evidence of learning.

Aim is the long term goal achieved over a  considerable  period of time or at a particular level. Aims are broad goals of education which may not be achieved in a single classroom. The aim of teaching English in Indian schools at primary level   is to develop language proficiency.  At Secondary level  Literary Development  is also added. 




Utilitarian Aims of Teaching English


English is a foreign language Yet enjoys an alluring position in India Due to its  historical   background. A Unique position., Different from the native languages.


1.Widely used by Indians

2.Language of administration and the Associate Official language of India

3.The medium of interstate and international  communication.

4.Medium of instruction

5.The language for trade and commerce

6.Language of culture

7.The compulsory second language  in the secondary school.

8.The language  of science and technology

9.The library language

10.Foreign language,needs  training  for mastery.


English has

 i) Utilitarian value

ii)Cultural value. 

 Utilitarian value

-Useful in daily life.

-language of employment

Window on modern world

-must for career growth

-must for higher studies and technical education

-link education

-must for interstate communication –administrative  educational and commercial.

-helps for national integration as the link language.

-for authoritative and up-to-date  literature for all branches of knowledge.

-must to keep in touch with the modern trends.

-providing world platform for free expression.

-introduction to western thoughts and institutions

-reference   language.

-useful in IT   world.

-Language with rich vocabulary and rich   literature.

cultural value. -Gateway to enter the world of knowledge.-Enriches the mother tongue and own culture.-Enriches the cultural heritage.

-cultural transaction.-glimpse of Indian culture through translation to English.

Present day needs and functions :

1.Link language,
2.International language,
3.Library language,
4.Window to the world,
5.Language of Trade, Science and  Technology

Aim:   Study  and  use English language  and literature. Language development consists of :1)learning language – control of the  basic skills (LSRW ) 2)Learning through language-study skills & literary skills 3)Learning about language –Vocabulary, structure, communication skills.




Aim is the long term goal achieved over a  considerable  period of time or at a particular level. The aim of teaching English in Indian schools at primary level   is to develop language proficiency. At Secondary level  Literary Development  is also added. 


The objectives are the immediate  goals, attainable  due to  a  specific  instructional intervention

Language is basically meant for communication and developing the  four fold communication skills –listening , speaking ,reading and writing are the primary objectives of teaching English at school level.

Aims  and Objectives of Teaching and Learning English in Indian Schools.

Objectives of Teaching and Learning English in Indian Schools

                                 The objectives are the immediate  goals, attainable  due to  a  specific  instructional intervention. Language is basically meant for communication and developing the  four fold communication skills –listening , speaking ,reading and writing are the curricular  objectives of teaching English at primary  level.

Developing LSRW (Four fold language skills namely:Listening Skill, Speaking Skill, Reading  Skill and Writing Skill)  are the  curricular objectives of teaching English at Primary   level.

   Objectives of teaching and learning English at secondary Schools in India.

1.Listening Skill

2.Speaking Skill

3.Reading  Skill

4.Writing Skill

5.Communication Skills  (BICS)

6.Reference Skills,

7.Study Skills

8.Literary Skills

 are the objectives   of teaching English  at advanced levels.

Learning Outcomes (Specifications) or Competency Statements

Learning outcome (specification ) is the evidence of learning. In behavioralistic terms it is the  observable , measurable and behavioral change  as a result of learning. A comprehensive list of objectives and corresponding specifications  are valuable for planning   in  Basic Teaching Mode


Blooms Taxonomy of Educational Objectives:

                         “In general, objectives of teaching  prose is  more related to the first(cognitive domain), teaching  poetry  to the second(affective domain)   and development of skills to the third.(Psycho motor Domain) (’’(Sivarajan

Objective Based Instruction

Objective based instruction is the  instruction which is aimed to attain the predetermined objectives.

An instructional objective is a specific and immediate goal attainable as a result of instruction. Instructional objective  serve as a guide for both teaching and evaluation. Objectives can be realised fully within a very limited time (understanding).  Aims are distant and too general (self realisation, personality development, Language Proficiency  etc. )

Competency Based Instruction

Instructional objectives stated at a very general level-general objectives (K,U)-not observable or measurable. The objectives which have been made more specific and operational by analysing them in terms of pupil behaviours -specifications or specific outcomes of learning-observable, measurable and easily attainable.

