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Identify an English Language Teaching context in Australia or overseas pointing out any potential implications that its features may have for teachers working in that context. Explore the ELT context and organise your information in a report format – please find a list of ideas below. In the essay you only need to cover what you consider to be the most important features of the ELT context and give reasons why they are the most important.
Teaching English to economically backward classes in developing countries like India can be one of the most significant challenges for ELT teachers. Kadavakollu and Mirthinti lament the condition of public schools in India and have revealed that even after 65 years of independence, many Indian schools run at a meagre budget of 15000 per annum. This assignment will focus upon the slum areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad and how English is fast emerging as an accepted language there. The main focus here will be the lack of infrastructure, irregular attendance, and other cultural setbacks in Indian schools, which has led to a decline in the quality of English education in India (French, 1975).
In the last few years, English has gained prominence in India due to the government’s initiative to accelerate the national economy by making science and mathematics an integral part of general education (India Report). However, the National System of Education still considers the usage of English as an L2 in primary schools. This means that teachers teaching English at this level must be well-versed in the native languages of the students as well. Although the National Policy on Education (NPE) had recommended the provision of good facilities in public schools as far back as 1968, this dream is yet to be realized (NPE, 1968). Lack of textbooks is one of the major hindrances in teaching English. As English is a foreign language, students who had no textbooks could barely keep up with the lessons. Around 85% of students from both Delhi and Mumbai slum areas were dependent on the government supply of textbooks (Aggarwal, and Chugh, 2003). The curriculum is mostly recommended by the government, and it was evident that the burden of the course was quite extensive (Thakur, 2013). A unifying model of language needs to be developed in schools that would bring together both form and function of the English language (Derewianka, 2012). Another problem is that of the pupil-teacher ratio, which is generally too high in schools located in the underprivileged sections (Tsujita, 2009). Such a discrepancy leads to a decline in the quality of teaching because of a lack of individual attention to each student. Because the classes are overcrowded, the teachers are forced to use L1 to maintain control and discipline in the class (Yavuz, 2012).
My first step in class was to conduct a random sampling of the groups I was about to teach. Random sampling gives a symbolic picture of the research target and also helps in counter checking the information supplied by previous reports, interviews, questionnaires and secondary sources (Global Environment and Welfare Society, p 2). TESOL classrooms are distinguished by the diversities of students on the basis of needs, expectations and experiences (Richards and Farrell, p 37). On the basis of the questionnaire, I was able to understand that most of the students were from the marginalized sections of the society, were prone to remaining absent and had little interest in learning English (Thakur, 2013). The chief reason for poor attendance was cited to be inaccessibility (NCST: Government of India). Students were unable to travel to schools as they either did not have sufficient means or had to stay back to help their parents. The teachers here have a hard time keeping pace with the portion in spite of such irregular attendance. Several measures to resolve this irregularity are being taken by schools, like the provision of midday meals and other incentives (Aggarwal, and Chugh, 2003). These incentives have been successful to a certain extent. However, there have been complaints about the insufficiency and poor quality of food from time to time (Aggarwal, and Chugh, 2003). The teachers working in government schools are trying their best, and most parents are satisfied by their performance. The chief complaint, as outlined by Baird, is the lack of provision, which far outdoes the lack of quality (Baird, 2009).
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