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November 25, 2013

India | Education

Quality suffers, English still 'foreign' for Gujarat students

gujarat-students.jpgExperts blame poor school teaching and diminishing reading habits for the low standard of English among students in the Indian region of Gujarat.

“Friends, our dear sister
is departing for foreign
in two three days,
and we are meeting today
to wish her bon voyage,”

The lines, written by Indo-Anglian poet Nissim Ezekiel in the poem ‘Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa TS’, decades ago throws open the clichés that plague English in our country even today.

And Gujarat is no exception. Is English still a foreign language to the country? Why is it that students, despite being trained in the use of the language, continue to falter?

Recently, Gujarati boy Pranav Mistry- alumnus of Nirma University and currently head of Think Tank team of Samsung Research America that designed the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch, faced criticism for his heavily accented English. This has once again raised the issue of quality of English teaching in institutes and colleges in the state.

Read the full article from DNA India.

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September 09, 2013

India | Primary Level

Punjab village teacher's 12-hour English class a big hit

Teach-English-in-IndiaA teacher in India takes a novel approach to help less privileged students see they don't need to attend a private school to master English.

Dispelling the notion that English is Greek to students of government schools, a teacher held a marathon 12-hour session on English grammar at Government Elementary School in Rahimpur village in Jalandhar district to mark Teachers' Day. Unlike the English learning class in the British television series of the seventies, "Mind Your Language", the class held by teacher Ram Krishan was a success. When the session ended at 7pm on Thursday, the students came out confident and visibly at ease with the language that had been their Achilles heel in the past.

Irked by the categorisation of students from government schools as poor in English language skills, Krishan decided to set the balance right. "Elementary schools don't have exclusive English teachers and teaching is left to social sciences tutors. The private schools use the English USP to attract students. Children in government schools are generally considered to be laggards in the language. I want to clear this misconception," Krishan pointed out.

Proving that a good teacher can hold the students' interest, most of the children stayed till the end though there were no curbs on their leaving the class. "It was so interesting. It was as if the curtain had lifted in our minds," said Romi Jassal, a Class IX student whose father is a driver.

Read the full article from The Times of India.

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September 06, 2013

India | ELT People

From Anglophobia to master of English

munawar-zama.jpgThe head of an English-language training and personality development institute has been helping under-priviliged Indians to get life-changing opportunities.

In early 1985, a nine-year-old Muslim boy from a middle class family in Nalgonda, 100 kms from Hyderabad, sat glued to his transistor radio as Indian cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin prepared to score his third consecutive century against a formidable English team.

English-language cricket commentary emanated from the radio for 15 minutes, followed by commentary in Hindi. Every time the commentary went into English, the boy – who couldn't understand a word of it – became restless.

He impatiently waited for the Hindi commentary to hear how his hero Azharuddin was playing.

In those brief moments of excitement and restlessness, the Anglophobic boy made a decision: he must learn English.

In a posh New Delhi hotel in the August of 2013, the boy, Munawar Zama, now the CEO of an English-language training and personality development institute, was honored with the "Indian Youth Icon Award 2013" for his contributions to changing the lives of thousands of students across the country.

Read the full article from World Bulletin.

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September 05, 2013

India | Events

10th International Congress on English Grammar

English-in-IndiaYou are invited to submit papers for the 10th International Congress on English Grammar, which will be held in southern India in January 2014.

Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College, Coimbatore, India in association with Systemic Functional Linguistics, Hyderabad, is organizing the 10th International Congress on English Grammar (ICEG 2014) on 23-25 January 2014.  The theme of the conference is Grammar and Grammar Teaching: Changing Perspectives.

The Congress aims to support and uphold interaction and meaningful discussion among researchers from all over the world in the fields of English Grammar, Lexicography, Linguistics, English Language Teaching and Communication Technology in Language Teaching. The first ICEG was held in Hyderabad in July 1999. This world renowned Congress was subsequently hosted by some of the elite and premier institutions in India and abroad.

