Different methods of teaching English language

Contributed by:
This book provides information about various topics and discussions that can help in the improvement of teaching the English language.
Mrs. Susmita patrao
Dr. Supriya Deka
Akbar Peerbhoy
2. Method of Teaching English
1.0 Objectives
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Historical Back ground of English in India
1.3 English in post- Independent period
1.4 The Three Language Formula
1.5 English in 21st Century
1.6 Objectives of teaching English
1.6.1 Objectives of teaching English at elementary level.
1.6.2 Objectives of teaching English at secondary level.
1.0 Objectives
After reading this unit you will be able to
- State an historical account of the place of English in India.
- Understand the position of English in the post – independence period.
- Justify the place of English in Three Language formula.
- Explain the unique and very important place of English in 21st century.
- Discuss / analyses the objectives of teaching English at a second language
(both at elementary as well as secondary level)
1.1 Introduction
While studying this unit you should know why teaching of English become very
important in pre-independence period changes that took place in the position of English after
independence and even when it was reduced to a lower status , still for all practical purposes
how it retained its supreme position in school curriculum even after six decades of
Independence .
1.2 Historical background of English in India.
Indians came in contact with the English language since the establishment of East India
Company in the year 1612. But the spread of the language took place when the British became
the rules of this country. In 1813, English language was introduced as a medium of instruction
at all the levels of education. Reformers like Rajaram Mohan Roy realized the importance of
English and saw in it the promise of modernization and liberation. He Favored it. This opened
3. the door for English in India. Lord Macaulay (1835) desired to produce through English
education ‘’ a class of persons Indian in blood and colour but English in taste, in opinion, in
morals and in intellect’’.
Hence the English language teaching situation during pre-independence period can be summed
up as follows:
a. English was dominating the school stage and even at the collegiate level.
b. The teaching of English was largely pedantic, dull and largely wasteful.
c. There was an emphatic on the formal grammar of written English.
d. Pupil’s needs of English were severely limited. English was needed either for government jobs
which had a premium on formal written English or for going to a university where the teaching
of literature was at the top. English for wider use like communication at the international level
or in the fields of commerce, engineering, technical, etc was non-existent those days.
e. Consequently, the literary English was supreme in the teaching of English. The written English
had more prestige than the spoken form.
f. There was an excessive dependence on the British model. There was a slavish imitation of the
methods and techniques of teaching English in British schools.
1.3 English in post- Independent period.
Indian independence changed the status of English, but it did not affect the place of English in
Indian life or education. English was no longer the language of rulers. But it continued to be the
language of elite.
The constitution of India, adopted in 1950, had envisaged Hindi as the only official language of
the union of India, while English was to continue for 15years. The was vehemently opposed by
the states in the south. As a result , English was adopted as the Associate Official language by an
Act of parliament in 1963 and assurances have been given that it will continue to be lingua-
franca as long as the non-Hindi speaking people want it .
1.4 The Three Language Formula :
Even though English was accepted as Associate Official Language, it did not mean that it was to
be accepted as a medium of instruction in Indian schools. Mother tongue becomes the only
choice as the medium of instruction. The psychological and social advantages of learning though
one’s own mother-tongue had been proved by many researches in the field of Education. At the
same time the need was felt to learn more language. One for National Communication and the
other for International Communication. This is how the three language formula emerged in the
educational field. The Three languages Formula is an attempt to address the challenges and
opportunities of the linguistic situations in India. The primary aim of the formula is to promote
multilingualism and national harmony.
4. The Three language formula states that every child in school has to read at least three language:
(1) The regional language (2) Hindi and English in non- Hindi speaking areas (3) English and
non- Hindi regional language in Hindi speaking areas.
The formula was presented by National Integration Council and later endorsed by Chief Minister
‘Conference in 1961.
Kothari Commission found some difficult lties in the working of this formula
and recommended in turn the Three language formula as follows :-
(a) Mother tongue or regional language in class I to IV.
(b) The official language of the union or the associate official language of the union so long as it is
recognized as such in classes V- VIII and
(c) A Modern Indian or foreign language not covered under (a) and (b) in classes VIII-X.
Mother tongue is thought to be the best medium of instruction as one can express
oneself with clarity, precision and vigor in thinking. Scientific and technical knowledge is also
made available in mother tongue which facilitates development of the talent and the progress in
language. In Odisha, Odia is called L1, English L2, Hindi or Sanskrit L3. Now the teaching of
English is started from the class III in Odisha board schools. This is not for belittling the
importance of mother tongue but for making Odia people efficient and fluent speakers in
English. That they should write English correctly is one of the objectives in starting English from
the class III. That language should not become a barrier in the progress also another objective.
1.5 English in 21st Century
Though theoretically English is still the second language /third language, practically it is gaining
importance in every walk of life. In all the advanced states of India, more and more English
medium schools are being opened, people are inclined more to send their children to English
medium schools. Secondary education through mother tongue is looked down upon by not only
the rich people but also by middle class people of India. International schools in India are the
popular choice among Indian parents.
This shift of English has the following reasons.
1. With the spread of information technology every type of advanced knowledge is stored only
in English.
2. All software for multiple functions in education, trade, commerce and industry is available
only in the English language.
3. With the growing trend of globalization in trade and industry, knowledge of English along
with computer literacy has become a necessity for employment and better job opportunities.
5. 4. Due to the advent of foreign university, with their attractive courses and weight age which is
given to the degrees of foreign university in the job market, importance of English has increased
more than ever before.
5. Introduction of computer games and computer aided instruction, right from first standard are
available in English medium schools. Hence more and more parents are attracted towards
English medium schools. As a result majority of the children from middle class also learn in
these schools and use English as their first language.
6. At college and university level also courses like B.C.S , M.C.S , M.C.A , M.C.M, Computer
Engineering , M.B.A Computer, e- Commerce are in great demand Medium of instruction for all
these courses is English.
Hence status of English is enhancing day by day. There is Englishization as well as nativisation
of the language itself .
( Englishization – the impact of English on local languages .
Nativisation –the impact of local language on English)
1.6 Objectives of teaching English.
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
know 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 us ually 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 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
The National Curriculum framework level.
(NCF 2005) guided that the goals for second language curriculum are twofold.
6. (a) Attainment of a basic proficiency such as is required in natural language learning.
(b) The development of language in to an instrument for abstract thought.
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 objectives are to be set in line with the objectives mentioned in the syllabus guidelines of
National curriculum framework (NCF 2005)
Objectives are delineated at two levels. (i) At elementary level and
(ii) At secondary level.
1.6.1 Objectives of teaching English at Elementary level. Skill based subject , Hence at the
Elementary level the objective of teaching English should be to develop all the four
fundamental skills among them ie-LSRW
- Listening
- Speaking
- Reading and
- Writing
This can be done by familiarizing the child with the spoken language by exposing them to the
language in meaningful, interesting and real life situations through the mother tongue, signs,
visuals, pictures, sketches, gestures, letters, words, single word questions and answers.
Slowly the exposure to the language should move- to enable them to read and write, besides
listening and speaking.
Hence the objectives of teaching English at Elementary level are to enable the students.
- To listen English with proper understanding
- To speak English correctly ie
Producing sounds with proper stress and intonation.
- To transform the silent written / printed language in to living speech.
- To enrich vocabulary through telling, re- telling, reading aloud.
- To read with ease
- To follow the instructions given in the target language.
- To recite the small poems.
- To classify the words, nouns, action words (verb) , describing words
adjectives, linkers (conjunctions ) etc.
- To write words simple meaningful sentences correctly.
7. 1.6.2 Objectives of teaching English at secondary level.
Linguistics never differentiates between lower level and higher level objectives. It
thinks all its four objectives viz- Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing (LSRW) are to be
realized at both the levels. To these linguistic objectives, literature adds two more viz- Creativity
and Appreciation. These two objectives are purely higher level.
Linguistic and literary objectives are inter- linked with each other. They are not independent and
inseparable from literature. It is true that literary objectives cannot be realised at the primary
level. But we see that their seeds are sown in language teaching from elementary level that is
from the very beginning.
Thus along with the attainment of basic proficiencies the development of abstract thoughts,
creativity and appreciation must be the objectives of teaching English at secondary level.
An attempt is to be made to encourage the pupils in the two final years in a school to thus
begin appreciation of literary forms of the English writings and the cultural enjoyment of the
English language. The material thus presented should be suitably adapted to the needs of their
course in a simple and suitable linguistic point of view.
