ENGLISH CURRICULUM FOR CLASS IX AND X
In the words of Humboldt: “Man is man through language alone”. Language, spoken or written, is man’s chief instrument of communication though may not be the only one. We use language to communicate our thoughts and ideas. Moreover, there is no denying the fact that language communication is undoubtedly linked with human needs, be it individual, social, economic, cultural or political. Language is not only a means of communication but also a medium of acquiring most of our knowledge. It is also a system by which sounds and meanings are related and a system that structures the reality around us to a great extent. It is for these reasons that the learning of language becomes necessary for every individual. Therefore it becomes very necessary that language receives its due importance with its proper and correct usage.
Every nation has its own language to communicate but knowing the language of other nation is also beneficial up to a great extent. At present, Tibetan refugees living in different parts of the world is estimated to be around 1.5 lakh. Out of the total population, around 65 % lives in India where English language has become an integral part of the Indian multilingual repertoire. Therefore learning of English as a second language has become a necessity for the Tibetans living in exile. The chapter VIII (C.8.3) of Basic Education Policy for Tibetans in exile also states “…English will remain by necessity the second language”.
The English language curriculum for Tibetans should aim for achieving the twofold goals: attainment of a basic proficiency in the English language, as is acquired in the native language and the development of language as an instrument for basic interpersonal communication and for abstract thought and knowledge acquisition.
Textbooks and Materials
Despite the fact that there is a lot of advancement in the field of technology, we cannot overlook the fact that textbooks still continue to be a major source of knowledge for ordinary children. It is for this reason that emphasis must be laid on the production of textbooks that are contextually rich and that motivates and encourages learners’ creativity and inborn curiosity. A handbook for teachers containing methods and techniques of teaching a particular content/skill in addition to notes for the teachers in the textbook itself can be of great practical value and could prove really helpful.
At the secondary level of education, the standard of language learning materials should be raised above the traditional way providing room for the inclusion of wider range of modern and authentic texts apart from those sourced from literature. The pieces of literature (prose, fiction, poetry and drama) should be selected in such a way that they are understandable, culturally appropriate and in accordance with the age and need of the learners at this stage. The textbooks should contain guidelines for lots of activities to foster the development of the basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in the learners.
Environments that are rich in input and that are communicational are essential for the learning of a language. The inputs can be anything ranging from textbooks, libraries, other books and materials, magazines, newspapers, television, DVDs and internet to other authentic materials. Various other inputs should be brought into the language classroom viz. charts, news clippings, cards, pamphlets, advertisements etc. and teaching aids based on teachers’ own creativity and skills apart from textbooks.
The themes/sub-themes of whatever is to be taught should be in conformity with the learners’ immediate environment – physical, social and cultural. These should lead to an understanding and practice of the values stated in the Basic Education Policy for Tibetans in exile. The materials need to be sensitive keeping in view the perspectives of gender, class and social equality, dignity of labour, peace and harmony (between humans, between humans and animals, and between humans and nature) .
Curricular Package and Its Content
The curricular package prepared by CBSE for classes IX and X called Interact in English designed to develop the students’ communicative competence in English includes the following:
1. Main Course Book
2. Literature Reader
3. Work Book
4. Long Reading Text
This package can be the basis for English syllabus meant for Tibetan students at the secondary level. However, content selection should be done keeping in mind the needs of Tibetans in exile and the students’ present and future academic, social and professional needs along with the four aims of giving education as stated in BEP:
1. Principle of Freedom
2. Principle of Altruism
3. Principle of Upholding the heritage
4. Principle of Innovation.
The contents in the Literature Reader should touch the different genres of English along with pieces from some very famous writers of English. However, in the Literature Reader, inclusion of some literary pieces by Tibetan writers of English can work wonders in encouraging the Tibetan students in the field of creative writing. Therefore, a poem and a prose in the Literature Reader should be selected from those written by Tibetan writers.
The workbook for grammar section, if based on the other two textbooks, would prove out to be more helpful to the students in understanding the grammatical structure and the application of lexical items.
