Sunday, 22 November 2009

Epiphany Church, Gurgaon Garden Fete 2009

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The parishioners of the Epiphany Church, Gurgaon celebrated their Annual Garden Fete today, on the 22nd of November.The Rt.Reverend Bishop Sunil Singh Graced the occasion. The coordinator of the Fete was Captain Joshi.
The fete was a grand success thanks to the cooperation of all the members of the parish. There were food stalls, game stalls, stalls which sold Christmas Carol C.Ds., the white elephant stall was a great success. Besides there was tambola which was organised by Mr.and Mrs. Kumar.There were auctions for various hampers, and of course the crowning stroke was the lucky draw for the winners of the raffle draw.
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The Army band did a wonderful job by playing some lively numbers.Given below are a couple of photographs of them while playing some lively tunes.
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Given below are some more glimpses of the gathering at the Fete and the stalls.
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Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Problems with the Communicative Approach in Teaching English

During the course of teaching English for fifteen years I have seen a steady veering away from the teaching of essentials of Grammar in classes leading to class eleventh.The amount of grammar taught in our syllabus is being steadily being Diluted by the framers of the curriculum and the syllabus. Grammar is the Maths of any language and you cannot teach the language without teaching Grammar! A student who doesn’t have a firm knowledge of Grammar can never be expected to frame sentences which are correct in syntax! So what is the teacher supposed to do while teaching English to students of classes sixth to eleventh of the C.B.S.E Board? Well, pat the answer comes, “Teach him to communicate!”  Which means, “How r u?” should be as good as, “How are you?” The C.B.S.E’s. Communicative and Interactive syllabus doesn’t do justice to the teaching of English in the schools of India! I feel dumbfounded by the expectations of the curriculum framers who think you can teach a student English without teaching him Grammar! Poor Chomsky would be confounded to see such a travesty in the teaching of this language! Chomsky believs that every child is born with a basic mental program, or circuit which responds to principles of Grammar, semantics, and syntax. So are we playing with Nature or the way the human brain is wired by neglecting the teaching of the principles of Grammar? I believe the answer is yes!
In class eleventh, the total marks awarded to the Grammar section in the Annual Question paper is ten-fifteen marks - that too in a paper of hundred marks! Forget about teaching formal Grammar! Editing and Omitting type of exercises can be effective only after the student is well versed in syntax and semantics of the subject! So now it seems our objective of teaching is only  to make  the student functionally aware about the language! It is no wonder therefore that a student may make as many mistakes as possible, he is not to be penalized for Grammatical errors, the only thing that matters is that he should “Communicate !”
I very strongly feel that when English is being taught as a second language then there should teaching of formal rules of grammar otherwise students are going to think in their mother tongue and then write a translation in English. One example how in Hindi read can also mean study, so a student who translates from Hindi would respond with the answer, 'I am reading in class ten,' to the question, 'What class are you in?'