Language learning is acquiring the skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinkingin an integrated manner.
Language learning becomes meaningful when it is connected withthe immediate environment of the children.We explicitly develop skills in the following components of language. In Literacy, we havereceptive and productive skills. Listening and reading are receptive skills, whereas speaking andwriting are productive skills. The objective is to develop these skills in a holistic manner. Thedevelopment of linguistic proficiency in children is needed for the spontaneous and appropriateuse of language in different situations.
Listening: Listening is a prime activity in an English classroom. Learning situations need to be createdto develop respect and comprehension for listening activities. Listening can include classroom activities, school activities, audio/video and beyond the school situations. Listening atthis stage is crucial so that the children are able to listen carefully to views put forward,reflect on them, and to respond accordingly. Listening can also play a role in the receptionand enjoyment of literary texts; and it is integral to radio, television, film and other media.Appreciation of non-verbal clues also needs to be developed. Speaking: Speaking is a natural part of communication and can be used for learning in pairs, small groupsand in large groups.
It is a way of expressing feelings and thoughts in a number of differentgenres, and is linked to writing and reading. It is closely allied to listening. The role of speakingin elementary education and beyond must continue to be significant. Speech can be used as arehearsal for writing or a follow-up to it. Reading: Reading covers both seen and unseen types of text. It is closely allied to writing, readingaloud (speaking), speaking and listening. The links between text and image are emphasised,and written texts should be used to allow talk about experiences and feelings as well as aboutlanguage.
Besides the reading of fiction, poetry and play-scripts, information texts, such asmaps, guides, menus, advertisements and other ?real world’ texts such as newspaper articlesand online media should be used. There can be variety in the way reading is introduced andtaught, including formal teaching in class; small group exploration of texts; reading forinformation; reading for pleasure; and reading for other purposes. Writing Writing is not a mechanical skill; it involves a rich control on grammar, vocabulary, content,punctuation as well as abilities to organize thoughts coherently often using a variety ofcohesive devices such as linkers etc. The children should develop the confidence ofexpressing their thoughts effortlessly and in an organized manner.
Children must beencouraged and trained to choose their own topic, organize their ideas and write with a senseof audience. This is possible only if their writings are seen as a process and not as a product.They should be able to use writing for a variety of purposes and in a variety of situationsranging from informal to very formal. Teachers should make sure that students build on whatthey have learnt.