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Policy Implications for English Teaching and Learning November 28, 2009

Posted by Anooja in English for Progress.
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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.

        Don’t miss Manish Sabharwal’s power of rhetoric November 19, 2009

        Posted by niqueluz in English for Progress.
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        In this session, one of the highlights of the two-day policy dialogue, Manish Sabharwal casually steers us  down an enchanted river of  laid back eloquence ,  deftly pointing out some big ideas along the way. 

        It’s a mesmirising  speech on ‘Skills for Employablity’.  Catch it here:

        http://www.britishcouncil.org.in/efponline/sessions/19_3.html

        Analogies like:  Cambrian explosions, ovarian lotteries;  thought worlds, policy orphans,; good is NOT the enemy of the great, bad is better than nothing.

        What are your thoughts?

        What are employability skills? November 19, 2009

        Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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        Stephen Jenner, Deputy Head Corporate Training, British Council India, poses this question as one of the parallel speakers for the Session ‘Meeting the Recruitment Challenge’.

        Stephen stresses the need for a global benchmarking tool and suggests the CEF, or rather ‘CF’ as it is more commonly being referred to.

        Stephen summarises the BPO recruiter’s daily challenge:
        1. I need people with good English, but what does that mean?
        2. What exactly are the communication skills I need for this specific process?
        3. What do I do with borderliners?
        4. How do I transform new recruits into first class employees?

        We would love to hear your ideas, suggestions and answers to these questions! Keep your comments coming in…

        Academic excellence and employability November 19, 2009

        Posted by Catherine in English for Progress.
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        Dr Sandhya Chintala, Director Education NASSCOM,  shares an anecdote which shows that there is no correlation between academic excellence and employability.

        Why is this and what can be done about it?

        High speed eloquence November 19, 2009

        Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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        3 comments

        I want to draw your attention to Manish Sabharwal’s presentation at the Third Policy Dialogue, Session 3, Building Skills for Employability. Manish is CEO and President of Team Lease.

        Manish spoke with such eloquence, wit and at such breakneck speed, that he managed to keep us all on the edge of our seats straight after lunch! His talk is peppered with so many wonderful soundbytes that I urge you to view at it in your own time. Find out what he meant by ‘the ovarian lottery’ and why  ‘English is like (Microsoft) Windows.’

        Enjoy!

        Whose responsibility is it to produce ‘ready to eat’ graduates? November 19, 2009

        Posted by Catherine in English for Progress.
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        David Graddol interviewed key figures in the corporate sector around the challenges they find in recruiting employees.  The corporate sector wants candidates who are immediately employable as there is the danger that they may invest in people who then move on to join other companies.  The skills they are looking for are more than just communication skills, although these are of course of extreme importance, but also inlcude other skills such as teamwork.  It was argued that school often kills initiative and confidence, and certainly does not produce the kind of candidate that the corporate sector wants.

        What do you think?  Whose responsibility is it to produce the kind of candidates who are ready to enter the corporate sector?  Is it the resonsibility of the education system or the responsibility of the corporate sector?

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