At the close of school career an average pupil should be able to:
(i) Understand and follow talks in English on general topics within the prescribed
vocabulary and sentence structures.
(ii) Talk freely within the range of language items and express suitably.
(iii) Read books and similar other material written in simplified English as per the
structures and vocabulary, and to follow easy books with detailed notes. This material
should within their group.
(iv) Write correctly in English on familiar topics fit to be expressed within the range of
the prescribed vocabulary and sentence structures.
(v) Write creatively and independently on general topics.
(vi) Create wider reading interest.
(vii) Speak in a given situation (production skill) (fluency & accuracy in speaking &
(viii) Develop study skill / reference skill.
(ix) Achieve greater proficiency.
These aims may also be described as reception and expression techniques. Reception means
understanding spoken and written matter in a language like English, while expression stands for
speaking and writing a language – English.
8. The chart as below explains it clearly.
Expression (productive)
Understanding (receptive)
Spoken Written In speech
In writing
Passive Command Active Command
It can also be expressed with the following table / Structure.
Prose Poetry
Listening Speaking Interacting Reading Writing
9. 1.7 Let us sum up :
While summing up this unit we would like to highlight some of the major
points which have been discussed here. The introductory part of this unit takes
in to account the historical background of English in India. This also takes in to
account the place of English in pre and post independent India and the three
language formula. It also throws light on the place of English in 21st Century.
Further this unit tells us about the objectives of teaching English at Elementary
as well as secondary level.
1.8 Unit end questions
1. Discuss the place of English in pre and post Independent India.
2. What is LSRW? Enumerate the specific objectives for LSRW.
3. What are the aims and objectives of teaching English in India?
4. What are the activities possible in our class room to develop the following
(a). Listening and speaking
(b). Reading
1.9. References:
1. Dr. H. K. Gurav Teaching Aspects of English language 2000
2. K. Venugopal Rao Methods of teaching English 2008
3. A. L. Kohli Techniques of Teaching English 2006
1. B W Somatkar
2. Jitendrasumar
3. Rama Meghanathan
4. NCF 2005
10. UNIT – II The various methods and Approaches
The students at the end the end of the unit would
 Know the meaning of the Grammar Translation Method
 Understand the working of the Grammar Translation Method
 Know the meaning of the Direct Method
 Understand the working of the Direct Method
 Know the meaning of the Structural Approach
 Understand the working of the Structural Approach
 Know the meaning of the Bilingual Method
 Understand the working of the Bilingual Method
- Also called the Classical Method
- Richards and Rogers (2002, 5) define it as: “A way of studying a language that approaches
the language first through detailed analysis of its grammar rules, followed by application of
this knowledge through the task of translating sentences and text into and out of the target
 Translation interprets foreign phraseology best.
 Interpretation helps better Assimilation.
 Structure of foreign language is best learnt when compared with the mother tongue.
 Grammar is the soul of language.
- Meaning of every word interpreted in the mother tongue.
- Meanings of phrases/sentences clarified through translation.
11. - Simultaneous explanation of grammar rules.
- Vocabulary development.
- Better understanding of context.
- Based on ‘Apperceptive Theory’.
- Textbook becomes the most important aid.
- Develops the art & skill of translation.
- Helps in testing Comprehension.
- No/less emphasis on Speaking, reading & Writing.
- Expression???
- Literal translation.
- Habit of translation can inhibit thinking in Eng.
- Quite artificial.
- Not wholistic.
- Dull & interesting.
“Having done the translation….. the pupil is almost far from the goal as ever.”
- Moore.
Also called the Natural Method or the Reformed Method.
“ To teach English directly is to establish a direct or immediate association between experience &
expression; English word, phrase or idiom & meaning.” – H.Champion.
 Translation banished.
 Grammar, when taught, taught inductively.
 Oral teaching precedes reading/writing.
 Meanings through objects/context.
12.  Establish a direct bond between word/phrase/idiom and meaning.
 More emphasis on listening and speaking.
 Less importance to mother tongue.
 Follows full sentences not words.
 Vocabulary is used directly.
 Grammar is ‘Grammar of use’ not ‘Grammar of rules’.
 Follows maxims- Simple to Complex; Concrete to Abstract.
 Pronunciation taught on phonetic lines.
 Questioning used more often.
- Encourages thinking.
- Enables expression.
- Develops language sense.
- Interesting.
- Rote learning discouraged.
- Develops language mastery.
- Ample scope for activity, teaching aids.
- Does not work with higher classes.
- Reading and writing sacrificed for speech.
- Expensive.
- Requires a small sized class.
- Time consuming.
This is the outcome of the efforts & researches done by the British Council in the Institute of education,
Univ. of London.
 Arrangement of words in such a way as to form a suitable pattern of sentences.
 Also known as ‘New Approach’ or ‘Aural-Oral Approach’.
13.  The Approach is a scientific study of the fundamental structures of the English language, their
analysis & logical arrangement. – Brewington.
Principles of Structural Approach:
1) Speech is very important to fix these structure patterns or ground work in the mind of learner
2) Activities of the learner are more significance, rather than those of the teacher.
3) The student has to fix up habits of language patterns in English. He has to forget for the time being,
patterns of his own language- the mother-tongue.
4) The sentence patterns of English are to be picked up, practiced and fixed in mind.
- Different arrangements or patterns of words.
Types of Structures:
 Sentence pattern e.g. S+V+O.
 Phrase pattern ; e.g. Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall (Phrase )
 Formulae; Use of common language such as “Good Morning”; “Thank you”
 Idioms; e.g. It was raining cats and dogs.
Selection of Structure:
The selection of any structure to be taught in a particular class should be based on the following criteria;
- Usefulness.
- Simplicity.
- Teachability.
- Gradation.
The Bilingual method is mainly concerned with presentation and practice of language material. The
Bilingual Method was first tried in Welsh [U.K.]. It was experimented upon at the Central Institute of
English Language, Hyderabad Dr. Shastri who conducted the experiment, thinks that this method is
highly successful and provides adequate use in English in the class-room It tries to make the judicious use
of mother-tongue for teaching English.
14. Its principal features are as follows-
1) Using mother-tongue and English on a 1:1 basis. 1:1 ratio means the use of one mother-tongue word or
sentence to one word or sentence of English. The teacher presents the new structure or word by
translating it into mother-tongue and then using it in English.
2) Instructions to repeat language item etc. are given in mother-tongue.
3) Drills are given in English, but while testing, mother tongue is used at intervals.
4) The teacher uses mother-tongue from the bilingual position to the monolingual position at the end.
It is true that the method does give recognition to the fact that the second or third language learner knows
his mother tongue and this situation can be profitably used for teaching English. The method does not
inhibit the use of mother tongue.
1. Explain the Meaning of the Grammar Translation Method.
2. Explain the Meaning of the Direct Method
3. Explain the Meaning of the Structural approach
4. Explain the Meaning of the Bi lingual Method
5. How is the Direct Method different from the Grammar Translation Method?
6. How would a teacher use the Structural Approach in the teaching of English?
15. Unit III: 1. Development of Reading Skills
At the end of this unit you will be able to:
a. Specify the nature of reading
b. Enumerate the guidelines for beginning reading
c. Describe the characteristics of Fluent reading
d. Distinguish between silent and loud reading
e. Compare extensive and intensive forms of reading
f. Explain the importance of supplementary reading
A. The Mechanics of Reading
3. A i. Nature of Reading
In the context of language learning, reading means “reading and understanding”. The general
assumptions about the nature of reading are:
1. We need to read and decode individual letters in order to read words particularly at the
early stages of reading. But if the context is clear, even partially illegible writing can be
2. We do not necessarily need to read every word accurately in order to understand a text.
We need to read enough words to understand the main meanings of the text, and can skip
or pay less attention to ones that repeat previous information or are redundant.
3. If we understand all the words in a text, we are likely to understand the text, but we also
need to have some previous knowledge of the subject matter and text-type. When reading
a text, we use information given by the words interacting with our own world knowledge
in order to access the meaning.
4. The more clearly the words are linked together to make coherent sense-units (phrases,
sentences) and the more clearly sentences are linked together to make coherent
paragraphs the easier the text will be to read.