ICEG 2014 focuses on current topics in Language, Linguistics and Literature. The event creates a platform for scholarly interactions on the major changes in teaching of English. The Congress draws researchers from all over the world to present their research findings and to implement these language teaching techniques to the needs of the learners.

Participants are requested to send abstracts based on their original and unpublished research articles related to the above mentioned topics. The abstracts should not exceed 200 words and should envelop creativeness, scope, methodology followed, findings/observations and discussions. The names, affiliations, mobile, email address and full mailing address of all authors must be mentioned.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 5 November 2013.

For more details, please  visit the ICEG 2014 website.

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August 14, 2013

India | Tests

CBSE ties up with Trinity College to train ESL teachers

teach-English-in-IndiaIndia Today reports on a tie up between the Indian board of education for public and private schools and Trinity College, London in a program to integrate English language in the curriculum.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will train teachers for the implementation of the Assessment of Speaking and Listening (ASL) skills in collaboration with Trinity College, London, an official said Tuesday.

ASL has been introduced in all CBSE-affiliated schools for Class 9 and Class 11 in an effort to integrate English language in the curriculum.

"Principals of schools need to identify senior teachers of English from their schools who are eligible to take the online screening test to qualify for examiner trainers in the ASL," said Sadhna Parashar, CBSE director, training research and innovation.

Read the full article at India Today.

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August 13, 2013


The language of social change

teach-English-in-IndiaThe Hindu reports on Vidyarambam Trust, which teaches English to underprivileged children in India and has also helped check dropout rates in government schools.

They are the children of poorly paid carpenters, electricians and daily wage labourers. Raised on the border of the poverty line, mostly in rural areas, these boys and girls have just one path to a better life – an education. But despite their talent and perseverance, this chance is compromised when they need to take an admission test or talk about themselves at a job interview. The bottleneck? Everything is in English.

“An urban child learns English as early as age two”, says Mr. V. Ranganathan, founder of the NGO Vidyarambam Trust, a non-profit organisation that provides free tuition and educational material to underprivileged children. “Until recently, government schools did not teach English at all. We’ve had teachers in these schools tell us that children are hesitant to even open their books. They don’t have the guts to attempt to read”. He believes that for the same reason, dropouts are common after Std. VIII or so, when English is abruptly introduced into their syllabus.

Vidyarambam’s strategy to put these children back on track involves logic that is simple, yet powerful – they recruit people who have completed Std XII and provide them with training on phonetic-based teaching of English (a far more effective method than conventional alphabet-based teaching), after which they are equipped to teach primary schoolchildren the basics of reading, writing and grammar. Older students (Std VI to IX) are taught by those with graduate degrees and the same training.

Read the full article from The Hindu.

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August 10, 2013

India | Events

Call for papers - Teacher Educator Conference 2014

tec14-logo.jpgThe deadline is approaching to submit proposals for next year's International English Language Teacher Educator Conference in India.

The British Council, in full partnership with English and Foreign Languages University (EFL-U) Hyderabad, will come together again to host the International English Language Teacher Educator Conference in India with support from the English Language Teachers’ Association of India (ELTAI) and the International Association for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL).

This event is considered to be the world’s largest English language teacher educator conference and is now in its fourth year. The conference will be held again in Hyderabad, Telangana (formally known as Andhra Pradesh), India from 21 – 23 February 2014.

The main theme of the conference will be 'Innovation in English Language Teacher Education' and the conference will be structured around following three sub themes - 'Innovations in Continuing Professional Development for English language teacher educators and teachers', 'Learning from Experience', and 'Technological resources for language education'. So far, the only plenary speaker announced is Simon Borg, Professor of TESOL at the School of Education, University of Leeds.

A call for papers has been announced and those who wish to present at this conference can submit their proposal online. The last date to submit a proposal is 30 August 2013. Only online submissions will be accepted for vetting.

More details and proposal submissions on the British Council website.