Competency Statements/ Specification  of Various Discourses

 Competency Statements/ Specification  of Various Discourses should be learned for  effective teaching learning process.

Learning as Pupil Activity

 Every child enters a class with certain skills  and abilities at varying degree. It is called the ‘Entry Behaviour’ or ‘ behaviour at the time of entrance’.

Teachers have to decide in advance which changes they want to bring about while handling a certain subject. An objective must be formulated in terms of change in the pupil. There must be year-wise, unit-wise, and period-wise  objectives. It must specify the content area  or  area in which this is expected to come about.


Aims  of Teaching and Learning English in Indian Schools.

                                 Aim is the long term goal achieved over a  considerable  period of time or at a particular level. Aims of teaching English in India is mainly  utilitarian.   The aim of teaching English in Indian schools at primary level   is to develop language proficiency. At Secondary level  Literary Development  is also added. 

Objectives of Teaching and Learning English in Indian Schools

                                 The objectives are the immediate  goals, attainable  due to  a  specific  instructional intervention. Language is basically meant for communication and developing the  four fold communication skills –listening , speaking ,reading and writing are the curricular  objectives of teaching English at primary  level.



Learning Outcomes (Specifications) Competency Statements

Learning outcome (specification ) is the evidence of learning. In behavioralistic terms it is the  observable , measurable and behavioral change  as a result of learning. A comprehensive list of objectives and corresponding specifications  are valuable for planning   in  Basic Teaching Model.


Aims  of Teaching and Learning English in Indian Schools.

                                 Aim is the long term goal achieved over a  considerable  period of time or at a particular level. Aims of teaching English in India is mainly  utilitarian.   The aim of teaching English in Indian schools at primary level   is to develop language proficiency. At Secondary level  Literary Development  is also added. 

Curricular Objectives and their Competency Statements for Teaching English at Senior Level (Secondary Schools)

General Aims of teaching English in India (cultural, literary, utility-based)




In this era of globalization and Information and Technology, English has a special and predominant role in the communicative sphere of the world. This language is present taught everywhere in the world. This language enjoys most prestigious reputation in the world. It has a special identity in the field of education. We know it very well that teaching of any subject is a social and cultural activity. It is not so easy to teach any subject as it appears. While teaching, a teacher has to keep in mind the aims and objectives of his subject. In other words we can say that teaching of any subject becomes much effective when the teacher is fully conscious of the aims and objectives of teaching of that subject. A good teacher thinks that his teaching should be effective. All of us knows it very well that the basic principle of teaching is “know what you do and only do what you know”. Teaching requires certain directions. After all, success of teaching depends on the aims and objectives of teaching.         “ In teaching of English” P. Gurrey writes, “ It is highly desirable to know exactly what one is hoping to achieve. If this can be clearly seen, then the best way of getting to work usually becomes evident. We ought, therefore, to consider carefully what we are trying to do when we are teaching English”.


Indian people consider English as a second language. It is studied as a compulsory second language. It is not the medium of instruction for a majority of the students. It is an instrument, a means for acquiring knowledge. The aim of teaching English in India is to help students to acquire practical command of English. In other words, it means that students should be able to understand speak English, read and write. These are the basic aims of teaching English. The teacher should keep in mind the aims of teaching English. The teacher should always emphasize on the aims of teaching of English. It will help to teach effectively.

These aims are as : 1)To enable to listen English with proper understanding 2)To enable to speak English correctly. It means that producing sounds with the proper stress and intonation. 3)To enable the students to read English and comprehend and interpret the text. 4)To enable the students to write English correctly and meaningfully, i.e.for example writing letters, applications, description and accounts of day to day events. 5)To enable to acquire knowledge of the elements of English. 6)To enable to develop interest in English 7)To increase students ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work. 8)To enable students to express themselves creatively and imaginatively. 9)To enable students to speak clearly and audibly in ways which take account of their listeners. 10)To enable students to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through contact with challenging and text level knowledge. DEFINITIONS OF OBJECTIVES An objectives is a desired goal that is trying to be accomplished. It is the main point of something or the main point that is being proved. According to the Dictionary of Education, objective is ,”the end towards which a school sponsored activity is directed”. Effective tangible changes in students behavior at the end of schooling is known as objective. Dr. S. R. Bloom has defined educational objective as,”the desired goal or outcome at which instruction is aimed”            For example, if a teacher wants his students to improve speaking skill, the teacher will have to try his outmost level for speaking skill. Here the outcome desired or goal aimed at his improvement of speaking skil. In this way, a teacher can improve his other skills as writing skill, listening skill, reading skill and all that. After all, the teacher has to follow all his tactics for the improvement of his students. So the desired goal of improving speaking skill would be the objective of teaching.


The characteristics of good objectives are as follows- 1) It should be precise and specific. 2) It should be based on psychological principles. 3) It should be for the better improvement of the students. 4) It should be in terms of change expected in the student and not as duties of the teacher. 5) It should be for changing or modifying students behavior.


 1)Listening, reading, speaking and writing are the four important objectives. 2) Graphics should be practiced by the students at primary level. The student must be able to write the alphabets, keeping space between two words in a sentence and write sentences using appropriate punctuation marks and capital letters. 3)Writing is also equally important. The students should be able to write composition. 4)All the four skills i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking become important as the student grows, particularly reading and writing at the later stage. 5)Students should be able to read other books excluding textbooks i.e. novel, poetry, drama, essay writing, autobiography, précis-writing etc. L.A.C. Strong once proclaimed, “for us who speak English, English is everything… English is not a subject, English is our life”.In most of the schools in India, English is studied as a second language. Somewhere English is considered as a foreign language. English held the topmost position n India during British rule. Even after independence its importance still continues to be more or less the same. It is the medium of instruction in most of the universities in India. English is considered as the Lingua-Franca or vehicular language. Due to globalization, one has to know English language for international trade. In

Aims and Objectives of Teaching English in India Indian Streams Research Journal

India its teaching  learning in schools is inspired by one aim-the utilitarian aim. This aim can be achieved by acquiring practical command over English. A teacher  should be a good planner and he should use innovative techniques and methods for teaching. `Thompson and Wyatt rightly remarked that it is necessary that the Indian students should not only understand English when it is spoken or written, but also he should himself be able to speak and write it. MAIN OBJECTIVES OF TEACHING ENGLISH There are two main Objectives of teaching English. They are as 1)Language development, and 2)Literary development These two objectives differ from each other as far as the class and age of students is concerned. FORE-FOLD OBJECTIVES OF TEACHING ENGLISH

ABILITIES TO BE DEVELOPED BY FOUR-FOLD OBJECTIVES: 1)To understand Spoken English :- It includes recognition of English sounds without committing any errors. Also ability   to point out meaning from what is heard. 2)Ability to speak English :- It includes intonation and stress response in speech as reaction to hearing. 3)Ability to read English :- 4)It includes ability to read and understand various books reading like prose, poetry, drama, novel and so on. novel and so on.  5)Ability to write English :- It includes ability to write guided composition followed by free composition. To select right words, to construct sentences. The most important objective is to have command over the language.

CONCLUSION :                           Some Indian people think that the students in our country should have only passive knowledge of English. Without proper aims and objectives we cannot make our efforts fruitful in English language teaching. Otherwise it will be of no avail. Proper aims and objectives help to evaluate students performance. All the four-fold objectives are as important as one. A. V. P. Elliott has rightly said, “the ability to speak and write English and the ability to read English should be regarded as of equal importance”. Champion's  notion is , “all objectives should be regarded as of equal importance should be gift to each”. Objectives help us how a student should spell words correctly. Correct and proper objectives would not be taught by any teacher without knowing aims and objectives of teaching English. Hence aims and objectives plays an important role in teaching English language.

 references : :  indian streams research journal (june ; 2012) b.w.somatkar aims and objectives of teaching english in india  vol.1,issue.v 2012 /june;isrj (3),




2.5 General Objectives of Education

Education liberates human beings from the shackles of ignorance, privation and misery. It must also lead to a non-violent and non-exploitative social system. School curriculum, therefore, has to aim at enabling learners to acquire knowledge, develop understanding and inculcate skills, positive attitudes, values and habits conducive to the all-round development of their personality. Young girls and boys, are to be empowered through education to increase their capability. Paradigm shifts are therefore necessary to support a curriculum that values the interaction of the process and the content. Besides, the development of intrinsic values and the emotional intelligence of learners is also crucial. School curriculum has therefore, to help to generate and promote among the learners: language abilities of listening, speaking, reading, writing and thinking and communication skills – verbal and visual-needed for social living and effective participation in the day to day activities.