However, to begin reading the learners of English must be aware of phonemes. Many beginner
learners of English have to learn a totally new writing system very different from their L1.It is
therefore useful to work on phonemic awareness. Learners are encouraged to hear and
differentiate between the different sounds or phonemes of English which they will need to match
with the letters or letter combinations that represent them. For example, identifying the
difference between / p / and / b /, or between / i / and / i: /. Various kinds of oral exercises are
used to enable learners to listen to sounds and do various identification tasks.
16. Examples of tasks:
Listen for the odd one out - / t / / t / / t / / d / / t /
Which word rhymes with “patch” 1: Cash or 2. Catch?
Is the / i: / sound at the beginning, middle, or end of the words: 1. Even 2. Three 3. Steep?
How many sounds can you locate in the word “man”?
What word can be made by putting together the following sounds / m / / ae / / n /?
3. A ii.Guidelines to beginning reading:
1. It is preferable to begin reading only after acquiring some basic knowledge of the spoken
language. Reading thus becomes an exercise in recognizing meanings rather than just
decoding symbols.
2. It is most practical to begin with single letters (the conventional phonic method), starting
with the most common and useful. The most common digraphs (two letter combinations
that make a single sound like th, sh, ee) must be taught.
3. It is helpful to teach learners how to pronounce the letter as it is read in a word and teach
the name later.
4. Names of people, commercial products or places provide a lot of extra words that a
learner can read and recognize.
5. The conventional alphabetical order should also be taught.
The ability to read and understand English is acquired mainly through later reading activity in
which learners have the opportunity to engage repeatedly with written texts. For learners to start
developing reading fluency they need a lot of practice at the early stages in reading and
understanding very short simple texts, at word and sentence level. The teacher can supplement
the course material with learning tasks ordered from the easiest to the most difficult using work
sheets or work cards.
Examples of Tasks:
Letters in words: These exercises focus on single letters, wherein learners have to identify the
letters in words which they already know in their spoken form.
E.g. Under each picture is a set of letters. Cross out the letters that you can’t hear when you say
the word.
17. A , B, F, P, E,O,L B, P, N, M, I, L, E,G,C P,B,U,O,C,K
Single words (cognates): Learners are asked to identify words that are likely to be the same or
roughly similar in their own language. The purpose is to provide a wider range of vocabulary to
practise reading.
E.g. translate these words into your own language: summer, television, elephant, apple
Write out the names of the countries in your own language: England, Canada, Japan, and India
Are these names for boys or girls: Maria, Peter, David. Sarah, Anna?
Single words (English words): The learners identify the words and demonstrate comprehension.
E.g. Copy these words in the increasing order of size of the object: a bag, a tree, a mouse
Circle the words that are the names of animals: head, dog, table, pencil, cow, horse.
Which is the odd one out: run, walk, sit, jump?
Phrases and short sentences:
The learners need to understand whole sense – units and demonstrate understanding. This is the
last stage before beginning to read full texts.
E.g. Draw the following items:
a red ball, a blue clock, a white door, a black cat
E.g. Copy out only the sentences that describe the picture.
1. This family is on a holiday.
2. There are two children in the picture.
18. 3. The woman is wearing a blue dress.
4. The man is taking pictures.
5. This family has four members.
6. The boy is standing alone.
7. The family is in a garden.
3. A iii. Fluent Reading:
Once the learners have mastered basic reading comprehension, they move on to more
sophisticated texts and tasks quickly, appropriately and skilfully. They are able to access the
meaning of a text successfully and rapidly with minimum hesitation. Though a large “sight”
vocabulary (lexical items the learner identifies and understands at a glance) is a primary
requirement, learners also need plenty of successful reading experience through a wide range of
texts read for a variety of purposes in order to foster fluent reading.
Characteristics of Fluent reading:
1. Language Level: The text is easy enough to be comprehensible to learners. Learners
must be aware of 95 to 98%of the words from the text chosen for reading practice.
2. Content: The topic is accessible to learners. They know enough about it to be able to
apply their own background knowledge. Pre-reading strategies or introductory texts can
help prepare learners for the reading activity if they are unfamiliar with the content.
3. Speed: Learners read fairly fast meaningful unit after meaningful unit, rather than word
by word. Learners must be trained to read whole “chunks” of meaningful text, word
combinations rather than single words. Learners must not vocalize (pronounce the words
in their mind) as they read.
4. Selective attention: Learners concentrate on the significant parts and skim the rest. They
may even skim parts they know to be less significant. Learners focus on information that
is vital for understanding.
5. Unknown vocabulary: Learners guess or infer the meaning of unknown vocabulary
from the surrounding text or ignore it. They use a dictionary only when these strategies
are insufficient or when absolutely necessary.
6. Prediction: Learners think ahead, hypothesize and predict.
7. Motivation: Learners are motivated to read by interesting content or a challenging task.
8. Purpose: Learners are aware of a clear purpose in reading, beyond just understanding:
for example, to find out something or to enjoy reading.
9. Different strategies: Learners use different strategies for different kinds of reading. For
KWL (Know-Want to know-Learnt),
19. SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recall, Review ).
B. Silent Reading and Loud Reading
3. B i. Silent Reading:
Reading is a decoding process. A complex process, it involves many physical, intellectual and
often emotional reactions. It entails the ability to recognize graphic symbols and their
corresponding vocal sounds.
Three important components mark the reading skill:
1. Recognition of graphic symbols
2. Correlation of these symbols with formal linguistic elements
3. Correlation of these symbols with meaning.
There are two kinds of reading skill: the skill of reading silently and the skill of reading aloud.
The greatest amount of reading that is done is silent. The skill of silent reading however varies
from person to person according to each person’s requirement.
There are five uses of silent reading namely:
1. To survey the materials to be studied ( to look through indexes, chapter headings and
2. To skim
3. To familiarise oneself with the material and its thought content
4. To study the material in depth
5. To study the language in which the material is written from a literary or linguistic point
of view.
Teachers of language must pay special attention to silent reading since it allows the learner to
read a lot with speed. Further, all the important study skills require quick, efficient and
imaginative reading which is made possible by silent reading rather than loud reading.
Reading is easier when the learner is trained to comprehend the patterns of relationship between
words, semantic and lexical. These patterns of relationships may be described as:
1. The relationship between the author and the text
2. The relationship between the reader and the text
3. The relationship between the text and culture.
Thus, silent reading presupposes knowledge of the cultural value of words and expressions and
the ability to identify the thematic content of the text.
20. The teacher therefore must select reading material for silent reading judiciously and teach the
learner the mechanics of silent reading. The learner must not only be trained to increase the
speed of reading but also follow three basic rules, namely,
1. No muscular articulation of words using the lips and tongue should be done while
2. Word by word reading must be avoided in favour of meaningful combinations of words
and phrases
3. Movement of the head must be discouraged; the eyes must scan from left to right until the
end of the row. The focus should be on the visual perception of words and phrases.
There are thus five types of silent reading: survey, skimming, superficial reading, content study
and linguistic or literary study, all of which encompass reading for meaning.
Silent reading allows learners to study the text at their own pace with time to focus on meaning,
slowing down on encountering difficult parts, and skimming or even skipping the easy or
obvious parts.
3. Bii. Reading Aloud
Reading aloud is primarily an oral activity which is focussed on pronunciation rather than
comprehension. Though learners must acquire the skill of reading aloud, it is true that only a few
individuals like newscasters, teachers, lawyers and actors are required to read aloud as a matter
of daily routine. The majority do not have to read aloud except on occasions.
Reading aloud is useful at the early stages of learning the letters as it allows teachers to monitor
how well learners are learning the sounds of separate letters. At the earliest stages of reading
(recognising letters and words) reading aloud helps learners to establish a connection between
sound and spelling. But it does not have much learning value for advanced reading.
When the learners read aloud they are forced to focus on articulating sounds rather than on the
meaning. All the words need to be read at more or less the same speed and paid attention to
equally. This means that unimportant words or information cannot be skipped, and nor can the
learner choose his most comfortable speed of reading. Most significantly, reading the text aloud
does not allow the learner enough time or attention to devote to constructing meanings.
