In all my years of teaching English, I have faced many challenges. However, these have never been frustrating nor insurmountable. In fact, teaching without challenges is dull and
Challenges are not created but evolve with changing times. They don’t have ready-made
solutions, either. Challenges must be reflected over. Challenges can help teachers to make
teaching English more interesting and relevant. It promotes a culture of research and enquiry.
Teachers develop a sense of ownership to teaching.
Challenges concern the entire pedagogy. Some of the common difficulties at all levels are
- assigning homework,
- take-it-easy attitude of students towards English as a subject,
- students’ phobia toward using English, and
- almost no habit of the learners of reading and writing.
English learners are part of general readers. They do not read texts as much as reading materials in general. They ‘beg’ teachers for important questions. Technology has aggravated the problem further because tech-savvy students prefer visuals to print medium.
In such a scenario, it becomes imperative for teachers of English to blend traditional methods and modern technology to produce the desired outcome. This is simple wisdom.
What is taught should be tested, followed by evaluation which will enable learners to understand how far they have progressed in understanding the subject. Evaluation also helps to infer feedback of all that has been learnt.
Teachers need to update and equip themselves according to learner needs. They must do research on ELT too and not fall back on literature. Language teaching is perhaps more challenging than teaching literature. A favourable attitude toward language teaching will go a long way. My personal preference has always been to teach English as a language rather than English as a literature. I strive to teach English as a language medium for academic communication. TeachingEnglish through oral-aural skills is what I enjoy doing in class.
Treating problems as challenges, renovation and innovation in teaching methods and in testing methods makes the task of a teacher of English easier and more effective, as I have learnt in my efforts to encourage my students to love and learn English.
Department of English,
Future Campus School, Sonarpur.