English Language Proficiency

  • A. Nature and Structure of English
  • A1.Why do we say that India's second language is English?
    Every state in India speaks a different language. India has several native languages. Generally, English is used among Indians as a ‘link’ language and it is the first language for some well-educated Indians. It is also the second language for many who speak more than one language in India. The English language is a tie that helps bind the many segments of our society together, it is the bureaucracy and judiciary’s preferred language. Also, it is a linguistic bridge between the major countries of the world and India. 
  • A2.Why English is so important in India?
    Ans. English is an important language in India because,
    1. English is a global language
    2. It serves as an inter-province connect
    3. It is a language of trade and commerce
    4. It helps us acquire knowledge and skills
    5. It’s the language of most online tools
    6. It’s the subsidiary official language in India  
    For detailed understanding, kindly watch this video titled ‘Why and How of English’: https://youtu.be/5CJMlbAl9Cs
  • A3.What is LSRW?
    LSRW stands for the language skills - Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Any learner should develop these four skills to learn a language. To facilitate acquisition, a teacher should begin with oral language (L and S) so that the child acquires a language and then proceed to R and W. Though, we talk of these skills separately while working we work on them simultaneously. 
  • A4.What are the objectives of English Teaching in schools?
    Language helps us to communicate. We express our feelings, thoughts, engage and appreciate different cultures. English language is a global language and also a subsidiary language in India. It increases the possibility acquire more knowledge and learning new skills. Indian students get the opportunity to learn English by being in an environment and getting enough exposure.  Some specific objectives of teaching English in schools are to enable students –  
    • listen to English and understand it (Listening Skills). 
    • speak English with working command (Speaking Skills). 
    • read and understand English: reading aloud at the primary level and then gradually moving towards silent reading (Reading Skills). 
    • write English on their own with relevance and clarity (Writing Skills). 
    • understand, enjoy and appreciate English poems (Literary Skills).  
    • have a working command of grammar, and use vocabulary (words) appropriately. 
    • become self-dependent in learning English (Study Skills). 
  • A5 What status is given to English language in the Indian constitution ?
     English is one of the official languages of India (according to the honourable Constitution of India).   Official language is the language that is used for government matters or official purposes, such as transactions of business in the parliament, Central and State Acts, and for certain purposes in high courts.  
  • B. Developing Oracy
  • B1.What can we do to get more proficiency in English language?
    As we are aware that exposure to the language is important, we learn language from our environment. When you learned your mother tongue you had the whole environment which supported you in giving exposure to that language. Everyone in the surrounding used to speak their mother tongue. So, the point is, the language which we easily learned was everywhere and so we started listening and speaking which helped us in learning that language. Similarly for English, we have to create an environment, where we have that language in our surroundings. We have to try including English words during speaking as much as possible, listen to English content, and practice reading and writing.  A few things can be done to increase English language proficiency - 
    • Watch/listen to English news (NDTV, BBC).
    • Try reading English newspaper (Times of India, The Hindu etc.). You can get e-papers online on your phone also.
    • Try watching English movies/shows.
    • Read English books/novels/comics/articles/magazines. 
    • Practice writing paragraphs, daily diary, articles, journals in English. Choose the topic of your choice like expressing your emotions, feelings, about your family, friends, movies, actors, food etc. 
    • Try speaking short sentences in English like - 
    • Hello! 
    • Good morning! 
    • How are you? 
    • I want this.
    • Can I do this? 
    • Let's go.
    • I don't know.
    • Let's do this etc.
  • B2.What words and phrases can be used for greeting each other on different occasions?
    Following are some examples of greetings that can be used on different occasions: Formal Greetings a) How do you do? b) Nice to meet you / Pleased to meet you. c) How have you been? d) Good morning / Good afternoon/ Good evening. Formal Greetings for letters and e-mails a) Dear Sir or Madam, b) To Whom It May Concern c) To,     The Hiring Manager d) Dear Mr. X / Mrs. X / Ms. X / Miss X / Prof. X / Dr. X, Informal Greetings a) Hello / Hi / Hey b) How are you doing? / How’s it going? c) Nice to meet you. / It’s great to see you. / Good to see you. d) It’s been a while.
  • B3.What is communication. How many types of communication are there?
      Communication, in simple terms, refers to transmission of information between two or more parties (can be people, groups etc.).   There are various types of communication, but, in the context of English Language Teaching/Learning, we can consider majorly three types of communication: verbal/oral, written and non-verbal communication.  
    1. Verbal or oral communication means transmitting or sharing information through speaking, e.g., conversations between friends, group discussions, debates, communication in the marketplace etc.  
    2. Written communication means sharing or transmitting information through written modes, e.g., letters, applications, emails, postcards, etc.  
    3. Non-verbal communication refers to transmitting or sharing information with each other through gestures, facial expressions, body language, posture and tone of voice etc. 
  • C. Teaching English in Primary Classes
  • C1. How to help students of class 1 to communicate in English?
    We are suggesting certain ways and means to help Class 1 students to communicate in English but we should not worry too much about it at this level. Provide opportunities to listen to the English language and create an environment of getting more exposure in English language by- 
    • Making classroom environment print-rich 
    • Name/label things/objects available inside the classroom in English 
    • Use common phrases or sentences like; Come in, Sit down, May I come in, look at this, Thank you, Please, What is the day today? What is your name? My name is........., I have .......... and etc. and give them an opportunity to use them and practice daily.
    • Teach months of the year, names of days of the week, colors, and numbers in English. 
    • Supporting video resource: https://youtu.be/FinDN5Chgmo 
  • C2.How to teach English in primary classes?
    A detailed series of 3 sessions is available on-  Session 1 – How to Teach English? (Understanding Consonants and Vowels): https://youtu.be/0pwby8ioM2c Session 2 – How to Teach English in Class 1: https://youtu.be/FinDN5Chgmo  Session 3 – How to Teach English in Class 2 and 3: https://youtu.be/ADkEzF1Pktc 
  • D. Teaching English in Upper Primary Classes
  • D1.How to teach students English in Upper Primary who only know basic vocabulary?
    Sharing a few ways to teach English in Upper Primary classes - 
    1. First of all, create a fear free environment where students can express themselves, they can make mistakes and learn from their mistakes.
    2. Include lots of stories and poems in the class. This will give them exposure to the language.
    3. Use actions and props to narrate these stories and recite the poem using actions and gestures. This will help them to pay attention and make meaning.
    4. Use simple phrases and instructions in the classroom so that they start speaking in English. Example: Hello, everyone. How are you? Sujata, can you please give me the textbook? Let’s play a game, Hold your hands and make a circle.
    5. Try to provide visual clues using pictures, videos, objects etc. You can also use audio-visual resources like videos, games, apps, music etc.
    6. Engage students in group activities. Play different games related to listening and speaking, vocabulary, reading and writing.
    7. Take up activities that involve discussion and expressing views and thoughts. Even if students speak in their native language, encourage them and gradually they will start using a few words of English.
    8. Use Mind map/Word web activity for brainstorming and increasing vocabulary.
    9.  Practice different sentence structures in the classroom. Try to practice 1 type of structure until students learn it and then introduce a new structure.
  • E. Teaching Grammar
  • E1.How many functions are there in grammar?