Teachers may intend to help learners by reading the text aloud to them but it can actually make
reading more difficult for the learners must keep pace with the speed set by the teacher. Teachers
often prefer to read the text themselves because it apparently gives them more control over the
reading activity. However, they cannot be sure that the learners are actually following the text at
21. As a strategy for reading a text in the classroom, it is not a useful technique for only one learner
is active at a time; the others may not be listening at all or listening to a bad model. The learner’s
attention is focused on pronunciation and not on understanding the text. Reading aloud also
seems unnatural because most people do not read aloud in real life. Further, since learners read
slowly it takes up a lot of time in class.
B. Extensive and Intensive Reading
“The best way to improve your knowledge of a foreign language is to go and live among its
speakers. The next best way is to read extensively in it”
Reading is one of the skills that a learner of language should acquire. In the classrooms it is most
often taught by careful reading or even translation of foreign language texts. The goal of reading
is usually complete and detailed understanding. The idea of reading is associated with tasks that
have to be fulfilled, a mere exercise to be done in class. But reading is also a very pleasurable
activity that broadens ones knowledge and vocabulary.
3.C i. Extensive reading
Extensive reading as a term naming an approach to teaching reading in a foreign language was
introduced by Harold Palmer and Michael West after piloting a project of Extensive reading in
Extensive reading stresses the pleasure of reading. Extensive reading involves learners in reading
large quantities of books at the level appropriate for them (that is up to 98% of the words are
known to the reader). The primary goal of Extensive reading is reading in order to gain
information and to enjoy texts.
What is Extensive reading?
“We learn to read by reading”.
Extensive reading is a language teaching procedure where learners are supposed to read large
quantities of material or long texts for global understanding, the principal goal being obtaining
pleasure from the text. The reading is individualised. The learner chooses the book and reads it
independently of the teacher and is not required to do a task after reading. The learner is also
encouraged to stop reading if he/she finds the material uninteresting or too difficult. The only
condition for Extensive reading is that learners already have a basic knowledge of the language
and are literate in it.
22. The Benefits of Extensive reading:
Learners who read more not only become better and confident readers but also improve their
reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities. Their vocabulary too becomes richer. It
develops a positive attitude towards the language and increases the motivation to study the
3.C ii.The Basic Principles of Extensive reading:
1. The reading material is easy
Learners read material that contains few or no unfamiliar items of vocabulary and grammar.
Learners will not succeed in reading extensively if they have to struggle with difficult material.
2. A variety of material on a wide range of topics is available.
Learners must be given the opportunity to choose what they really like to read. This contains
graded readers, magazines written for language learners at different ability levels and children’s
literature. Intermediate level learners may read young adult literature which in turn offers a
bridge to ungraded reading materials. Advanced learners are supposed to read books, magazines
and newspapers written for native speakers of English. The variety encourages a flexible
approach towards reading as the learners are reading for different purposes (for information or
3. Learners choose what they want to read.
Self-selection is what learners really enjoy about Extensive reading. Since they are encouraged to
stop reading anything that is uninteresting or too difficult, they experience a different role from
that in a traditional classroom where either the teacher chooses the reading material or the
prescribed text is followed.
4. Learners read as much as possible.
The language learning benefits of Extensive reading come from quantity of reading. For the
benefits of Extensive reading to take effect a book a week is an appropriate goal. This is a
realistic target as books written for beginning language learners are very short.
5. Reading speed is usually faster rather than slower.
Since the material is easily understandable, the learners’ reading is fluent. Learners are
discouraged from using dictionaries as this interrupts reading and makes fluency impossible.
Instead, learners are encouraged to ignore or guess the meaning of a few unknown items they
may encounter from the context.
23. 6. The purpose of reading is usually related to pleasure, information and general
Sufficient understanding rather than hundred percent comprehension is acceptable.
7. Reading is individual and silent.
Learners read at their own pace. Though silent reading periods are sometimes reserved during
class time, most of the reading is done out of the classroom by the learners in their own time and
when and where they choose.
8. Reading is its own reward.
Extensive reading is not usually followed by comprehension questions. The goal of reading is the
reader’s own experience and the joy of reading. However teachers may ask learners to complete
follow-up activities after reading. These are designed to reflect the learner’s experience of
reading rather than comprehension.
9. The teacher orients and guides the learner.
Before starting with Extensive reading the learners must be familiarised with what it is, why it
must be done, what are its benefits, and the method or procedure. The teacher must be aware of
what and how much the learners read. The teacher is interested in the readers’ reactions in order
to guide them in getting the most out of their reading.
10. The teacher is the reader’s role model.
The teacher must be a voracious reader and must be familiar with all the books the learners are
reading in order to be able to recommend reading to individual learners and share their reading
experiences. When the teacher and learners discuss what was read, they create an informal
reading community experiencing together the value and pleasure to be found in the written word.
3.C iii. Intensive reading:
Intensive reading refers to “careful reading (or translation) of shorter, more difficult foreign
language texts with the goal of complete and detailed understanding” according to Bamford and
Intensive reading can be associated with teaching of reading in terms of its component skills i.e.
distinguishing the main idea of a text, reading for gist etc. Intensive reading is appropriate for
learners who need help with reading skills or with skills to achieve particular goals, for e.g.
academic reading proficiency. Intensive reading helps with faster vocabulary acquisition and
awareness of language structures.
24. Extensive Reading Intensive Reading
Fluency, skill forming Analysis of the language
Very easy DIFFICULTY Usually difficult
A book a week AMOUNT Little
Learner selects SELECTION Teacher selects
All learners read different WHAT MATERIAL All learners study the same
things ( something interesting material
to them)
Mostly at home WHERE In class
Checked by COMPREHENSION Checked by specific
reports/summaries questions
(Welsh quoted in Waring, Getting an ER Program Going)
All academic study requires a lot of reading. Competent readers adapt their mode of reading to
their reading purpose. A reading that leads to understanding is a process of active knowledge
construction by the reader.
Intensive reading is a mode of understanding in which readers focus on a fairly comprehensive
understanding of a given text.
A teacher seeks to find a balance between Extensive and Intensive reading
All reading for understanding requires the interaction of two types of cognitive processes,
25. 1. Top-down processes, and,
2. Bottom-up processes
in the construction of meaning.
Top-down processes start from the reader's general knowledge of the world and the given
topic. They activate a reader's contextual knowledge which is then used for interpreting the
information coming in 'bottom up'.
Top-down processes may be triggered by, for example, the title/ topic of a specific text and what
the reader knows about that already. This pre knowledge creates certain expectations which are
then matched, in bottom-up processes, against the information which comes in with each new
sentence and paragraph. Understanding thus is the joint product of an anticipation of meaning
and its confirmation or refutation by the literal study of the textual document.
Effective readers try to be critically aware of what they contribute to the construction of
meaning. When reading an essay they do two things in parallel: They first try to identify its
topic, that is, which questions the author/s set out to answer, and then critically compare his
answers to their own understanding of the issue which may be modified by what the author has
to say on it. With regard to reading for study purposes this often means that it is no use
complaining that the author does not focus on what the reader is presently interested in or would
have wished the author to focus on.
It is not a useful reading strategy, for instance, to sit back and let your eyes glide over the lines of
a book trying to take in everything, hoping that inspiration will come over you if only you read
the text diligently line by line from beginning to end. It will not! Understanding is not an
objective commodity that can be taken out of a book like things can be taken out of a box. If we
do not activate the knowledge we have and bring it productively to bear on an understanding and
interpretation of a given text, no understanding will be the result.
Effective readers, therefore, ask before embarking on a lengthy reading process:
Why do I want to read this?
What do I know about the topic already?
What do I want to find out?
How does that which the text presents relate to what I knew before?
Competent readers know that viewing people or things from different perspectives gives
us a different view of them, looking at texts from different perspectives may also change
our image of them. Our image (understanding) of a specific object changes if we view it
from a different angle. Readers should keep in mind, too, that texts provide answers to
26. questions which their authors had, but those questions may not be the same that a specific
reader has (or would have liked the text to answer).
This does not mean that it is impossible to view a specific topic or object from the
perspective taken by another person. On the contrary, understanding means trying to view
things from a different perspective, and that is essential for enlarging and improving our
With regard to reading for academic purposes and the use of publications which may not
directly address the questions that we are interested in, this means that readers should
critically ask themselves what the aims of their reading is and what aims the author had in
mind when writing the text. They should critically compare the two and also consider
what other authors say on a given topic. The ‘golden rule’ therefore is:
Be an active reader. Use all the knowledge you have and can get access to.
