Teaching English to Rural High-School Students in India: Identifying and Addressing the Challenges

Nayak, Radharani (2019) Teaching English to Rural High-School Students in India: Identifying and Addressing the Challenges. PhD thesis.

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Language, the most crucial vehicle of communication, forms an essential part of any educational system. The use of the English language in the national and international context has enhanced its importance in all domains of communication in the present scenario. It is a critical component of our education system where the English language holds a respectable position as a first and second language in the entire school education. This research study examined the proficiency level of rural high-school students in government schools in the state of Odisha considering the importance of the language in India. The findings led to some suggestions of alternate teaching-learning strategies that could aid towards improving the English language skill levels of the students.
The study had three major objectives. The primary objective was to assess the English language proficiency level of regional medium high school students of Odisha. The second objective was to investigate the problems and challenges involved in the English teaching and learning processes prevailing in state-run government High Schools including the language teaching-learning methods adopted in the classroom teachings. The third objective was to make recommendations in the light of the findings of the study by providing specific practical teaching solutions to the issues and problems. The study involved an experimental research design which was carried out in two phases using the pre-test and post-test methods. In the first phase class IX students belonging to four schools were tested and results were drawn based on the tests. The second phase involved two schools being randomly selected as control group and two other schools as the experimental group before conducting the post-test. The class IX students of the experimental group were engaged with different types of real-life activities, tasks and fun-filled methods of English language teaching by the researcher herself with assistance from the English teachers. The students belonging to the control group were not taught by the researcher through different types of fun activities and methods. They were left to be taught by their teachers in the usual way. After six-months, a post-test was conducted in all the four schools. The post-test results were analyzed and compared using paired ‘t’ test analysis.
The findings revealed that there was a statistically significant difference between the results of the control group and the experimental group. The results showed that the students belonging to the experimental group performed better in the post-test conducted after the intervention period, whereas not enough improvement was noticed from the students belonging to the control group. In addition, qualitative data were also collected from government school English teachers through a questionnaire and face-to-face interviews. Thus, based on the results from the tests and feedback received from the teachers, following are some of the recommendations suggested by the researcher.
The teachers should adopt suitable teaching methods based on their students’ needs and abilities. The English classroom should be a platform for making mistakes as they are the real source of learning and the teachers should correct it during the teaching-learning process without magnifying it. A motivating environment should be created in the classroom both by distributing prizes and small gifts and by giving examples of previous passed out students who have exceled in their careers. There should be a meaningful engagement of the students by the teachers in the classrooms for effective teaching-learning process of the English language. This can be possible if the English language curriculum is designed in an effective manner inculcating all the applied skills of the language. There should be result-driven activities practiced in the classroom so that the pupils understand what goal has to be achieved within the stipulated time of the classes. The teachers should encourage student-centered classes by creating opportunities for learning that recounts real-life experiences and stories being narrated and written by the students themselves. Most importantly, the training of the teachers should be a prerequisite for training the students. The teachers should seek feedback from the students at the completion of every class regarding his/her teaching process and the subject comprehension of the students.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:English language learning; Proficiency; Fun-methods; Pre-test; Post-test; Intervention; State-run Government high-school
Subjects:Humanities & Social Sciences > Language studies
Humanities & Social Sciences > Sociology of Communication
Divisions: Social Sciences > Department of Humanities & Social Sciences
ID Code:9806
Deposited By:IR Staff BPCL
Deposited On:22 Feb 2019 20:28
Last Modified:22 Feb 2019 20:28
Supervisor(s):Mohanty, Seemita

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