    Language has many functions, but preparing an exhaustive list is never possible. However, the following can be considered as the functions: 

    a. Greeting or Taking Leave:  It is important to know how to use English to greet people politely when we meet them and how to end the conversation when we take leave of them. Some phrases to greet people are: Hello! good morning, good afternoon etc. While taking leave after a conversation we can use phrases like: goodbye, thanks, have a nice day, take care, see you etc.  

    b. Enquiring and Giving Information: It is important to know how to ask for information politely and to thank people for it afterwards. 'Excuse me ....................' and 'please' are the two most important phrases in this unit. In formal language a longer ‘preamble’ to the question used: “I was wondering if you could tell me ..................' or 'I hope you don't mind my asking ........” 

    c. Apologising or responding to an apology: When we apologise to someone, we use certain phrases and expressions to say sorry. For example, “I realized that I won’t do it again.”, “Excuse me for being late.” etc. 

    d. Appreciating: One of the functions of language is to make others around us feel good about themselves by praising them, or saying something nice about them such as, for sample, that somebody looks good we can say “You’re looking lovely.” or that he/she does something well we can appreciate them saying “You have done a good/excelling job”. 

    e. Asking for directions or giving directions: If you do not know the way to a place, you usually ask someone how to get there. You also have to explain how to reach a place if someone asks you the way. Here is an example of conversation between two people:                                                        

    (Ratan is a new student in the college. He asks Varun for directions to the library)  

    Ratan: Excuse me, could you tell me the way to the library?  

    Varun: Sure. Go straight down this part and you'll reach the new block. To the left of the reception desk is a staircase. Go up the stairs to the second floor and turn right. You will find the library at the end of the floor.  

    Ratan: Thanks a lot.  

    Varun: You're welcome 


  • F. Creating and using TLM
  • Uncategorized FAQ