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ERIC Number: EJ948518
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-2158-0979
English Language Teaching at the Primary Level: Foundations for Bilingualism or Not?
Eapen, Rachel Lalitha
Journal of International Education Research, v7 n4 p33-38 2011
In countries where English is a second language, there has been a movement over the last 60 years from supporting indigenous languages over foreign language--English--to the present one where, with globalization and market demands, English is beginning to be seen as an indigenous language in itself. The teaching of English from Grade 1 about five years ago points to this change in India. The consequences of such a shift for language acquisition at the primary level is a matter of concern, however, when English is not the first or second language of the people, but is the medium of education, and when the average classroom teacher at the primary level is inadequately prepared for the task. The gaps in the teacher's preparation and the coping strategies she employs are discussed in this paper in order to identify teacher resistances to new books and methodologies. Resistances can be seen to serve as areas for growth according to the constructivist perspective of a Bakhtinian dialogue and a collective articulation of a ZPD, described by Vygotsky, for syllabus design. The syllabus, when it emerges in this way, can be taken to be valid in terms of relevance and to serve as appropriate comprehensible input necessary as the first step for development and change for in-service primary school teachers teaching new texts set in new curricula. Classrooms in three schools in India were visited from which a syllabus outline for an in-service primary school teachers evolved. Teacher practice and resistances are analysed against larger questions, such as: What does such teacher orientation imply for linguistic development of a second language on the whole and for the cognitive development of the child? Would semi-lingualism be encouraged or would we have basic foundations for effective bilingualism? (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India