2.8.1 Language

Language learning at the primary stage is crucial to not only meaningful learning in all the subject areas but also to the learner’s emotional, cognitive and social development. New entrants with poor language background remain poor learners and poorer performers in all areas unless specially helped in language skills. Failure to teach language skills properly and adequately in the early years will lead to difficulties in learning subsequently through the upper primary, the secondary and the higher secondary stages. Language education has the greater potential as a means to develop, progressively through various stages, attitudes and values related to all the core components by incorporating appropriate themes and adopting suitable teaching learning strategies.

Language education must aim at encouraging independent thinking, free and effective expression of opinions and logical interpretation of the present and the past events. It must motivate learners to say things their way, nurture their natural creativity and imagination and thus make them realise the basic difference between their verbal language and the language of Mathematics. These are the reasons why learning of language ought to find a central place in the total educational process.

In this context the following focal points merit serious consideration:

Despite general acceptance of the central importance of language education in principle, practical effort for improving it has yet to be made at all levels in the country. The oral aspect of language has to be duly emphasised in language education and oral examination in

language must be made an integral part of the evaluation process. Emphasis will have to shift from the teaching of textbooks to extensive general reading and it would need continuous guidance and monitoring. Due stress is to be laid, in all language education programmes, on the ability to use the language in speech and in writing for academic purposes, at work place and in community in general.

2.8.2 The Three Language Formula

Even about four decades after the formulation of ‘Three Language Formula’, it is yet to be effectively implemented in true spirit. Despite all the changes in the socio-economic scenario, market pressures and the behaviour pattern of the Indian youth, the three language formula still remains relevant.

Under this Formula:

The First language to be studied must be the mother tongue or the regional language

The second language —

(i) in Hindi speaking states will be some other modern Indian language or English, and

(ii) in non-Hindi speaking states will be Hindi or English.

The Third language —

 (i) in Hindi speaking states will be English or a modern Indian language not studied as the second language, and

(ii) in non-Hindi speaking states will be English or a modern Indian language not studied as the

second language.

Since the basic objective behind the Three Language Formula was, and continues to be, national unity and facile intra-state, inter-state and international communication. adherence to it must be ensured by the Central as well as State/Union Territory governments. Minor modifications in the formula and its implementation in complex linguistic situations, as in some north-eastern states for example, could, however, be allowed as per the needs and discretion of these states and within the overall spirit of the formula.

Every child’s mother tongue or regional language has to be taught right from the first standard. In the cases where the children’s home language is different from the school language or the regional language, gradual and smooth transition to the regional language is to be effected within a reasonable time at the primary stage itself. In states where because of plurality of regional languages the official or the associate official language of India has been accepted as the state language or first language, it will have to be taught from the first standard. Provision for the teaching of mother tongue would be made for children from linguistic minorities wherever they are in adequate numbers.

As per the earlier Curriculum Framework (1988), “if resources are available for teaching the second language in primary schools, the study of the second language may be introduced in a suitable grade/class at the primary stage.” This suggestion may be held valid even now. On the other hand, in States/UTs or organisations where only the first language is studied at the primary stage, the study of the second language must be introduced in the first year of the upper primary stage. However, in this context, the recommendation made by the Kothari Commission still remains the best piece of counsel: “The stage at which Hindi or English should be introduced on a compulsory basis as a second language and the period for which it should be taught will depend on local motivation and need, and should be left to the discretion of each State.” {(8.33(5)}.

During the first two years of the primary level, children have to be specially helped to acquire the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing and thinking. Special attention must be paid to the process of standardisation of pronunciation according to the norms. Similarly, the skill of good handwriting, correct spelling and right habit of silent reading with comprehension are also to be developed besides nurturing in the students the ability for creative self-expression.

At the upper primary stage, students’ competence in both the languages has to be strengthened further to enable them to acquire real life skills to be used in their future day-to-day life. In their first language, they have to be introduced to various forms of literature. They ought to be able to react in speech and in writing to whatever they read and listen to. Balanced stress on both the applied side and the metaphorical aspect of the language will have to be laid. Creative expression and the ability to think on one’s own must be encouraged and nurtured through language teaching with the oral form of language finding important place in language curriculum. Applied or practical grammar also has to be given at this stage so that it may develop the students’ insight into the nature, structure and functions of the languages.

