jump to navigation

Publishing Next: Day One, Session 1 September 16, 2011

Posted by dcfrombc in English for Progress, General, Young Creative Entrepreneur.
add a comment

The conference kicked off with a stimulating panel on “Where Are Digital Books Headed?”, chaired by Jaya Bhattacharji Rose and Radhika Menon (Tulika Books), Pratibha Sastry (JiniBooks and JiniLabs), James Birdle (Bookkake, London Lit Plus) and Kailash Balani (Aditya Books, Balani Infotech).

Radhika Menon shared a fascinating presentation on how Tulika has colloborated with several partners to create content and provide techn0logy solutions to bring books closer to children in a socially meaningful way. “Just clickability is not enough”, she said. Was really taken by the multilingual dimension of Tulika’s work.

Pratibha spoke about her own varied experience in the entertainment industry and mentioned the runaway success of Amanda Hopkins in retailing her own e-books.  Kailash Balani mentioned MHRD’s plan to provide e-books to over 20,000 colleges in India, while James Bridle compared the UK and US e-book markets through the contrasting rise to fortune of Amazon’s Kindle in the UK and Barnes and Noble’s Nook in the US.

Was really struck by James’ passion for the idea of the book and the parallel he drew between the identity and wonership issues about e-books and real books.

Posted by Debanjan Chakrabarti.

 

Real pity

Advertisements

It’s always good (and green) in Goa: PublishingNext Conference September 16, 2011

Posted by dcfrombc in English for Progress, Young Creative Entrepreneur.
add a comment

You have got to give it to Goa. This is my first trip to this slender slice of heaven-on-earth in the monsoons. With Goa, one expects a lot of green and blue all the year round. But it really is difficult to imagine how incredibly lush and green Goa is during the rains. I am here to attend the PublishingNext conference organised by Leonard Fernandes of Cinnamon Teal, the winner of British Council’s IYCE award for publishing last year.

The genial Leonard and his team were there to meet and greet every delegate and speaker at Dabolim airport as we arrived in dribs and drabs yesterday. As some of us made our way to our hotel in Goa’s capital city, Panjim, we watched in awe the various vibrant shades of green loom in and zoom past our speeding bus on either sides of the grey road. And the sea sparkled and shimmered not too far away.

My colleague Rwituja and I ambled around our hotel in the evening. There is an inexplicable mix of the old and the new in the capital, best reflected perhaps in its architecture – elegant old colonial buildings crumbling away, gradually being replaced by a style that can only be described as hideous modernism.

Am here to learn more about what the future holds for publishing in the brave old digital world. I am particularly keen to explore what avenues British Council might explore with our English Interface work that looks at (among other things) commissioning and disseminating action research on ELT from across the globe.

The conference aims to address the following:

  • Where are Digital Books headed?
  • The Impact of Alternate Publishing
  • Book Marketing in the Age of Social Media
  • Publishing Houses of the Future
  • Copyright Issues and IP
  • Managing the Translation Market

The programme for the day looks exciting. More anon.

PS: And it’s good to be in Goa in any season for one other reason. A bottle of Tuborg beer costs Rs 25, a bottle of water Rs 20. What do you suppose I am having to slake my thirst?

Posted by Debanjan Chakrabarti, Head English Interface, British Council India

Chetan Bhagat live and unplugged! December 2, 2009

Posted by Stephen in English for Progress.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Dear readers, I promise you don’t want to miss out on this!

We’ve uploaded Part 1 of Chetan Bhagat’s appearance at the Third Policy Dialogue. You can see the video at http://www.youtube.com/user/Britishcouncilindia#p/c/182A295AA1364815/24/dS9kh3qeWYg

We’ll be uploading the final parts in the next few days, so stay tuned. And tell us what you think of Chetan’s address.

Policy Implications for English Teaching and Learning November 28, 2009

Posted by Anooja in English for Progress.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Hello everyone

It was a pleasure watching the conference sessions live online yesterday. I urge those of you who wanted to attend the conference but could not, to use this facility provided by British Council to watch it live and even take part in it by adding comments. You comments may get discussed.

I tuned in for some of the sessions. Some- like, ‘building skills for employability’- were gripping as well as hilarious. Especially the speech by Manish Sabharwal; was it eloquence epitomized!  Some were eye openers–Policy implications for English teaching and learning. It was quite informative.

‘Policy implications for English teaching and learning’ dealt a lot with scenario in schools in different parts of India. I guess good English teaching and learning in schools will lead to ‘building employability skills’ in the long run!  This points to the lacuna we have in India in this area.

Isn’t that one of the reasons that makes ‘building employability skills’ a necessity now? I have heard private school principals lamenting about the difficulty they face in recruiting good teachers. They have to place the good teachers in high school so that the 10th grade results are not compromised. So most often the worst teachers end up in the primary section.

Rod Bolitho, Academic Director of Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE), raised many questions which I felt are very relevant.

Some questions, about the shortage of English teachers in India, are listed below.

