Making the English Classroom in India More Inclusive

This IJELLS Special issue on “Making the English Classroom in India More Inclusive” has its locus in the inspiration drawn by some of the Teachers of English – an inspiration drawn from the extremely positive response generated by the January 2014 National Seminar conducted by the Dept. of English at Nizam College, Osmania University under the UGC SAP DRS I on the theme of Inclusiveness.  

An average English classroom in India today is never homogeneous. The learners come from varied socio-cultural and presently even national backgrounds. However, the language teaching resources in the classroom quite often continue to be inappropriate or sometimes sketchily appropriate. They exclude very substantial groups of students in many ways. Sometimes, the content or context of language teaching curriculum addresses itself to a limited section of students and at times the resources used in the teaching context deny access to a majority of students. The near absence of multicultural and divergent ideological inputs within the teaching material again is a major factor responsible for exclusion of many students.

What are the dynamics underlying a successfully inclusive English Classroom in India? It is generally felt that these dynamics relate themselves to such factors among many other vital ones that include active learners; empathetic teachers; tolerance to errors; parental involvement; accommodating and alternative assessment strategies; specific, attainable, and measurable learning goals; friendly look of a classroom, teacher, material, and of assessment; teachers who are encouraging, prompting, interacting, and probing with good questioning techniques etc.

This IJELLS Special Issue is a collection of addresses and articles written by practicing teachers and researchers intending to examine some of these   issues critically and discuss some vital ways in which more inclusiveness can be brought into today’s English classroom in India. The areas covered by the writers include Teaching material, methods, Teacher attitude, Infrastructure, Policies, Testing and evaluation practices among others. We hope this collection of articles will contribute substantially to this field of enquiry and pedagogy.                                                          

  • Prof. C. Muralikrishna
  • Dr. C. Sharada
  • Dr. Mrudula Lakkaraju

 

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Prof. Alladi Uma taught English at the University of Hyderabad. She took voluntary retirement in August 2011 so she could do something that has been closest to her heart–teach children from underprivileged backgrounds and work for the disadvantaged.

Prof. Jacob Tharu has taught psychology at IIT Kanpur. He then served for 30 years in the Evaluation Department of EFLU (CIEFL) Academic specializations:  educational measurement and language testing, educational research methods.  He was heavily involved with in-service teacher education and support.  Post retirement in 2002, he was associated with NCERT, education focused NGOs like Eklayva as a resource person in the area of evaluation. His current main interests are: (a) designing bridge rather than ‘remedial’ courses for students entering higher classes with backlogs (b) promoting understanding of CCE, a means of promoting teacher autonomy, and flexibility and inclusion in curriculum transaction.

Dr. Manmath Kundu is educated in India, UK and USA. He has published about 100 research papers and 30 books in India and abroad, and has supervised 20 PhD research scholars. He worked as visiting professor in Yemen and as director of ELTI and ATLC (Academic of Tribal Language and Culture) and as a chairperson NCTE (ERC, Bhubaneswar). He is currently running a school for the poor and tribal children in Malkangiri, Odisha. His area of interest and specialisation is teaching English to low-proficient learners in difficult circumstances.

Dr. Asma Rasheed teaches in the Department of ELT, School of Distance Education at the EFL University, Hyderabad. Her research interests include critical pedagogy, cultural studies and translation studies.

Dr. Anand Mahanand is a senior faculty at the Department of Materials Development, School of English Language Education, EFL University Hyderabad. He is interested in English Language Education in Multilingual (Tribal) Contexts, Language through Literature and English for Academic and Professional Skills. He has published more than fifteen books. They include English through Folktales, Tribal Folktales from Odisha, Tribal Folktales from Southern Odisha and English for Academic and Professional Skills. He is also a translator and a creative writer.

Mr. Hari Chandan Kar did his M.A. B.Ed in English. He has also taught at the High School level. At present he is doing his PGDTE at the EFL University, Hyderabad. He is interested in teaching the Juang learners.

Dr. Sunita Mishra is an Associate Professor at the Centre for English language Studies, University of Hyderabad. She has published and is interested in the area of Communication skills, English Language Education, Critical discourse analysis and Critical Pedagogy and English in India.

Dr. Joy Anuradha is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for English language Studies, University of Hyderabad. She is interested in the area of Language and Technology, Communication skills, Language testing and Teaching of Soft – skills.

Dr. Revathi Srinivas is an Assistant Professor, Materials Production Department, EFLU. Before joining the University in 2009, she worked at the Regional Institute of English, Chandigarh for eight years. Her wide range of teaching experience enables her to understand classroom dynamics and the teaching and learning processes effectively. She has authored seven books and has contributed chapters to several other training manuals and books. She has presented papers at national and international seminars and has some conference proceeding papers to her credit. Her areas of interest include Program Evaluation, Curriculum Development Studies, Teaching Young Learners, and Multiple Intelligences in ESL classrooms.

Dr. Konda Nageshwar Rao is an Assistant Professor, Department of English, Nizam College (OU). His areas of interest are American Literature, Post-colonial Literature and ELT. He has presented several papers in India and Abroad. He is keenly interested in changing dynamics of the English classroom.

Dr. Melissa Helen is an Assistant Professor, Department of English, Nizam College (OU). She has taught English at several prestigious universities like HCU and GITAM before joining the Osmania University. In addition to several conference paper presentations, she has a book and several articles to her credit 

Dr. Mrudula Lakkaraju is an Assistant Professor, Department of English, Nizam College (OU). She is the founding editor of The International Journal of English: Literature, Language & Skills (IJELLS) with ISSN 2278-0742. She had 15 years of teaching experience and has designed a special curriculum to enhance the employability skills of undergraduates. She has many papers both presented and published to her credit.

Dr. J. Madhavi, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Nizam College (OU) She has been an invited resource person for workshops and delivered guest lectures on communication skills, soft skills and personality development. She has contributed a lot in enhancing the communicative competence of the students. She has been an evaluator for competitive tests like GRE, TOEFL and a trainer for CAT, IELTS, GMAT, BEC, etc. Her exposure to the corporate world helped her to instil confidence in her students to secure better jobs for themselves.

Dr. B. Sujatha Shekar is the Coordinator in the Department of Languages at Andhra Pradesh Open School Society, Hyderabad.