The study of the third language would also begin at the upper primary stage. However, the choice of a particular class/grade of its introduction may be left to the States/UTs or organisations themselves. The study of all the three languages, then, has to continue up to the end of the secondary stage, i.e., Class X.At the secondary stage (Classes IX and X) in the first language full mastery over the applied form of language and good acquaintance with literary language would be aimed at. Learners have to achieve maturity in oral and written expression in response to what they read or listen to. Understanding and appreciating the depth and diversities of human mind through the literary texts in prose and poetry must be ensured among the students. Teaching of grammar is to be systematically strengthened to facilitate the understanding and use of the subtle usages of language. Desirable attitudes and values must be

inculcated through carefully selected language materials. Thus, high order communication skill in the first language, with grammatical accuracy and appropriateness of style must be adequately underlined as the main objectives of first language learning at this stage .

In English, Hindi and other modern Indian languages studied as second language at this stage, the capacity to use the language in speech and writing whenever needed in life, and read it with reasonable speed for information and pleasure would be the most important objective. Grammar is not to be taught as a theoretical subject per se, but it would be taught as practical or functional grammar in context with the minimum of theory.

Thus, more and more aural and oral skills of language are to be emphasised at the primary stage, all the skills, i.e., listening, speaking, reading, and writing and thinking are to be aimed at in a balanced manner by the end of the upper primary stage, and slightly more attention is to be paid to the skills of reading and writing at the secondary stage. The most crucial and ultimate task of language education at all these levels remains to prepare the learners to use the languages effectively in either mode (spoken/written) whenever and wherever required in their day-to-day life situations of all sorts.

Organisation of Curriculum at Higher Secondary Stage (i) Language

The study of language would take care of communication skills which in no way are less important for students pursuing vocational courses. The only, but highly significant, difference would be in organizing the language courses in such a way that they take care of the grammatical structures and additional vocabulary peculiar to the trade or vocation of each student. In addition, there would be units on culture and literature to cater to the emotional and intellectual growth of the learner and the harmonious growth of his personality. The choice of the language may be determined by the learners’ need and the infrastructural facilities available in the system.




3.1.3 Second-language Acquisition

English in India is a global language in a multilingual country. A variety and range of English-teaching situations prevail here owing to the twin factors of teacher proficiency in English and pupils' exposure to English outside school. The level of introduction of English is now a matter of political response to people's aspirations rather than an academic or feasibility issue, and people's choices about the level of its introduction in the curriculum will have to be respected, with the proviso that we do not extend downwards the very system that has failed to deliver.

Literature can also be a spur to children’s own creativity. After hearing a story, poem or song, children can be encouraged to write something of their own. They can also be encouraged to integrate various forms of creative expression.

The goals for a second-language curriculum are twofold: attainment of a basic proficiency, such as is acquired in natural language learning, and the development of language into an instrument for abstract thought and knowledge acquisition through (for example) literacy. This argues f or an across-the-curriculum approach that breaks down the barriers between English and other subjects, and English and other Indian languages. At the initial stages, English may be one of the languages for learning activities that create the child's awareness of the world. At later stages,

all learning happens through language. Higher-order linguistic skills generalise across languages; reading, (for example) is a transferable skill. Improving it in one language improves it in others, while reading failure in one’s own languages adversely affects second-language reading.

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. English needs to find its place along with other Indian languages in different states, where children's other languages strengthen English teaching and learning; and in "English-medium" schools, where other Indian

languages need to be valorised to reduce the perceived hegemony of English. The relative success of "English medium" schools shows that language is learnt when itis not being taught as language, through exposure in meaningful context. 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". 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".

Input-rich communicational environments are aprerequisite for language learning, whether first or second. 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. The language environment of disadvantaged learners needs

to be enriched by developing schools into community learning centres. A variety of successful innovations exists whose generalisability needs exploration and encouragement. Approaches and methods need not be exclusive but may be mutually supportive within a  broad cognitive philosophy (incorporating Vygotskian, Chomskyan, and Piagetian principles). Higher-order

skills (including literary appreciation and role of language in gendering) can be developed once fundamental competencies are ensured.

Teacher education needs to be ongoing and onsite (through formal or informal support systems), as well as preparatory. Proficiency and professional awareness are equally to be promoted, the latter imparted, wherever necessary, through the teachers' own languages. All teachers who teach English should have basic proficiency in English. All teachers should have

Within the eight years of education constitutionally guaranteed to every child, it should be possible to achieve basic English language proficiency in a span of about four years. A multilingual approach to schooling from the very outset will counter possible ill effects such as loss of one's own languages and the burden of sheer incomprehension.

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.

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 an impediment. Ongoing assessment could document a learner's progress through the portfolio mode. National benchmarks for language proficiency need to be evolved preliminary to designing a set of optional English language tests that will balance curricular freedom with standardization of evaluation that certification requires, and serve to counter the current problem of English (along with Mathematics) being a principal reason for failure at the Class X level. 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.

3.1.4 Learning to Read and Write

Though we strongly advocate an integrated approach to the teaching of different skills of language, the school does need to pay special attention to reading and writing in many cases, particularly in the case of home languages. In the case of second and third, or classical

or foreign languages, all the skills, including communicative competence, become important.

Children appear to learn much better in holistic situations that make sense to them rather than in a linear and additive way that often has no meaning. Rich and comprehensible input should constitute the site for acquisition of all the different skills of language. In several communicative situations, such as taking notes while listening to somebody on the phone, several skills may need to be used together. We really wish children  to read and write with understanding. Language – as a constellation of skills, thought encoders and markers of identity–cuts across school subjects and disciplines. Speech and listening, reading and writing, are all generalised skills, and children's mastery over them becomes the key factor affecting success at school. In

many situations, all of these skills need to be used together. This is why it is important to view language education as everybody's concern at school, and not as a responsibility of the language teacher alone. Also, the foundational role of the skills associated with language does not stop with the primary or elementary classes, but extends all the way up to secondary and senior secondary classes as new needs arise in the subject areas. Development of life skills suc h as critical thinking skills, interpersonal communication skills, negotiation/ refusal skills, decision making/ problem-solving skills, and coping and self-management skills is also very critical for dealing with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

Why don’t children learn to read?

1.Teachers lack basic pedagogic skills (understanding where the learner is, explaining, asking appropriatequestions and, an understanding of theprocesses of learning to read, whichrange from bottom-up processes such as syllable recognition and letter-sound matching, to top-down processes of whole-word recognition and meaning making from texts. They also often lack

class-management skills. They tend to focus on errors or hard spots rather than on imaginative input and articulation.

2. Pre-service training does not give the teacher adequate preparation in reading pedagogy, and neither does in-service training address the issue.

3. Textbooks are written in an ad-hoc fashion, with no attempt to follow a coherent strategy of reading instruction.

4.  Children from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially first-generation learners, do not feel accepted by the teacher, and cannot relate to the textbook.

A workable approach to beginning reading

1. The classroom needs to provide a print rich environment, displaying signs, charts, work-organising notices, etc. that promote 'iconic' recognition of the written symbols, in addition to teaching letter-sound correspondences.

2.  There is a need for imaginative input that is read by a competent reader with appropriate gestures, dramatisation, etc.

3. Writing down experiences narrated by children, and then having them read the written account.

4. Reading of additional material: stories, poems, etc.

5.  First-generation school goers must be given opportunities to construct their own texts and contribute self-selected texts to the classroom.

                                 The conventionally trained language teacher associates the training of speech with correctness rather than with the expressive and participatory functions of language. This is why talking in class has a negative value in our system, and a great deal of the teacher's energy goes into keeping children quiet, or getting them to pronounce correctly. If teachers see the child's talk

as a resource rather than as a nuisance, the vicious cycle of resistance and control would have a chance to be turned into a cycle of expression and response. There is a vast body of knowledge available on how talk can be used as a resource, and pre- and in-service teacher education programmes must introduce teachers to this. Designers of textbooks and teacher manuals could also plan and provide precise guidance to teachers regarding ways in which the subject matter can be explored further with the help of small group talk among children, and undertaking activities that nurture the abilities to compare and contrast, to wonder and remember, to guess and challenge, to judge and evaluate. In the orbit of listening, similar detailed planning of activities for incorporation in textbooks and teacher manuals would go a long way in resurrecting

the significant skill and value area. It covers the ability to pay attention, to value the other person's point of view, to stay in touch with the unfolding utterance, and to make flexible hypotheses about the meaning of what is being said. Listening, thus, forms as complex

a web of skills and values as talking does. Locally available resources include folklore and storytelling, community singing and theatre. Storytelling is appropriate not only for pre-school education, but continues to be significant even later. As a narrative discourse, orally told the stories lay the foundations of logical understanding even as they expand the imagination and enhance the capacity to participate vicariously in situations distant from one's life. Fantasy

and mystery play an important role in child development. As a sector of language learning, listening also needs to be enriched with the help of music, which includes folk, classical and popular compositions.