  1. How attractive is teaching as a career in India in general?
  2. What is the reason behind the English graduates choosing fields other than teaching as profession?
  3. Is there any appropriate formulated initiative in India to raise the number of English teachers in training?
  4. Has the government decided what the probable number of teachers required to be trained is in order to meet the demand in, maybe, the next 10 years?
  5. Are there enough institutions training teachers?

      Some others, about the quality of English teachers/education, are below.

      1. What is the minimum qualification for school teachers? Is there any standardisation of qualification for the primary school teachers teaching English across India?
      2. In some states the minimum qualification set for the teachers of English is far lower than the others. So is bad English being perpetuated through the system?
      3. What type of pre-service training do they undergo?
      4. What kind of training is going on in pre-service level and how practical is it?
      5. Are the pre-service training institutions calibrated completely against the needs of the teachers?
      6. Are the skills of the teacher educator the skills which are needed to produce methodologically and linguistically competent teachers?

        What is your opinion on these issues? Please write in your comments, would love to hear your ideas.

        English Next India – what does it mean to you? November 26, 2009

        Posted by Stephen in English for Progress.
        Tags: , , , ,
        2 comments

        We’ve all had a bit of time to digest David Graddol’s ‘tiny tome’ (not my quote) during the Third Policy Dialogue. If not, you can still view the recording of his presentation at http://www.britishcouncil.org.in/efponline/sessions/18.html

        What I’d like to know is what does it mean to you. His statistics and conclusions may be new for an international audience, but is there anything new for an Indian audience?

        What are your views?

        Don’t miss a thing! November 22, 2009

        Posted by Stephen in English for Progress.
        add a comment

        The Third Policy Dialogue is physically over but the discussion continues. For updates on blog posts and new uploads to English for Progress online, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/efponline

        Keeping the discussion going November 20, 2009

        Posted by Stephen in English for Progress.
        2 comments

        It’s Friday evening and the face to face conference is over. It was a fantastic two days!

        Thank you to all of you who have posted and commented on this blog – the discussion has been stimulating, wide ranging and engaging. We want to keep the discussion going over the next few weeks, so we’ll be keeping the blog open. Many of the speakers will be checking the posts about their sessions, so a good oportunity to connect with them via comments. You can also comment directly on the recorded sessions on the same page where you view them, and read others’ comments. We’ll also be uploading more photos and interviews, so keep an eye on YouTube and Picassa.

        www.britishcouncil.org.in/EfPonline

        The Role of English in Conflict Transformation November 20, 2009

        Posted by Catherine in English for Progress.
        add a comment

        Gill Westaway, Director, British Council Sri Lanka, and Duncan Wilson, Head Project English, British Council Sri Lanka, presented the STEPS (Skills Through English for Public Servants) project which has been implemented in Sri Lanka.  The project was completed in partnership with GTZ (an NGO), and Psyche Kennet was cited as the main contributor to the materials development. 

        Gill told us how according to the UNHCR, the number of people affected by conflict is now at all time high.  Gill explained how educational programmes can contribute to conflict transformation, starting from the empowerment of different communities and marginalised groups through a fair selection process and even grouping of candidates on training programmes.  The role of English as a link language is also obvious in countries such as Sri Lanka where the national languages of Sinhala and Tamil have become social and ethnic dividers. 

        We saw how a task-based language learning approach also supports conflict transformation in that it encourages sub-skills of critical thinking, skills which mirror the principles of conflict resolution.  Duncan showed us how the classroom materials they use on the STEPS project integrate language learning with the content element of conflict resolution, as well as the interactional skills of negotiating, debating, coming to a consensus, etc, skills which are of obvious use in conflict resolution. 

         This has been a very successful project, the principles of which could in theory be replicated in other areas which are experiencing similar conflicts.

        Activity Based Learning November 20, 2009

        Posted by Catherine in English for Progress.
        Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
        1 comment so far

        In this session entitled ‘Managing the Silent Revolution’ the audience watched a video which showed how Activity Based Learning (ABL) has been implemented in schools in Tamil Nadu.  We saw the teacher in a non-traditional role, not as the teacher standing as an authoritative figure at the front of the classroom, but as a facilitator of activities in which children were able to participate much more freely.  Children were encouraged to work in groups and help each other, as well as monitor their own progress.  The classroom scene was a refreshing change from visions of children sitting in rows listening to a teacher; here the role of the child is very much a participative one in which confidence and motivation are key to the learning process.

        The film was a great start to the session on ABL, and will truly motivate teachers in other areas to learn from this project.

        How could other schools implement ABL?

        The Future of EL education: Methodological Choices November 20, 2009

        Posted by niqueluz in English for Progress.
        Tags: , ,
        1 comment so far

        Panel: Mr. HH Ariyadasa, Mr. David Graddol, Prof. Ajit K. Mohanty

        In this main stage discussion some interesting points were raised. Let us know your thoughts and views on these issues. 

        1. Advocating a shift away from rote memorisation.

        2. English has to be embedded into multi-lingual school education.

        3. In their current state, English medium schools are not the solution, and may actually cause failure in the educational system.

        4.  (A student asks) Isn’t learning four langauges a waste of time? Why don’t we learn science instead?

        5.  Moving English down to class 1 exposes the educational system at its weakest, most vulnerable point.

        %d bloggers like this: