Presentation on theme: "The Home Environment Issues in the Home-School Language switch: Parent participation in language education Dr Jayaraj Maria Louis S Hazaribag, India."— Presentation transcript:
The Home Environment Issues in the Home-School Language switch: Parent participation in language education Dr Jayaraj Maria Louis S Hazaribag, India
1 Introduction Education is the process of inculcating in an individual the experiences already acquired by the society. Education of a child is not just the responsibility of the school but a corporate responsibility of the schools and the parents. This principle applies to the learning and teaching of English too. This paper focuses on the corporate responsibility of the school and the parents in teaching and learning English.
There is widespread misunderstanding among parents that the linguistic development of the students depends solely on the teachers. The parents forget the fact the children spend more than two third of their time at home. There is also misunderstanding among the teachers and the common people that the teachers are the only responsible persons for the learning of English. Even the teachers seem to blame themselves, the common people too seem to blame the teachers for the poor performance of the students in the language. The public, the teachers and the parents themselves are not aware of the important role to be played by the parents in learning English. Therefore we need to educate the students, parents, teachers and the public on the importance of the role to be played by the parents in language learning.
2. Method used to collect the Data: Survey method was used to collect the data. 3. Tools used: Questionnaire: 198 trainees were given a questionnaire to be filled in. The observations made from their answers have been incorporated in this paper. Observations: Observations made on the basis of teaching the teacher trainees and being with the 200 teacher trainees over 9 years.
4. Some of the ways in which parents and guardians can develop the skills and capacity of the students are: Admitting the children in schools which emphasize English learning: Not all schools which claim that they are giving importance to English are capable of imparting good English knowledge to the students. Worse still is the fact that there are many schools which do not even try to give good knowledge of English. So the guardians need to choose the schools discretely in admitting and educating their children.
Requesting vernacular medium schools to try to teach at least some subjects in English: Attempts are being made in Jharkhand at least in a few Hindi medium schools to use English medium books for all major subjects at the primary level. The content to be learnt in the primary level is not very difficult. So, the children could be taught English. By the end of standard 5, the children would have learnt much English. For this the parents could be motivated, so that they will request the school administration to follow this method. Exposing the students to English speaking people and establishing relationship with them: When foreign visitors came to visit the schools, the students were given opportunity to talk to the visitors. And it was a golden opportunity for the students to practise their language. The students were proud to talk to them. So the children could be encouraged to mingle with people from other states and countries.
Making English books available for reading: Often children do not have easy access to books. A good library could be developed at homes. English books could be made available to them. When people can afford to spend money on so many things, why can ’ t they invest money on books? Creating an English atmosphere: An atmosphere makes a person what he/she is. Even the type of a person is living in, has an impact on the person ’ s personality. An English atmosphere can be created at home by organizing various activities including small scale language lab. Inspiring the children by talking to them in English: The children look for inspiration to learn new things. If the parents try to speak to them in English, surely they will be inspired to learn English.
Removal of prejudice: Sometimes the parents think that talking to their children in a foreign language is a sign of degradation to one ’ s mother tongue. This attitude needs to be changed. Having good knowledge of English: The children easily imitate their parents. Surely, the fluency of the parents in English will affect the children. The better knowledge the parents have, the more the children will learn. Listening to the children when they speak in English and correct them: Often the schools, the children go to have a large number of students. As result, the students lack personal attention at school. Whereas at home if the parents give attention to their own few children ’ s language, they will have ample chance to improve their language.
Rewarding the children when they do well in English: Let the parents not only expect the children to be rewarded when they do well in English, but they need to reward and reinforce them in order to get the best out of them. Especially the tribal children need a lot of encouragement. Speaking always in English if possible: Meals is the time the family members meet one another very regularly. And during this conversations could be had in English. During games, similar words and phrases are used repeatedly. During manual work, children enjoy chatting among themselves. These conversations could be held in English.
Being available to the children, when they need language related help: In modern times, the parents are occupied so much with their own works and affairs that they are not able to give time for their children. But the children look for attention and guidance and encouragement from their parents. They would like to speak to their children. So, the parents need to quality time to the children so that they have someone who cares for their linguistic development. Encouraging the children to watch selected English films: The children like watching television. They naturally enjoy watching the television in the mother tongue. But if they take a bit of trouble in the beginning to watch television in English, soon they will get accustomed to watching in English and enjoy thereafter, resulting in greater possibility of picking up the foreign language.
Giving personal attention: Every child is unique, precious and capable. Often it is due to lack of personal attention that the children are lost and they do not progress much. Participating in English Essay and speech competitions, cultural programs, debates, skits and dramas: These activities are arranged in places other than schools. The parents can encourage their children to participate in such activities. Speaking in English at least one day a week: In some places, speaking in Hindi all the time may not be possible. In such places, especially hostels, at least one day speaking compulsorily in English could be tried. This has been found helpful. In a hostel in Tamil Nadu, a rule to speak in English during the hostel hours had been made and the children were found to be communicating well in English among themselves. In Jharkhand, for the less privileged children, English medium schools and hostels have been started and these primary school hostel children were found to be speaking well in English.
Motivating the children towards English speaking: The parents need to motivate the children to learn English. The parents could discuss with the children about many persons who have succeeded in their lives by giving importance to English. Being interested and creating interest in the children: It is said, as the headmaster is, so is the school. In a similar way, you would find that the interests of the parents and guardians are easily passed on to the children. Having good knowledge of English: The better knowledge the parents have, the greater the possibility of language learning for the children. The children will have regular opportunity to dialogue with their parents in English.
Making English newspapers available: It is said that the news and information received in one day ’ s news paper is more than the knowledge people got during their whole life time in olden days. In some places, the newspapers are read and then sold off. Instead, these newspapers can be made available to the children. Even, these papers could be stored and utilized reading and comprehension practice. Reciting prayers/verses in English: There are certain prayers which are recited every day by the children. Is it possible to recite them in English? Making sure that the children do loud reading practice every day: The more the children read, the more language the will learn. When they read loudly, they are able to listen to the language. The loud reading practice is done, though not regularly at PTEC, Gurwa, Hazaribag Dt, Jharkhand and it is found to be very useful. 15 minutes loud reading practice could be ensured by the parents at home.
Read books everyday: If the parents read books every day, the children also see that start imitating them. It is only when one reads regularly various types of writings; the language becomes part of the self. Saying at least simple things in English or using simple words if there is lack of knowledge of English: Not all the parents have had equal opportunities to learn English. Those who lack knowledge of English at least could use some words of English. Helping the children in practicing tenses: Tenses are foundation for the language. If the children have good grip over English tenses, then they will be able to build upon their further knowledge of English in an easier way.
Making English TV channels available: Giving complete freedom to the children to watch television will not be appropriate. Allowing them to watch selected programs of selected channels will be of help in their language learning. Singing English songs and listening to English songs: Singing songs is one of the powerful ways of learning the language. When a song is sung repeatedly, it goes on echoing in mind and the words of the songs are easily remembered. Use of computers: When one types in a computer, if a mistake is made, then the computer even corrects the mistakes by itself, gives various options and if the user wants he/she can check the spelling with the computer dictionary.
Make dictionaries available: Dictionaries are not easily available to the students. As a result, when any doubt comes, rather than referring to the dictionary, they seem to write the words with wrong spellings. Explain the importance of being open to corrections: Sometimes the students do not seem to be humble enough to accept their mistakes and learn. Rather they tend to be defensive. Advising the children to approach the teachers for guidance: Sometimes the students are not openly coming out of themselves to get guidance from the teachers. They are hesitant to approach them for help. The parents could play a mediator role between the teachers and the children.
5. Some of the ways in which ways repeated exposure to the target language help the students. Helps the right brain learners: The studies on tribals have shown that the tribal children are right brain learners and for them repeated practice helps in learning.
Helps in remembering: The more number of times the students repeat the words and sentences, the more easily they remember. Often it has been noticed, when their mistakes are corrected, they tend to repeat the same mistake again and again. On repeated correction, they seem to improve their pronunciation. Familiarity with the words: The students become familiar with words, phrases and sentences by repeated exposure. Impact on their unconscious and subconscious level: The repeated process helps in bringing the language in their subconscious and unconscious level.
Eventually feeling of joy in participating in the repeated exposure: The students seem enjoy eventually in participating in the repeated exposure. In the beginning, there is certain amount of boredom experienced in the repeated exposure. Language becomes a reflexive action: Any reflexive action does not need much effort. The expected action takes place automatically in a spontaneous manner in a particular situation. The ultimate aim of using the repeated procedure in language learning is to make it become reflective. Inhibitions are overcome: When the students hear the words for the first time, they feel strange about it and tend to avoid it. They do not feel like using those words. But when they often hear them often, they become familiar and their inhibitions are overcome.
Increase in the confidence level: The tribal students seem to suffer from inferiority complex due to their past history, which hampers language learning. They think that they will not be able to do well in the language. And this is overcome by the repeated exposure. Helps in overcoming fear: To unlearn the wrong learning: Even after twelve years of learning in the schools, they make mistakes even with ordinary and simple words. One can see that neither the teachers nor the guardians pointed out these mistakes. They think what they pronounce and write is correct. They do not even suspect their knowledge of language. Experience level increases: An experience has an impact on the person. Any experience contributes transformation of attitudes. Any experience comes by repeatedly doing the same or similar actions. Language needs to become part of the children ’ s experience level.
6. Conclusion Language learning is the corporate responsibility of the students, parents and teachers. The parents need to play a vital role it as the children spend most of their under the care of their children. So the parents need to be educated on the ways in which they can help in developing the skills and capacity of the children in language learning. They also could be educated on the ways in which repeated exposure to the target language help the students. The more accompaniment, the parents can give, the more language the children will learn.
References: Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, Characteristics of Jesuit Education, Rome, Norbert Menezes, Effective Study Skills, Prabhat Prakashan, Patna, Robert Slattery, We will Learn English, Xavier Sadan, Hazaribag, Jharkhand, Norbert Menezes, Under Achievers can be Top Scorers, Prabhat Prakashan, Patna, Robert Slattery, Paradigm Shifts in Education, Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, Norbert Menezes, Standout among the Rest, Prabhat Prakashan, Patna, P J James, Tribal Learning Styles: Some reflections, Prerna Resource Centre, Norbert Menezes, Walking with the students, Prabhat Prakashan, Patna, Michael Eather, Towards Evolving an Instrument to Evaluate the Suitability of a Textbook of Mathematics for Tribal Children at Primary Level, Bhurkunda, Norbert Menezes, Your Children Their Future, Prabhat Prakashan, Patna, 2012.