(Publication of a grammar course book)
To put in plain English, Creative Communication Grammar Course (CCGC) is a research project that follows an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to learning communication skills. It begins with the techniques of teaching tenses to the learners at their elementary level and ends in rekindling in them an abiding interest in exploiting their learning to the hilt creatively. The course has been designed with the express purpose of making the active involvement of the tutor and the taught a necessity.
One of the cogent reasons why most students fail to learn effective communication skills is their lack of interest in doing so. Yet, more importantly, what is most needed is a consistent effort to develop the skill. The hallmark of CCGC is its innovative theory and practice of teaching grammar with a view to developing and sustaining learners' interest in learning the language. For example, question-answer sessions of the grammar not only help them understand the fine intricacies of the rules but also both create and sustain their interest in playing with different kinds of sentences.
Learning a foreign language is a complex phenomenon that requires more than an instinctive approach to understanding it. The first step in the direction of learning the communication skill is to sensitize students as much to the intricacies of grammar as to the wider range of themes. An Integral and spontaneous methodology of teaching English that CCGC follows is based on the pedagogy that the skill of writing and speaking in the case of beginners and the mediocre doesn't allow for any particular grading. One can write as much as one can speak right from the word go until they develop ears for the silent and unspeakable words and eyes for the invisible meaning of sentences over long hours of practice. I hope CCGC will mark a new beginning in learning and teaching creative communication skills at the elementary level of education.
THE INTEGRAL AND SPONTANEOUS METHOD OF LEARNING COMMUNICATION SKILL
INTRODUCTION: The main objective of teaching English as a second language in India is to nurture communicative competence in learners so that it may facilitate their learning of all kinds. Whether one aims at sharpening the skill of reading, writing, speaking and listening or sets out to hone up the cognitive and the creative aspect of language, s/he could ill afford to stick to a single method of teaching/learning language. For example, the direct method (originated in France and approved by International Phonetic Association of France) –- that almost bypasses rules and practices of grammar as it is based on the philosophy “ Fluency in reading and facility in writing follow fluency in speech”—may fail students in terms of literary aspects of language. Likewise, the grammar-translation method (Foger Aschem & William bath) or bilingual method (by C.J.Dodson) may miss out on tapping into the instinctive learning potential of students.
The students in their early age or initial stages of learning language are natural and instinctive learners. They must be administered to cognitive and creative techniques of learning and those with logically developed faculty for learning need to be freed from many vernacular interventions before they get stuck in the groove of the arbitrariness of learning and teaching practices.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF METHOD
The Integral and Spontaneous Methodology of teaching English is based on the philosophy that the skill of writing and speaking in the case of beginners and the mediocre doesn’t allow for any particular grading. One can write as much as one can speak right from the word go until they develop ears for the silent and unsaid words and eyes for the invisible meaning of sentences over long hours of practice.
The integral and spontaneous method of learning language has been well researched in the backdrop of many prevalent theories of learning languages. For example, in the general theory of learning language (Kreshan 1981), that makes a basic distinction between two processes i.e. learning language through formal instruction in the classroom and acquisition of it outside in natural setting. Acquisition occurs with reference to speaking and listening, and formal instruction generally takes place in the classroom with respect to reading and writing.
Key principles of the integral and spontaneous methodology of teaching English
The conceptual and functional grammatical approach to communication.
The interdisciplinary approach to learning/teaching English.
a. The art of making notes while reading texts.
b. The art of taking notes while listening to a lecture.
Materials & Methods
Venue: Satyan School of Languages, Solan
A class of 30 students (8th to 12th) (beginners) was divided into three groups.
All of them were kept under observation for two months while being taught and simultaneously guided through three different methods of teaching language.
Group-1. The first group was taught through the direct method almost bypassing the rules and practices of grammar.
Group-2. This group was taught through the bilingual method and grammar method.
Group-3. The students of this session were introduced to the Integral and Spontaneous Method of teaching languages. What sit at the heart of the method is the grammar workbook ‘CREATIVE COMMUNICATION GRAMMAR COURSE and innovations in teaching (developed by GESM guild).
After two months of observation, the three groups were tested for their overall communicative competence.
The evaluation criteria source
A standard reading comprehension passage
(THE BLUE UMBRELLA, a story by Ruskin Bond and ECONOMICS IS NO NATURAL SCIENCE, an essay by Dr. S K Shukla)
Audio-visual aid 5 minutes in which students were examined for their listening skill
(Documentary BLUE GOLD by MARK ASHBAR and SI LITVINOFF)
Writing a short essay 100 words on MY VILLAGE / MY CITY
Students Group-1. (10)
Students Group-2 (10)
Students Group-3 (10)
The level of speaking and listening skill: 3 students improved 60%
The writing and reading comprehension: 4 students improved 60%
The speaking and listening skill: 4 students improved 60%
The writing and reading comprehension :
5 students improved 70%
( conceptual and interdisciplinary approach)
The speaking and listening skill: 8 students improved 90%
The writing and reading comprehension: 8 students improved 80%
The students of the third group scored over the others in many respects.
1st group general observation:
They attained a certain level of fluency but were found deficient in writing.
2nd group general observation:
The students of this group were found improved better than the first group in terms of reading and writing skill
3rd group general observation:
The students were found equally good at writing and speaking.
This group students enjoyed good reading comprehension.
The cognitive and the creative development were observed more improved in this group in terms of speaking, reading, listening and writing comprehension.
The students of this group were found way better grounded in a denotative and connotative understanding of language.