EDUCATION TRIBUNE

Learning English, the lab way
Ambika Sharma
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HE art of conversation and effective communication equips an individual to brighten his or her career prospects. While this skill is indispensable for a professional today, the lack of it can reduce an individual’s sale ability in the job market. Aimed at improving the communication skills of the students an English language laboratory has been set up at Government Girls Polytechnic at Kandhaghat.

International Youth Cell Competition: Ludhiana students shine
T
WO school students secured the second position in the International Youth Fuel Cell Competition held at Hawaii last week. The students, Aaastha Wadhwa and Annapoorna Virdi, of the Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar Ludhiana, stood second in the Quiz Bowl as well as in the Fuel Cell Car Race Artistic Design competitions.

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Learning English, the lab way
Ambika Sharma

Students using the language lab to learn English
Students using the language lab to learn English

THE art of conversation and effective communication equips an individual to brighten his or her career prospects. While this skill is indispensable for a professional today, the lack of it can reduce an individual’s sale ability in the job market.

Aimed at improving the communication skills of the students an English language laboratory has been set up at Government Girls Polytechnic at Kandhaghat.  Stemming from the innovative idea of L.R. Sharma, an English lecturer, this lab is the first in the state. It has become an effective medium of improving the English language skills of the students. It has been set up under the World Bank aided programme on Technical Education Quality Improvement.

Elucidating on the idea behind this lab Mr Sharma says: “The habits acquired in the process of learning the mother tongue hinder the English learning process. Hence students speak incorrect English..”

With these difficulties in mind this language laboratory is an effective audio-lingual  teaching aid. It is based on the modern audio-lingual theory which stresses on a listening-speaking-reading-writing sequence in learning skills of speaking proper English.

The lab can accommodate 15 students and each pupil listens to a cassette which plays various words and sentences. The students then hear them through the earphone and make an effort to repeat them.  Since the teacher can simultaneously hear what the students are attempting he can correct, check and improve them. They can communicate with the teacher and vice-versa without disturbing others in the group. During the entire exercise the teacher can individually or collectively monitor the progress of the group.

The basic objective is to enable students exercise their vocal chords in pronouncing each word accurately. Repeated attempts to pronounce words helps the tutor to correct them, explains Mr Sharma.

The Clarity software installed in this system further has a provision for conducting group discussions, video conferencing and  paperless examination. The whole conversation can also be recorded and replayed for the students to check their progress.

The principal of the college, while expressing satisfaction over the initiation of this versatile programme, said they planned to use this facility for community service as well. Local students and professionals would  also be given coaching in this lab to improve their communication skills.

The laboratory has drawn immense response from the students who feel it has enabled them to improve their vocabulary and given them confidence to speak proper English. Since most of the students have had their basic education in the Hindi medium, speaking correct English was a challenge.  “Initially, I was hesitant to speak in English as I committed a number of grammatical errors. I not only lacked the confidence but always shied away from speaking English. But this lab has helped me overcome these problems,” remarked Anjali Sharma, a student.

“Since it is important to speak correct English in order to be successful professionally this lab has provided the right kind of guidance. I try to follow the instructions minutely and this has helped me improve a lot,” said Inderjeet, another student.

“Lack of communication skills had time and again impeded good placements to our students. The various company executives who came to conduct campus interviews would only test a student’s communication skills and select or reject our students,” confided Sharma. It was basically to overcome this hurdle that this lab has been instituted. Three more such labs would be set up in the state. A 50 marks practical examination has been added in the course and this would make it mandatory for the students to make efforts and improve their language.
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International Youth Cell Competition: Ludhiana students shine

TWO school students secured the second position in the International Youth Fuel Cell Competition held at Hawaii last week.

The students, Aaastha Wadhwa and Annapoorna Virdi, of the Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar Ludhiana, stood second in the Quiz Bowl as well as in the Fuel Cell Car Race Artistic Design competitions.

Twenty high schools from Russia, Japan, India, Canada and the USA apart from others participated in the competition held at Honolulu. The competition included a Quiz Bowl, Hydrogen Timepiece building event and culminated with a Fuel Car Race.

The competition was aimed at highlighting the growing global efforts of renewable energy education and sought to demonstrate the importance of students to the future of this science, particularly relating to the hydrogen fuel cells.

R S Gill, Principal GPS, Ludhiana, said that schools have to hone the skills of their students to draw out their talents and encourage them to be creative and innovative, and channelise their energy in the right direction.

The contest stressed that the energy available from the present fossil fuels was limited and mankind has to equip itself with other forms of energy to overcome the problem.

— Contributed by Jupinderjit Singh


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