The Four main aims of giving education identified in the BEP must be suitably integrated in school curriculum. Therefore, the exercises of Textbooks should be designed so as to achieve the four aims of giving education as stated in the BEP. These aims should also be emphasized in the whole range of inputs (print and non-print, formal and informal) for teaching/learning at various stages of school education.
Some emerging concerns like environmental issues, conservation of resources, population concerns, disaster management, forestry, animals and plants, human rights, safety norms and sustainable development should be suitably incorporated in the course content in an integrated manner along with the following concerns:
- Tibetan Art and Culture
• Cultural heritage
• Religious beliefs and customs
• Folktales, legends and myths of Tibet and neighbouring countries.
- Sports and adventures.
- Issues relating to Adolescence (drug addiction, sex education and child abuse, peer and parental pressure etc.)
- Inclusive and Vocational Education (some of the contents in the main course book should focus on the importance of Vocational education catering to the need of Tibetan students)
- Self Awareness (Keeping in view the fact that majority of the Tibetan children lack self awareness viz. their strength, weakness etc.)
- Some Social Issues (Unemployment, degeneration of moral values, population concerns, self reliance etc.)
- Science and Technology
- Value education (Honesty, Charity, Universal Responsibility, Peace, Compassion, Harmony etc.)
- Travel and Tourism (Holy places in India, Nepal and Tibet, places of interest etc.)
- Mass Media
- Health and Reproductive health
The thematic package given above is suggestive and should be in conformity with learners’ cognitive level, interest and experience. [The aforementioned contents should form the basis for designing the Main Course Book for the Tibetan students.]
For a learner of English as a second language to be able to use English appropriately and spontaneously in different situations, linguistic proficiency has to be developed in the learner. This can be fostered by giving more exposure to the language both in spoken as well as written form. Apart from this, setting some objectives at this stage and working on the same can go a long way in bringing the desired output.
These objectives are:
- to develop and integrate the use of the four language skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
- to build greater confidence and proficiency in oral as well as written communication.
- to enable students to use English effectively and appropriately in order to communicate in various social settings and for study purposes across the curriculum.
- to enable the learners to access knowledge and information through reference skills (consulting a dictionary/thesaurus, library, internet etc.) .
- to develop interest, curiosity and creativity through extensive reading.
- to facilitate self-learning to enable them to become independent learners and critical thinkers.
- to help students develop the skills to monitor their progress by reviewing, organising and editing their own work and work done by the peers.
1 Listening: The learners will be able to
- Listen to a wide range of oral texts, summarize, record and respond to them.
- Listen for information and enjoyment and respond appropriately and critically in a wide range of situations.
- Listen to and share ideas/viewpoints based on the understanding of concepts .
- Comprehend oral texts by recording main or supporting ideas.
- Adopt different strategies according to the purpose of listening (e.g. for pleasure, for general interest or for specific information) .
- Follow instructions and directions appropriately by understanding directive language, e.g. instruction, advice, requests and warning.
2. Speaking: The learners will be able to
- Communicate confidently and effectively using appropriate word stress, sentence stress, pronunciation and intonation patterns in a wide range of situations.
- Participate appropriately and effectively with others in a conversation, discussion etc. On topics of mutual interest in classroom as well as non-classroom situations.
- Identify and use appropriate vocabulary.
- Use the appropriate tone, posture, gestures, pause and maintain eye contact while speaking.
3. Reading: the learners will be able to
- Read and identify the main points/significant details of a variety of print texts including newspapers, magazines, drama, poetry, fiction and non-fiction pieces.
- Become accomplished and active readers who appreciate uncertainty and complexity.
- Understand relations between different parts of a text through lexical and grammatical cohesion devices.
- Read fluently and effectively a given text for information and enjoyment.
- Retrieve and synthesise information from a wide range of reference material using study skills such as skimming and scanning.
- Respond critically to the aesthetic, cultural and emotional values in texts.
- Identify main ideas by reading titles, introductions and topic sentences by skimming through the texts.
- Identify rhetorical devices, figures of speech and explain them.
- Infer meaning of the ideas presented in a text.
- Puzzle out the meaning of difficult /unfamiliar vocabulary from the text by using word attack skills.