Keeping that in mind we can now turn to two well-known methods of reading that spell
out in some detail the skills needed for reading. They are known as the SQ3R method,
and the MURDER scheme.
The SQ3R Reading Method: Survey-Question-Read-Recite/Recall-Review
Survey the text before you start reading it, from the first to the last page.
Consider the title, headings and subheadings of chapters.
What do they tell you about the content of the text?
Survey Read introductory paragraphs and summaries of chapters.
Look for pictures, maps, graphs, charts illustrating meaning.
Check if the text has a subject index / glossary which may help you find specific
Focus attention on what seems relevant or important.
Ask yourself: 'What do I already know about this topic?'
Ask yourself: 'Why am I reading this text and what is my task with reference to
the seminar paper I am preparing?
Ask yourself: 'What is important information for me?'
Ask: 'What is the context in which the author puts the text?'
When reading, focus first on what you do understand, do not first pick out and
be taken aback by passages which you do not understand.
Read Reread passages which are not clear; use contextual clues and infer meaning.
Look up words which you do not know in a dictionary but do so only for words
which you feel are essential for understanding the text.
27. Read for meaning, relate what you read to what you know and ask yourself if it
makes sense.
At the end of a chapter summarize, in your own words, what you have read.
Take notes from the text and underline/ highlight important points you
Ask yourself how the content of one chapter relates to that of another and why
the author arranged them in that sequence.
Make notes of what seem to you open or controversial issues.
Learning is not possible without reviewing. Repetition is essential. Go over the
Review notes you made or re-read a book or article after some time has elapsed.
Make notes of important points and create your own order.
The MURDER scheme is similar to the SQ3R-method. MURDER stands for: Set the Mood to
Study - Read for Understanding - Recall the Material - Digest the Material - Expand knowledge
-Review Effectiveness of your reading.
Mood is a keyword which reminds us that readers must put themselves in the right mood for
reading and understanding because otherwise they waste their time, reading many words but not
taking in their meaning
Understanding must be the aim of reading, not a mere memorizing of meaningless phrases or
'dead facts'. This requires a willingness to understand, including an openness of mind and
readiness to consider points of view diverging from one’s own. Understanding is not possible
without making meaningful connections of new information with stored knowledge (what a
reader knows already).
Recall, of what the text said, is necessary because without it we would not be able to do it justice
or learn from texts. Storing complex information in neural networks is easier if it is stored in
meaningful chunks and not by rote-memory learning.
Digesting/internalising a text and integrating what it says with what we know and feel is
important because otherwise reading would be without consequences.
Expanding of knowledge is the aim and result of reading for understanding, recall and
digesting/internalising. It widens a person's horizon and opens up new possibilities.
Review is necessary lest we forget what we read (see 'review' under SQ3R).
When reading, it helps to make notes of passages that contain information relevant to
your task and topic or other questions you have.
Clarify the purpose of your reading is early as possible. Do not be surprised, however, if
as a result of your reading your understanding changes and the focus of your attention
shifts to different points. This is a common phenomenon and generally reflects a more
28. complex understanding of the issue. You should be careful, though, not to lose sight of
your original task and topic.
The efficacy of good time management cannot be ignored. It is an important aspect of good
reading skills. It generally saves time if you systematically look for information and compile
your own bibliography before you delve into reading one specific book only. Consulting articles
in handbooks helps to get to know “the state of the art”. Reading recently published articles in
journals discloses new developments and using skimming and scanning as reading strategies
helps decide which texts/content you want to read more intensively. This allows a preliminary
but realistic calculation of the time it takes to read these texts. A realistic calculation of the work
you can do in a given period of time is essential for success in intensive reading.
3.C iv. Important pointers for Intensive / Active reading:
1. Underlining and highlighting
The learner must pick out what he thinks are the most important parts of what he is
reading. (This can be done with one’s own copy of texts or on photocopies alone and
not on borrowed books )
If the learner is a visual learner, he will find it helpful to use different colours to
highlight different aspects of what he is reading.
2.Note key words
The main headings must be recorded as one reads. One or two keywords may be
used for each point. If the learner doesn't want to mark the text, he must keep a
folder of notes that he has made while reading.
Before the learner starts reading something like an article, a chapter or a whole book,
he must prepare for his reading by noting down questions he wants the material to
answer. While he is reading, he must note down questions which the author raises.
He should try to turn the boldface headings into questions he thinks the section
should answer.
29. 4.Summarise
The learner must pause after he has read a section of the text.
1. put what he has read into his own words;
2. skim through the text and check how accurate his summary is and
3. fill in any gaps.
5.Spotting authors' navigation aids
The learner must recognise sequence signals, for example:
"Three advantages of..." or "A number of methods are available..."
These indicate that several points will follow.
The first sentence of a paragraph will often indicate a sequence:
"One important cause of..." followed by "Another important factor..." and so on,
until "The final cause of..."
General points are often illustrated by particular examples, for example:
General: Birds' beaks are appropriately shaped for feeding.
Particular: Sparrows and other seed-eating birds have short, stubby beaks; wrens
and other insect eaters have thin pointed beaks; herons and other fish hunters have
long, sharp beaks for spearing their prey.
Whatever one is reading, one must be aware of the author's background. It is
important to recognise the bias given to writing by a writer's political, religious,
social background. The learner must be aware of which newspapers and journals
represent a particular standpoint.
6. Words and vocabulary
As an adult studying a particular language at the college level the learner is expected
30. to use a vocabulary which is wider than at the school-level.
To expand one’s vocabulary:
One must choose a large dictionary rather than one which is ‘compact' or ‘concise'.
(around 1,500 pages is a good size).
One must avoid dictionaries which give only synonyms. For e.g. A pocket dictionary
might suggest: ‘impetuous = rash'.
A more comprehensive dictionary tells one that impetuous means ‘rushing with force
and violence', while another may give ‘liable to act without consideration', and add
to one’s understanding by giving the derivation ‘14th century, Latin, impetuous =
It will tell that rash means ‘acting without due consideration or thought', and is
derived from Old High German rasc = hurried.
So underlying these two similar words is the difference between violence and
One must avoid dictionaries which use very complicated language to define the term
one is looking up, leaving one struggling to understand half a dozen new words.
One must keep one’s dictionary at hand when one is studying. Look up unfamiliar
words and work to understand what they mean. If one doesn't have a dictionary then
he must note down words which he doesn't understand and look them up later.
One must improve one’s vocabulary by reading widely.
Intensive reading thus has for its objective the full understanding of the text with its
argument, it’s symbolic, emotional and social overtones, the attitudes and purposes of
the author and the linguistic and literary means the author employs to achieve his
purpose. Intensive reading in a sense is study.
D. Supplementary Reading:
The word supplement comes from the Latin supplementum for "something added to
fix a deficiency" and the suffix -ary means "connected with." Together they mean
“filling in”.
31. Teachers of English almost always believe that some amount of subsidiary reading in
addition to intensive and extensive reading is a must. Supplementary reading
however is not library reading. It is done and tested in set lessons and constitutes
supervised reading.
The supplementary reader is preferably as simple as the reader/ text used for the
class. The structures and vocabulary learned in the reader/ text should be practiced in
the supplementary reader.
The main activity during supplementary reading is silent reading of the prescribed
content. Before silent reading the teacher must provide a few broad questions to
provide a direction to the reading. After the reading the unit is discussed to assess
how much the learner has understood.
While selecting books for supplementary reading it is important to select fairly easy
books for this encourages spontaneous reading in learners and provides not only a
sense of achievement and satisfaction but also a great impetus to reading on their
UNIT III: 2. Development Of Writing Skills
At the end of this unit you will be able to:
a. explain the mechanics of writing
b. illustrate controlled and graded writing exercises
c. distinguish between guided and free composition.
A. Teaching the Mechanics of Writing
Writing is fundamentally different from the other skills: listening, speaking and
reading. It is visual rather than oral/aural, productive rather than receptive.
As with reading, it is important to know some simple conversational English before
beginning to learn the letters.
3. 2Ai The Mechanics of Reading
Single letters rather than letter combinations in words are taught. The most common
32. and useful letters, covering the lower and upper case forms are focused upon.
Direction: The learner must be provided with models of correct direction writing by
modelling the letter writing on the board. The alphabet may be written with arrows
showing the direction it should be written in and formed correctly.