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July 29, 2013

India | Teacher Development

Delivering a jolt to India's teacher training

teach-English-in-IndiaThe New York Times reports on Muktangan, an organization that is taking a whole new - and effective - approach to teacher training in India.

Samidha Shetya, a mill worker’s daughter with a 10th-grade education, was among the first group of women to start working as teachers for a private group called Muktangan in 2003.

She is now among hundreds of teachers who initially had no formal training, much less university degrees in education, working with children from low-income homes.

When Mrs. Shetya began at Muktangan, she was given three months of training and told to find children she could enroll in kindergarten; she began with two classes of 30 students each. Having studied only in the Marathi language, she had to use a translator to get through Muktangan’s English-language curriculum.

Read the full article from The New York Times.

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July 17, 2013

India | Publishing | ELT People

Manas Saikia, MD of CUP India, announces retirement

manas_saikia.jpgManas Saikia, founding partner and Managing Director of Cambridge University Press India, has announced he will be retiring at the end of April 2014.

Manas has had a long 28-year association with Cambridge University Press, since he joined in 1985 as a sales representative. He created Foundation Books with his partner Vinod Vasishat, after an exchange crisis made conditions difficult for importing books.

In 2006, Cambridge acquired a stake in Foundation Books which then became Cambridge University Press India. Cambridge increased its share in 2009 and has now agreed to acquire the remaining shares to give it full ownership. Manas has announced his retirement from the Board, but agreed to stay on as Managing Director during the transition period until the end of April 2014. Recruitment for a new Managing Director will start immediately.

Cambridge University Press India has seen huge growth under Manas’s leadership. He has also facilitated the representation of both Cambridge International Examinations and Cambridge English Language Assessment in India.

Read the full announcement from Cambridge University Press.

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July 09, 2013

India | Teacher Development

Indian region teams with British Council to improve teaching

English-Teaching-in-IndiaThe British Council is teaming up with regional government to raise English teaching standards in Maharashtra, a state in the western region of India.

INDIA TV NEWS: Maharashtra Government has tied-up with the British Council to enhance English language teaching skills of teachers of the state-run secondary schools.

Education Minister Rajendra Darda said that his department in collaboration with the British Council would implement ‘English Language Initiative for Secondary Schools’.

“Specifically, teachers who teach students of VIIth to Xth class would be trained in English language. Around 20,000 teachers from the state will be trained by the government and British Council,” Darda said.

Last year, education department had signed an agreement with the British Council to train teachers from government-run primary schools.

Darda said that education department has opened a corporate social responsibility (CSR) cell, which will provide platform for corporates to invest in school development programmes such as upgrading school infrastructure, setting up libraries, laboratories and so on.

“We are not asking them (corporate houses) for money. We are just providing them CSR platform,” the minister said.

Report from India TV news.

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May 29, 2013

China | India | Nepal | Pakistan

1,000s of English teachers from Britain to teach in Asia

Teaching-English-in-US"Malaysia's The Star reports today on a plan to bring teachers from Britain to teach English in Asia.

Business conglomerate Melewar Group has joined forces with a British education recruitment specialist to send out native speaking English teachers from Britain to 14 countries in Asia to teach the language.

The first batch of teachers are expected to arrive in these countries in the third quarter of this year under an agreement signed between English Learning Group Ltd, a member of the Melewar Group, and STC Consortium Ltd here yesterday.

The teachers would be sent to South-East Asia as well as to Bangaladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Read the full story from The Star Online

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About India

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to ELT News in the India category. They are listed from newest to oldes.

China is the previous category.

Indonesia is the next category.

Many more can be found by looking through the archives.

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Useful Links


  • ALTEThe Association of Language Testers in Europe
  • British CouncilInformation, resources, and links to other sites
  • Cambridge English Language AssessmentInformation on examination and qualifications for teachers and students
  • IALICInternational Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication
  • IALLTInternational Association for Language Learning Technology
  • IATEFL"Linking, developing and supporting" ELT professionals worldwide
  • TESOL IncPublishing, connecting, events and career development for teachers




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