Folklore and music also deserve a place in the language textbook as discourses capable of being developed with the help of exercises and activities unique to them. While reading is readily accepted as a focus area for language education, school syllabi are burdened with information-absorbing and memorising tasks, so much so that the pleasure of reading for its own sake is missed out. Opportunities for individualised reading need to be built at all stages in order to promote a culture of reading, and teachers must set the exampleof being members of such a culture. This requires the nurturing of school and community libraries. The perception that the reading of fiction is a waste of time acts as a major means of discouraging reading. The development and supply of a range of

supplementary reading material relevant to all school subjects and across the grades require urgent attention. A great deal of such material, though of varying quality, is available in the market, and could be utilised in a methodical manner to expand the scope of classroom

teaching of a subject. Teacher training programmes need to familiarise teachers with such material, and to give them yardsticks by which to select and use it effectively.

The importance of writing is well recognised, but the curriculum needs to attend to its innovative treatments. Teachers insist that children write in a correct way. Whether they express their own thoughts and feelings through writing is not considered too important. Just as the prematurely imposed discipline of pronunciation stifles the child's motivation to talk freely, in his or her own dialect, for instance, the demand for writing in mechanically correct ways blocks the urge to use writing to express or to convey one's ideas.

Teachers need to be persuaded and trained to place writing in the same domain as artistic expression, and to cease perceiving it as an office skill. During the primary years, writing abilities should be developed holistically in conjunction with the sensibilities associated

with talking, listening, and reading. At middle and senior levels of schooling, note making should receive attention as a skill-development training exercise. This will go a long way in discouraging mechanical copying from the blackboard, textbooks and guides. It is also necessary to break the routinisation of tasks like letter and essay writing, so that imagination and originality are allowed to play a more prominent role in education.






5.1.9 Learning English

Language learning has great importancein empowering the individual. As a universal language, English has been given due importance in the curriculum. In Kerala, learning of English language begins at class I. At the higher secondary level, English is taught as the First Language.

The present learning materials and pedagogic practices do not consider the innate linguistic ability and thought process of the learner. The inherent limitations of language-learning packages based on behaviouristic ideas have been realised recently. Yet, this aspect is not considered in our discussions on language teaching. It is in this situation that we need to analyse the real issues embedded in the learning of English rather than trying to switch over the medium to English.

Ensuring quality in the process of learning English assumes primacy in this context. We must provide essential conditions for the acquisition of language in a natural manner.

The basic premises are:

• there is an innate linguistic ability in children

• language learning is a non-conscious process

• language-learning takes place by developing an intuitive theory construction in the learner

• language ability is the developmentof an inner competence to make use

of all language skills

• language learning is a spiral process

• language learning takes place from whole to part

• texts that generate organic experience must be provided to the child to help him/her traverse through a variety of discourse forms

• the language used should influence the emotional orbit of the learner

• the quality of the language used matters more than its quantity

• language exists as meaningful discourses and the child gains experiences at the discourse level

• free thinking and the expression of  ideas need to be stressed at all levels The Primary level

• integrated approach is significant at this level

• simple discourses such as conversation, rhymes and story need to be focused

• it is desirable to introduce children to writing at class II

• English language learning could be started in standard I without making it a burden for the child

• code Switching will be an effective strategy at the lower levels in order

to make the students imbibe discourse forms in language

• avoid written examinations at the

Lower Primary level

• at the Upper Primary level, comparatively higher discourses like

story, poem, conversation, proverb, notice, letter, poster, report and diary could be included

Kerala Curriculum Framework - 2007 46 The Secondary level

• at this stage, discourse forms like one act play, autobiography, travelogue, screenplay and biography could be attempted, apart from the ones envisioned in the upper primary level The Higher Secondary level

• at this stage higher order discourses like novel, essay, screenplay, script and seminar could be included along with the discourses that are included at the secondary level

• the learner has to be given opportunities to realise the possibilities of these discourses in the visual and print media

• critical analysis of texts to realise how semiotics work in manufacturing consent is relevant at this level

• at present, Communicative English and English Literature are part of the higher secondary syllabus. The communicative aspect of any language is an essentiality and as such both need not be seen as

separate entities.