Height, depth and level: Early writing should be done within parallel lines which
limit the height of letters and make sure they are level.
for e.g. that letters like d, l, b have arms that are of a similar height to capital letters
and that letters like p, y, g have tails that are sufficiently long beneath the line.
Cursive writing: The overriding criterion here is comprehensibility. The learner is
allowed to choose between cursive and non-cursive.
Typing: It is becoming more and more necessary for learners to learn to type.
Learners must be given the opportunity to use the keyboard in order to increase their
typing speed. It is also useful to teach them word processing tools to format their
written work: different fonts, sizes and spacing, colours and positions. Basic copying
or simple composition exercises can be made more motivating by allowing learners
to use these tools to improve the presentation of a text.
Speed and legibility: When teaching writing, the two main aims are to enable
learners to reasonably fast and to write legibly.
Fluent writing tasks aim to improve learners’ ability to compose written text for
communicative purposes. Though accuracy (grammar, vocabulary, spelling) is
important, the main focus is on meaningful writing following the conventions of a
particular genre.
Writing tasks must be planned or selected on the basis of the following criteria :
 Interest : the task should be motivating and stimulating
 Level: the language required should be appropriate to the level of the class.
 Relevance: at least some of the tasks should be similar to the kinds of things
learners may need to write themselves, now or in the future.
 Simplicity: The task should be easy to explain. Often the provision of a
model text can help to clarify.
 Personal appropriateness: The task should make the teacher feel
33. comfortable and fits in with her teaching style, goals and preferences.
“Mechanics” is the term used nowadays to describe punctuation, spelling, and
Writing is all about communicating ideas; sentences are how we package them. Each
sentence contains a complete thought, one chunk of information, that the writer has
written and that the reader has to understand.
This is what “outside” or terminal punctuation is for. Terminal punctuation includes the
initial capital letter that shows the beginning of a sentence and the period, question mark, or
exclamation mark that shows the end.
Sentences are often made up of parts. Writers use “inside” punctuation, also called
“internal” punctuation, to show where those parts begin and end within a single sentence.
The important marks of inside punctuation are the comma, the semicolon, the colon, the
dash, the apostrophe, parentheses, and quotation marks.
The basic thing the learner must remember is this: capital letters indicate that some words are
more important than others for e.g. Words in names, places, and things that are one of a kind.
(The first word of a sentence is also capitalised because it marks the beginning of a new
A sentence is a single idea. A paragraph is a collection of one or more sentences that are
closely related. Paragraphs are extremely useful to readers because they break the piece into
small, manageable chunks, and because they highlight the organizational structure.
Different types of writing tend to have different lengths of paragraphs. Novels tend to have
shorter paragraphs than reference books. Newspaper stories have many paragraphs of only a
single sentence.
In general, longer paragraphs are harder to understand; they also slow down the pace. But
they are perfect for focusing a reader’s attention on something important. Shorter paragraphs
are easier to understand and when we encounter several in a row, we feel the pace of the
piece quicken. Shorter paragraphs are also easier to skim for readers who only want to read
certain parts of a piece. This is one of the reasons why newspaper stories have so many one
sentence paragraphs; they are designed for efficient skimming because many newspaper
readers do not read entire articles.
34. The grammar most people in school and in the business world would like the learner to use
when he writes is called “Standard English” grammar, or “Common Standard English”
(CSE) as it is known more officially.
Writers use mechanics to enhance and clarify the meaning of what they write. Mechanics
allow writers to specify the exact way a word or phrase should be interpreted by the reader;
they help the reader understand exactly what the writer had in mind. When one can’t be there
to read one’s writing to someone else, mechanics can help do the reading for him. Whenever
one writes something, one hears it in one’s head first. One knows exactly how it should
sound, but the reader doesn’t. Mechanics guide the reader through the writing by telling the
reader when to stop, when to go, when to speed up, when to slow down, and so on. They
make one’s writing sound just the way it sounded to him when he wrote it down.
Without mechanics, writing would be a mess. If a space wasn’t put between each word,
everything would run together. Without the mechanics of correct spelling, writers could
never be sure if readers would be able to read the words they had written. And even if
everyone spelled each word the same way, without the mechanics of punctuation, writers
would still have trouble getting their message across. Without mechanics one might be able
to communicate very simple ideas and emotions in his writing, but one wouldn’t be able to
capture the complexity of his thinking or the rich rhythms of human speech. The writer’s
voice would be muted because he would never be able to make what he writes match the
way he wanted to sound.
The more one works with mechanics, the more one will be able to make them work for
oneself. Mechanics are a powerful part of writing, and one can tap into that power with
something as simple as a comma or a pair of quotation marks. One’s ideas are important.
They deserve to be read and to be understood exactly the way they were intended to be.
Some people, when they think about mechanics, think about rules. But that’s not exactly
right. Mechanics are tools, not rules. They help us hammer out a precise idea, nail down a
topic, and chisel away at ambiguity.
In conclusion, the four major areas of learning involved in the mechanics of the writing
process are thus:
1. The learner must learn the graphic system of the language
2. The learner must learn to spell according to the conventions of the language
3. The learner must learn to control the structure of the language so that what he writes is
comprehensible to his reader
35. 4. The learner must learn to select from among possible combinations of words and phrases
those which will convey the nuances he has in mind in the register which is most
The first three of these processes must be learned so thoroughly that they do not require the
writer’s concentrated attention thus allowing him to focus on the process of selection among
possible combinations.
B.Controlled and Graded Writing Exercises
Apart from its intrinsic interest or value, writing is an essential classroom activity. It is of
considerable importance for consolidating learning in the other skill areas. It provides a
welcome change in activity and is useful in the area of testing.
Writing activities traditionally have taken the form of writing out of paradigms, and
grammatical exercises, dictation, translation and imitative and free composition.
Controlled writing concerns itself with structures, use of appropriate words, punctuations,
word order etc. and not with facts or ideas.
The following are the processes, from the simplest to the more challenging, which a learner
undergoes in a supervised setting to learn writing.
Transcription / Copying: The work set for copying should consist of sections of work already
learned orally and read with the teacher. When assigned lists of words to be learned the
learners may be asked to copy the words several times as they are learning them, thus
imprinting the graphic outlines more firmly in their minds. Credit should be given for accuracy
in copying in order to encourage learners in careful observation of details.
Reproduction: The learner attempts to write without originality what he has learned orally and
read in his textbook. The learner is asked to reproduce without a copy only the sentences and
phrases which he has learned to copy. He will then compare this version with the original for
Next the learner is asked to write down sentences he has memorised, read and copied as they
are dictated to him.
Further practice in reproduction takes the form of the writing of pattern-drill responses of the
repetitive type. The learner reproduces, at a cue from the teacher, pattern sentences which have
been practiced orally in classroom activities and studied in the textbook. The emphasis is
entirely on accuracy of reproduction.
36. Recombination: Here the learner is required to reproduce learned work with minor
adaptations. At this stage writing practice may take a number of forms. Learners will write out
structure drills of various kinds: making substitutions of words and phrases, transforming
sentences, expanding them to include further information within the limits of learned phrases,
contracting them by substituting pronouns for nouns or single words for groups of words. The
writing of drills not only gives valuable practice in accurate and correct construction of
sentences but consolidates what has been learned orally.
Guided writing: The learner may begin with completion exercises where parts of sentences
are given and the structural pattern is established for him. Replacement exercises may be
devised in which a section of the sentence can be replaced by a number of different phrases,
giving the learner the opportunity to express new meanings for e.g. a substitution drill, outline
stories, summary writing, and questions.
C. Guided composition and Free Composition
Controlled or Guided Composition is initially used to reinforce speech. Learners are
given sentence exercises, paragraphs etc. to manipulate grammatically for e.g. change
present to past, questions to statements or combine clauses / sentences. Grammar, syntax
and mechanics of writing are stressed to help learners develop composition skills. These
tasks help learners to form correct grammatical sentences. The teaching of writing skills
in this traditional approach perpetuates the belief that a focus on word usage and standard
syntax would eventually improve learners’ writing. Moreover, it is widely acknowledged
that the best way for learners to effectively acquire writing skills is by exposing them to
analyse and imitate a given model of good writing. Thus, learners compose a similar
paragraph by copying rhetorical structure and manipulating syntactic structure and are
able to create a paragraph based on a given model with a large amount of comparatively
error-free writing.
As soon as learners are capable of doing composition work by copying the model, they
are geared to stages toward “free composition” in the form of narrative and descriptive
prose. The writing activities include step-by-step techniques such as determining the
main topic, making topic sentences, making supporting sentences, choosing the central
idea, outlining and paragraphing. Free composition helps learners learn to focus on
content and fluency. It believes that once the learners are able to put their ideas on the
page, grammar, syntax and organisation gradually follow. Teachers therefore do not
focus on correction of errors but allow learners to write freely as writing is essentially
taught as an ongoing process and as a process of discovery. Continuous revision is the
central concern and the teacher encourages the student to learn that writing is a process
through which they can explore and discover their thoughts and ideas and organize
content in accordance with the reader type.
37. Disadvantages of Guided Composition:
1. It overvalues form and correctness as the sole essential aspect to attain
proficiency in writing and ignores the more important facets such as purpose, content,
audience type and the process of writing itself.
2. Since it encourages learners to elicit an entire, well written composition similar to the
model given, it does not provide freedom for learners to generate ideas using their own
rhetorical structures. The rigid control of the use of language restricts learners’ creativity
in expressing their ideas in their compositions.
3. This approach is product oriented. It requires learners to finish writing one topic before
being assigned with another and eventually compels them to submit their end product to
the teachers within a limited time. In so doing, teachers are not aware of the fact that
writing is an ongoing process and should undergo such stages as having a prewriting
activity, writing activity and rewriting or editing activity. Thus learners cannot optimally
explore and elaborate ideas in their compositions.
Explain why the mechanics of reading must be followed by the learner of language.
How does silent reading facilitate the development of language?
Why must teachers of language practice loud reading activities?
Why is extensive reading the favoured approach of many language teachers?
How does intensive reading help a learner to learn a language?
Devise exercises that may be used in the classroom as controlled or graded exercises for
language learning.
Explain why guided composition should precede free composition.
38. References:
Stanley, Graham. “Extensive Reading”. BBC /British Council teaching English – Reading.
Vaezi, Shahin. “Theories of Reading 2”. BBC /British Council teaching English – Reading.
Peha,Steve, < http://www.ttms.org/writing_quality/conventions.html>
Bamford, Julian and Richard R. Day. Extensive Reading Activities for Teaching
Language.Cambridge: CUP, 2004.
Waring, Rob. “Getting an Extensive Reading Program Going”. Language Magazine
December 2003.
Fleming, Mike and Stevens, David English Teaching in the Secondary School-Linking Theory
and Practice, Routledge, 1998.
Ur, Penny. A Course in English Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press, 1996
Verghese, Paul. Teaching English as a Second Language, Sterling Publishers, 1989
Doff, Adrian. Teach English- A Training Course for Teachers, Cambridge University Press, 1988
Nuttall, Christine. Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language. Oxford: Heinemann, 1982.
Rivers, Wilga.Teaching Foreign Language Skills, The University of Chicago Press, 1968
1. Teaching Prose, Teaching Poetry, Teaching Grammar, Teaching of Non-Detailed Text.
2. Use of Audio – Visual Aids in Teaching.
4.2.Teaching Prose
4.2.1. Intensive Reading
4.2.2. Aims of Teaching Prose
4.2.3. General Aims of Teaching Prose
4.2.4. Specific Aims
4.2.5. The steps involved in Teaching Prose
1. Introducing the prose lesson
2. Teaching Structures
3. Dividing the text in to smaller units
4. Teaching vocabulary
5. Model reading by the teacher
6. Silent reading by the student
7. Testing .Comprehension
8. Testing Application
9. Loud reading by the students
10. Giving Assignments
4.3. Teaching Poetry
4.3.1. Introduction
4.3.2. The place of poetry in a second language
4.3.3. The Importance of poetry
4.3.4. Objectives of poetry lessons
4.3.5. Teaching Rhymes
4.3.6. Teaching Poems
4.3.7. Process of Teaching poem
40. 4.4. Teaching Grammar
4.4.1. Introduction
4.4.2. Types of Grammar
4.4.3. How much grammar should be taught in English?
4.4.4. Methods of Teaching Grammar Deductive Method Method –deductive Method
4.5.Teaching of Non-detailed Text
4.5.1. Introduction
4.5.2. Specific objectives
4.5.3. Meaning of Non-Detailed Text
4.5.4. Procedure of Non-Detailed Study
4.5.5. Advantages of N-D-S.
4.6.Use of Audio – Visual Aids In Teaching
4.7.Let us Sum Up.
After studying this unit, you will be able to –
 Understand the steps of Teaching prose
 Enumerate the Aims and objectives of teaching prose
 Understand the place of poetry in second language
 Suggest few tips for effective teaching of poetry
 Explain different types of grammar
 Justifies the best method of teaching grammar
 Explain the meaning and process of Non-detailed study.
 Write the uses of audiovisual aids in teaching.
41. 4.2. Teaching Prose
According to Coleridge, “prose is words in their best order “
Prose is meant for learning a language. Teaching prose means teaching reading with
comprehension. The learners are taught the skill of reading. Having taught the students how to
read a language, the next logical step is to teach them reading with comprehension. Teaching
prose enables the students to understand the passage, to read fluently, to enrich their vocabulary
and to enjoy reading and writing. It enables the learners to extend their knowledge of vocabulary
and structures and to become more proficient in the four language skills. It develops the ability
of speaking English correctly and fluently.
The main aims of teaching prose are:
(i) Literary enrichment and
(ii) Content knowledge
To achieve these aims of the teaching of prose should be intensive as also extensive.
4.2.1. Intensive Reading;
Intensive reading or reading for accuracy involves approaching a text under the
close guidance of a teacher, or through a task that forces the student to pay attention to the text. It
involves a profound and detailed understanding of the , text not only in terms of ‘what’ it says
but also ‘ how ‘ it says it .
An intensive reading lesson is primarily concerned with the developing of reading
strategies in the learners.
1. Judgment
2. Reasoning
3. Interpretation and
4. Appreciation
Generally, a short text, which can be finished in a lesson or two, is considered
For scanning for information, paying attention to writer’s intention arguments, ideas, style, etc.
Students while reading a text do not simply look for any specific piece of information. They read
it thoroughly so that they can pass their exam which, they know, will contain question involving
their understanding of the text as a whole. In all respects, intensive reading is more an exercise in
accuracy. The text books prescribed for general English courses at the secondary level are all
meant to be read intensively. Students are supposed to read them in detail so that they can answer
42. the questions given at the end of each text, question on comprehension grammar, vocabulary,
writing etc.
The intensive reader should be based on the structural syllabus containing
interesting and well graded reading material accompanied by colourful pictures to create an
interest in the lessons. All reading lessons should be preceded by plenty of oral discussions in
which difficult words, phrases and ideas should be clearly explained by the teacher. Lessons
based on the intensive reader should have provision for both reading aloud and silent reading, to
give the greatest benefit to a learner of English.
4.2.2.Aims of Teaching Prose:
Teaching of prose is the intensive study of language, structure and vocabulary. It main
objective is to develop the language ability of the students. This ability makes the child
understand and use English language without any problem. Thus a detailed study
concentrates both on language study and comprehension of ideas or linguistic skills. The
general aims are as follows.
4.2.3. General Aims Of Teaching Prose :
To enable the students
1. To understand the passage and grasp its meaning
2. To read with correct pronunciation, stress, intonation pause and articulation of
3. To understand the passage by silent reading.
4. To enrich their active and passive vocabulary.
5. To express the ideas of the passage orally and in writing.
6. To enjoy reading and writing.
7. To develop their imagination.
8. To prepare for world citizenship.
4.2.4. Specific Aims
These vary according to the subject matter depending upon whether it is a story, biography, play
or an essay.
For these the specific aims are as follows;
To enable the students
43. 1. To learn a few facts through the story.
2. To teach some morals
3. To mould ones character
4. To acquaint with the style of story writing
1. To get students to grasp a few facts through the essay.
2. To make students curious about the subject of the essay.
3. To acquaint students with the style of essay – writing.
4. To enable students to arrange ideas in organized manner.
1. To get students acquainted with the lives and deeds of great men.
2. To reveal to the students the path of character building.
3. To make them aspire for better things in life.
4. To inculcate in them desirable sentiments.
1. To provide the students with opportunities for self- expression.
2. To make them speak English in the conversational style.
3. To make them play different roles.
4. To build their character.
4.2.5. The steps involved in Teaching Prose :
A prose lesson contains structures, vocabulary and ideas for comprehension. The
students must have a mastery over the sounds, structure and vocabulary before reading the
passage / lesson. The main objective of teaching prose is to help the students use the structures
and vocabulary he can read with comprehension and write a few sentences about the lesson using
the appropriate structures and content words . Therefore a prose lesson is not for memorizing
question and answers but for learning a language. The steps for teaching of prose may be
summed up as follows.
1. Introducing the prose lesson
The introduction has two purposes
i. To bring the past knowledge to consciousness.
ii. To win students attention to the new subject
44. English is a foreign language and India students find it difficult. So teachers should try to
motivate students to study the lesson. All the efforts made by the teacher to attract students to
learn the lesson. It includes the material aids, previous knowledge of the students and
The teacher can introduce the lesson through appropriate question or through showing
pictures models etc. However he should not start the topic directly. The introductory question
arouses curiosity among the students for the new lesson. Hence the teacher should first ask some
question to test the previous knowledge of the students and then link that to the subject to be
2. Teaching Structures :
When presenting new structural items, we should primarily achieve two things:
a. To enable the students to identify the new structures.
b. To make absolutely clear its meaning and use.
To achieve (a) above, the teacher must supply clear models of the structures. Some believe that
plenty of examples should be given bringing the pattern out clearly .In this connection
substitution table is of great help as it highlights the elements of the pattern and their order and
One of the ways of achieving (b) is to present the structures in readily
understandable situation. This helps the students not only to understand the meaning of the new
item but also its use in different contexts. Later they are provided with opportunities to use the
structures themselves.
3. Dividing the text in to smaller units.
Reading passages sometimes happen to be very long making it tiresome to work
though them from beginning to end. In such a case the text will have to be split up
in to shorter, more manageable units or sections. This will facilitate the teacher to
present the lesson before the students interestingly and efficiently.
4. Teaching Vocabulary :
The teacher selects the new words from the subtopic and exposes their meaning one
after the other. To give clear ideas to students he may use an object, a model or a picture.
Sometimes through situation he may explain the meaning.
The purposes of exposition are;
i. To clear the meaning of difficult words, phrases and India.
45. ii. To make the comprehension of the passage easy.
iii. To pave way for intensive reading.
5. Model reading by the Teacher :
In this step, the teacher should read out his selected passage loudly before
the students. At the time of reading he/she should be very careful about the pronunciation, words
phrases and intonation. Since the students learn to read through imitation the teacher should take
the utmost pains to impose his / he own reading aloud.
This model reading helps the students for aural comprehension. Before
doing model reading, the teacher should give instructions to students regarding postures, opening
of the book and attention. While reading he should not completely absorb himself in the book.
6. Silent Reading by the students :
Here the teacher gives time for the students to read the passage silently such
type of reading is helpful for rapid reading, learning of new words and a quick grasp of meaning.
Silent reading should continue for a limited time, say for 5 or 10 minutes for a single passage.
7. Testing Comprehension
In this step the teacher asks some question from the present passage to the students to text
to what extent the students have comprehended the meaning of the passage.
These questions should be based on the very passage taught by the teacher and they
should be direct, short and objective based.
The same procedure (step 4, 5, 6, 7) can be followed for the rest of the lesson.
8. Testing Application
The main aims of application test is to evaluate to what extent the objectives of a
lesson have been achieved. the question may be of oral or written type .
After the teaching of structure or vocabulary teaching to do the exercises at the
end of the lesson.
9. Loud Reading by the students
Now is the time when the teacher can ask the students to read out the passage loudly
one by one?
46. This loud reading is very much helpful to the students for clear pronunciation. It also
improves the to he, rhythm and fluency. But a student should read long passage. Each
student should read a few lines from the passage.
In the regard the following points can be given special consideration.
i. The errors of pronunciation must be corrected at the end of the reading.
ii. Students should be asked to keep the books 25/30 cm. away from the eyes.
iii. They should hold the book in the left hand while the right hand should be kept
The teacher will therefore need to exercise great care whenever
the students are asked to read aloud. As the students have already learnt all the
new words, structures and as they have also understood the text, the chances for
success in reading aloud are greater than they are at the beginning.
10. Giving Assignment
After the classroom tarks are completed the teacher can give some assignment
which could be of the following types:
i. To remember the meaning and spelling of new words.
ii. To use the words in sentences
iii. To write the gist of the passage.
iv. To answer questions on the passage.
v. To do the exercises based on the structures taught.
(“Poetry beings in delight and ends in wisdom:” – Robert frost)
4.3.1. Introduction :
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a poem is
a, “piece of creative writing in verse, especially one expressing deep feelings or noble thought in
beautiful language written with the intention of communicating an experience”. S. T. Coleridge
believes that ‘poetry is the beat words in their best order’.
Poetry is for pleasure. To Robert Frost “Poetry beings in Delight and ends in
Wisdom”. It is clear that we read poetry in order to get some pleasure and enjoy the beauty of the
language. We not only appreciate the ideas and thoughts but also the way in which the thoughts
and ideas have been presented.
4.3.2. The place of poetry in a second Language.
At the secondary school level, the learners can understand and enjoy poetry in
their mother – tongue (e.g,odia)because they
- Know the language well ,
- Are familiar with the culture, context and the experience of the poem ,
47. - Have a fairly good command of the language.
- Can express their views through the language
But the learners cannot understand and enjoy poems in a second language (English) because
- Do not know the language very well,
- Are not familiar with the culture, the context and the experience of the
- Have not yet developed their linguistic and communicative competence ,
- Find everything foreign to them: the language, the ideas, the culture, the
context, etc.
Poetry should find no place in English at the secondary school level in this country because of
the following reasons:
i. Teacher is supposed to teach English Language not Literature. Poetry which is a part of
literature could be taken care of at an advanced level / stage.
ii. Teachers are expected to teach English in linguistic terms. And the teaching of poetry
pre-supposes the acquisition of all the four fundamental language skills, that is, LSRW.
Therefore, poetry should come at a later stage.
iii. English is a second language in India. In such a situation, teacher should not expect their
students to appreciate the poetic components like images, Figures of speech, Figurative
meaning and structural variation. The students are not mature enough to enjoy the poem
and its purpose in view of their attainment and proficiency in the language. This of course
could be taken up in the mother – tongue. More- over teachers should not force their
student s to struggle with originality, creativity and height of imagination through a
medium which is not suitable for the purpose.
However, we may include some rhymes in the course for given the learners ‘a feel ‘of
the rhymes of the language.
iv. If teachers teach poetry in order teach language, and then the very purpose of teaching
poetry is defeated because poetry is meant for the appreciation of the beauty of language,
thought and feeling of the poem.
4.3.3. The Importance of poetry
Despite the above arguments against teaching poetry in English at the secondary level,
there are some advantages of poetry lessons which are as follows:
48. (i) Develop in the pupils a favorable attitude towards the language ,
(ii) Help in teaching some idiomatic and grammatical constructions
(iii) Help in improving learner’s pronunciation.
4.4.4. Objectives of Poetry Lessons
The objectives of teaching poetry at the secondary level may be as follows:
(i) To give listening practice to the students
(ii) To give speaking practice to the learners
(iii) To enable the students to recite the poem in proper way so that they may enjoy its music and
(iv) To enable them to understand the beauty of thought.
(v) To enable them to improve their power of imagination
(vi) To enable them to appreciate the poem by awakening in them the aesthetic qualities of
(vii) To make them familiar with the back ground of the poem.
(viii) To develop love for English language.
4.4.5 Teaching Rhymes :
Hence the first and the strong link between children and the English language can be only
through nursery rhymes. The term nursery is apt because just as in a Nursery growing the
saplings, the rhymes take care of the language to be developed later. We all know how children
enjoy saying a rhyme in lower classes with movement, gestures and most important their
expressions. Every child becomes one with the rhymes when taught properly with the teacher’s
The Importance of saying (reciting) or singing rhymes:
Rhymes –
- Strengthen and develop the memory power.
- Develop active power of imitation and imagination.
- Train the ears to the delicate varieties of sound and rhymes.
- Widen the knowledge of vocabulary.
- Develop a sense of achievement and confidence in the young learners.
- Lay a strong foundation for speech work.
- Are an excellent aids to correct speech?