Language cannot be taught; language is learnt! This is the realisation that is dominating the sessions these days. I am raising this disclaimer high when it comes to teaching English to the graduates. They have a need and a huge amount of expectations that we are to fulfil.
But the mismatch is when they see that the teachers, who came to teach English subject, have not actually added the language to them. Why this is a common thing all around? Can we spare the employees who take the classes on this subject? Is there a silver lining to keep hopes?
When I started teaching it was around 2007-2008. But the teaching English in English happened when it joined Amity University NOIDA in April 2009. Apparently, I have been teaching English in ‘English’ since them. This almost a decade has given me a ‘TellAble’ experience about this ‘not-so-important’ subject.
We used to wonder why the students as well as the core-subject teachers would avoid the due importance for our ‘subject’ and will brag more about the technical or professional acumen. However, when the job interviews happened, the coin will change the tables otherwise. Communication Skills in English would become the only panacea to get a job for the technically and professionally qualified creature.
Sometimes we were the statues; sometimes we came out as pigeons.
If this scenario is to be believed, we agree to the basic assumption or the syllogism that Spoken English and that too with a reasonably impressive ‘Communicative Competence’ is a must-have for all jobs seekers and career oriented.
We started feeling the need for knowing a language when we had experience and wanted to share that. In childhood, the lack was of words and then vocabulary happened to us. We spoke and formed relations with the people around. We wanted words to re-live the experience and a language gave us that. We turned social and mingled with all, sans any reluctance or fear. Then we went to school and everything changed!
What was done to our intrinsic competence to learn a language by experience? It was driven out of Creativity and we hopelessly deprived ourselves of the ‘observation capacity’. The attack on our creativity was not that ruthless but we turned brutal towards our own imaginative faculty. We stopped assuming or thinking about things. We caged ourselves into narrow walls of guided experiences and that gave us a very small vocabulary to live with. No Experience means nothing to speak about.
Let me pen down another expressive piece of this series and wish to decode the Catch-22 of this Language Teaching – Inculcation – or something…
"My Experiments with English in the Classroom"