ELU

English classes taught by Cambridge University-certified teachers in Pondicherry and Auroville
 
Studying English in India

The army of pseudo-teachers and poorly qualified after-class tutors of English in India, the flawed school system and lack of high-quality study materials are the major contributors to the Indian students' poor performance.

  • OECDAfter The Hindu published its scandalous report, the Indian Government banned PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) from administering school tests in India again. Lant Pritchett explains that, in Reading, out of the 74 countries and regions participating in PISA 2009 or 2009+ Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh (16,000 students from across 400 schools participated in it), beat out only Kyrgyzstan (which is at the bottom in the image on the right). 30.76% of the schoolchildren from Tamil Nadu wrote the test in English as they study in English-medium schools. How can one possibly study with books that are written in a language one cannot understand?
  • To provide an external, international benchmark of student achievement, 337 Indian schools became affiliated to Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). Some schools in Pondicherry that offer Cambridge International Primary Programme examination, which  can be taken either as Cambridge Primary Progression Tests (marked in school) or as Cambridge Primary Checkpoint (marked by Cambridge examiners),
    CIDTT candidates are required to conduct just 10 hours of teaching practice. ONLY in two out of these ten hours will they be observed. Compare it with CELTA, where the candidate's teaching practice is observed and marked nearly every day throughout the course. The first module in CIDTT consists of 10 days of face-to-face workshops in which the candidates will be merely briefed on the content of each module. The Diploma is assessed through on-demand assignments which candidates (or their friends at ELU) complete at the end of every module through an on-line submission. Thus, we at ELU can help almost any Indian high school graduate to get a CIDTT.
    don't prepare their students for Cambridge Secondary 1 (11 to 14 year olds), Cambridge Secondary 2 (14 to 16 year olds) or Cambridge Advanced (16 to 19 year olds) exams, unlike certain schools in Chennai or in Auroville. The answer is simple:
    the teachers as well as the examiners must have the qualifications recognized by Cambridge University. However, as you see from their web pages, even the schools employing Indian staff with "Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers (CIDTT)" teach Tanglish and Hinglish because a CIDTT without a Certificate of Proficiency in English is like a car without wheels. Don't think that everything at Cambridge is very intelligent: CIDTT programme assumes that teaching English has a lot in common with teaching maths, which is not true. Moverover, what few parents realize is, English progression tests cover only three assessment strands: Reading, Writing and Usage, while the students' listening and speaking skills are not assessed, unlike in Cambridge YLE or KET.

As Sri Aurobindo put it, the "crude impact of European life and culture... revived the dormant intellectual and critical impulse" in India. "...the mass of Indian action is still at the moment proceeding under the impress of the European motive and method and, because there is a spirit within us to which they are foreign, the action is poor in will, feeble in form and ineffective in results, for it does not come from the roots of our being"

  • Although English is one of India's official languages, being the predominant medium of higher education, the Indian EF test takers' English language proficiency is considerably lower than that of the Polish or the Czechs, as illustrated by this report.
  • India will look truly incredible to anyone who will try to understand what a "non-hotel hotel" is. We don't know if India is the only country in the world that can boast of many "BA English holders" who know English at the elementary level, but one thing is certain: most Indian university-level tests will leave any native speaker of Enligsh baffled or amused. The New Indian Express published a study that shows that 47% of graduates were found unemployable in any sector, given their English language and cognitive skills. The Hindu published another report that says, "Out of over 1.2 lakh candidates... 73.63 per cent lacked English speaking and comprehension skills".
  • "Peaceful, but quiet", runs The Hindu's nonsensical headline. Native English speakers find it very difficult to read Indian "English" newspapers, as sentences such as "our first helicopter can reach a disturbed area (in and around Chennai) within 15 minutes" that make no sense are plentiful in almost every article.
  • In 2001, out of 350 million Indians who claimed they "spoke English", 86 million stated it was their second language and for 38 million it was the third. However, few realise that speaking Hinglish or Tanglish may enhance their social status in India but it is not the same as speaking real English in the UK or the USA.
  • Watch this video if you believe you know real English:
  • Many Indians wrongly assume that merely passing IELTS  (which focusses largely on science and business contexts) or TOEFL implies that their English would not be a barrier in getting a good job abroad and settling there. Immigrants "isolate themselves in ethnic enclaves" due to their lower proficiency in English. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has gradually increased the required level of language proficiency for prospective immigrants in response to the problems of underemployment and difficulty with integration among immigrant communities across the country. According to a 2012 Immigration Canada report, a surprising 60% of immigrants express that they cannot conduct a formal conversation in either English or French.
  • From the major variables of class, gender, ethnicity and regional background flow other significant factors such as education, occupation and wealth. A crucial factor is, in Australia, English language proficiency and literacy. Their primary importance in settlement has been affirmed in many international and Australian studies.
 
 
ELU Auroville
©ELU