Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 11 : 5 May 2011
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.





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English Language Teaching Conditions in Assam -
A Case of Secondary Schools

ATAUR RAHMAN, M.A., B. Ed., Ph.D. Candidate


Assam is one of the seven states of North East India. Dispur is the capital of Assam. The official language of the state is Assamese. Like all states in India, Assam is a multilingual state. Apart from the Assamese language, Bengali, Hindi, Bhojpuri, Nepali, and Rajasthani languages are also used by different communities. There are also schools teaching several languages spoken by the members of the Scheduled Tribes.

The state has introduced the Three Language Formula in its educational system. English is introduced in the Assamese medium schools at class V; recently it is being introduced in standard 1. English is studied as a compulsory subject up to the Matriculation (HSLC) level. Thereafter, English is studied for two years in the +2 stage and three years at the under-graduate level. In other words, English is studied as a core subject for eleven years. The time allotted for English class is same as to other subjects, i.e., five/six periods of forty/forty five minute's duration per week.

In this paper an attempt is made to depict the English teaching conditions of the Provincialised secondary schools of Assam. The Provincialised schools are the aided schools of the state. The state government sanctions grants to these schools. The teaching and the non-teaching staff are provided with salary by the state government. Management responsibility rests with that of the administration of the school. The students are not required to pay fees.

The Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) is the academic authority of the secondary schools of Assam. It also conducts the final examination (HSLC) of class X. The curriculum and textbooks of English followed in the secondary level are prepared by SCERT (State Council of Education Research and Training). It also conducts English teaching trainings to teachers of secondary level. The Sarva Shiksha Aabhijan (SSA) Assam, too, prepares textbooks and these are prescribed for use up to class VIII since the introduction of the Bill of Compulsory Education for all children up to 14 years of age.

There is a general belief among the people that most of the Provincialised and non-provincialised Assamese medium schools fail to provide quality education; especially the English language attainment level is very low. The students from Assamese medium schools are 'scared' of English. A good number of students from Assamese medium schools every year pass the HSLC examination at the mercy of the policy holders in the form of 'grace marks'. It is believed that even the most brilliant students from the Assamese medium schools may fail to achieve the standard in achieved in the English medium schools. Because of their inability to speak fluent English, a good number of students from the Assamese medium show poor performance in interviews for in job recruitment drive. They are not able to communicate well in day-to-day transactions where English is required.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Ataur Rahman, M.A., B.Ed., P.G.C.T.E., P.G.D.T.E., Ph.D. Candidate
Assistant Professor (Senior Grade) in English
Dhemaji Commerce College

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