“A language is not a subject which can be taught ; It is a subject which must be learnt”.-  Michael West


Interference of mother tongue is the major problem The teaching of English in our schools.

The learning of one language may affect either positively or negatively in  the learning of a second language or ‘the target language’ (Robert Lado).


There are identical features as well as contradicting ones with regard to the nature of languages.

The identical features  is supposed to make learning of a second language easy and the contradicting features, a little hard.

The Identical Features

All languages for communication.

Phonological level

Lexical level

Syntactical level

Supra segmental features.

Bound to origination, growth, extinction, dialectical differences, etc.

Differences between the mother tongue and the second language

Acquisition on V/s Learning.

Influence of Mothertongue

Conscious Thinking:

Positive or Negative Transfer of Learning

Different Language Families

Phonetic Differences:

The child easily and conveniently assumes that a particular sound of English is identical with a similar sound in his mother tongue.

For example, The English sound like /æ /ø /, /tƒ/, /z/, /3/ we don’t have in Malayalam, and vice versa.

Qualitatively dissimilar sounds as well as  identical sounds.

these differences should be briefly made clear to make the students alert.

Make aware of the features of stress and modulations .

Family of languages:

Make students  aware that English is a foreign language belonging to the Indo - European family, having vast dissimilarities in linguistic elements compared with our Dravidian Family of languages.


Spelling is a difficult area in English for the children, because of the unphonetic nature of English.

 In English there is disparity between the  twenty-six letters of its alphabet and  forty-four sounds of RP.

A general study of phonetics will help the students to overcome this difficulty.

More over, the disparity lay itself will turn out to be an interesting feature of English language study.

Syntactic Differences

The natural word order (syntax) of sentence in the mother tongue may be SOV (Subject Object Verb) pattern.  but in English it is SVO. This is not a serious problem to be dealt with.

Supra segmental Features

Supra segmental features have great impact in English language, which in the mother tongue may be not so pronounced.

In the sentences, stress change causes change in the meaning.


A resourceful English teacher can make use of the favorable features of a language and overcome the difficulties arising out of mother tongue intervention, making use of various methods and strategies.


The process of carrying over habit of thinking, knowledge, skills and attitudes from one learning situation to another is called.

 The application of learning from one situation to another is possible through transfer of training or transfer of learning.


On the basis of magnitude or quality or both transfer is of three types:

i)Positive, ii)Negative iii)Zero. 

1.Positive Transfer  :If the learning of one subject or activity facilitates the learning of another subject or activity, it is called Positive transfer. For example, a bus driver can drive a truck also efficiently.

2. Negative Transfer
: If the learning of one subject or activity interferes with the learning of another subject or activity, it is called Negative transfer. For example, learning Malayalam language which is phonetic language    interferes with pronunciation and spelling of English.

3. Zero Transfer :If the learning of one subject or activity neither facilitates nor interferes with the learning of another subject or activity, it is called Zero transfer.  For example, transfer between learning language and studying mathematics may be considered to be almost zero.

Lateral and Vertical Transfer: Gagne distinguishes between lateral and vertical transfer Lateral transfer occurs when past learning is generalizable to present learning. For example, certain elements of the scientific method learnt in Physics can be transferred to the solution of problems in Biology.

Vertical transfer occurs when subordinates capabilities make higher-order learning possible. For example, learning to compute the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle becomes a sub-skill in learning to find vectors of forces.

The use of mother tongue in the teaching of English :Extreme Views

The supporters of the Direct Method forbid the use of the mother tongue in the teaching of English where as  Bilingual method and natural method  regard the co- ordination of the teaching of the mother tongue and English as one of the cardinal principles.

Uses of mother tongue in English lesson

1.Minimum use of mothertongue

2.Judicious use of mother tongue:

 3.Minimum explanations in mother tongue

4.No translation

5.Has both positive and negative influences in the learning of English language.

Occasions for the use of mother tongue: oral work, teaching  pronunciation, Presentation of abstract words,  in reading,  teaching  grammar,  in translation, and  used as a test of comprehension

The place of the mother tongue in teaching English

Teacher should adopt the more compromising view that  the proper and judicious use of the mother tongue would help the learning of the foreign language.  Bear in mind that mother tongue is an ‘aid’ in the teaching of English a means and not an end.

“The strength of the mother tongue will mean strength in English.” : Ryburn






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