4. Writing: the learners will be able to
- Write different kinds of factual and imaginative texts for a wide range of purposes.
- Demonstrate planning skills for writing for a specific purpose, audience and context.
- Write in appropriate style and format based on the type of text.
- Locate, access, select, organize and integrate relevant data from various sources.
- Interpret information presented in one form (graph, pie chart, table, visual/verbal clue etc.) And transcribe it into written form.
- Write without prior preparation on a given topic and explain the views expressed.
- Use an appropriate style and format to write letters (formal and informal) , notices, messages, descriptions, biographical sketches, dialogues, reports, speeches, articles, e-mails and diary entries.
- Use a variety of sentence types and sentences of different lengths and structures appropriately.
- Expand notes into a piece of writing.
- Summarise or make notes from a given text.
- Reflect on, analyse and evaluate own work and check it for content, spelling and grammatical errors.
- Recode information from one text type to another (e.G. Diary entry to letter, letter to notice, advertisement to report etc.)
Language usage (grammar)
In addition to consolidating the grammatical items practised earlier, the courses at secondary level should emphasize on the following clearly:
- Sequence of tenses
- Reported speech in extended texts
- Subject – verb agreement
- Active and passive voice
- Modal auxiliaries (those not covered at upper primary)
- Non-finites (infinitives, gerunds, participles)
- Conditional clauses
- Sentence structure
- Phrasal verbs and prepositional phrases
- Punctuation (semicolon, colon, dash, hyphen, parenthesis or use of brackets and exclamation mark)
Tools and techniques for teaching and evaluation
The main aim of The English curriculum is to develop learners’ communicative capacity by developing their four language skills. Some objectives have also been set for each of these skills to indicate the level of achievement expected of the learners but since it is not possible to test all the skills through a formal, time-bound examination, evaluation will be done through Formative assessment, in addition to the Summative assessment as per CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation) formulated by CBSE.
Formative assessment is a tool used by the teacher to continuously monitor students’ progress in a non-threatening and supportive environment involving regular descriptive feedback and an opportunity for the students to reflect on their performance and improve upon it.
The techniques should be based on a multi-skill, activity based, learner-centred approach. Care would be taken to fulfil the functional (communicative) , literary (aesthetic) and cultural (sociological) needs of the learner. The teacher should play the role of a facilitator of learning by presenting language items and creating situations which motivate the child to use English for the purposes of communication and expression. The electronic and print media could be used extensively. The evaluation procedure should be continuous and comprehensive as per CCE (CBSE) . A few suggested activities are:
- Role playing
- Simulating real-to-life situations
- Problem solving and decision making
- Interpreting information given in tabular form and schedule
- Using newspaper clippings
- Borrowing situations from the world around the learners, from books and from other disciplines
- Using language games, riddles, puzzles and jokes
- Interpreting pictures/sketches/cartoons
- Debating and discussing
- Narrating and discussing stories, anecdotes, etc.
- Reciting poems/oral presentations
- Working in pairs and groups
- Silent card shuffle
- Using media inputs — computer, television, video cassettes, tapes, software packages.
- Listening and Reading Comprehension
- Written assignments – short and long question answers, letters, e-mails, creative writing, reports, newspaper articles, diary entries, poetry, script/play writing, story completion etc.
- Dramatization/ Dialogue/ Conversation/ Commentary
- MCQs/ Quiz
- Research projects – information gathering, deductive reasoning, analysis and synthesis and a presentation using a variety of forms including the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
- Grammar Exercises.
- Web Charts, Concept Mapping
- Visual Representation
- Movie and book review
- Making English speaking zones, days etc.
There are about 200 – 210 working days available for teaching/learning in one academic session. At least one period (40 – 45 minutes) per day must be allotted to the teaching of English. The actual number of periods available, however, may be about 180. The size of the curricular package should be such as can be conveniently covered in the given time.
1. NCF-2005 (NCERT)
2. Syllabus For Secondary and Higher Secondary Classes (NCERT)
3. CCE Manuals for Teachers (CBSE)
4. Secondary School Curriculum 2014 (Volume I) (CBSE)
5. Basic Education Policy for Tibetans in Exile (DoE, CTA)