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In Sri Lanka, the decisions that the teacher should teach and the content of the exams are decided by the Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka. For that purpose, the Ministry occupies professionals in English including English teachers, lecturers and professors in this process. There are two exams, Ordinary level exam and Advanced level exams. The priority of the education system is given to these two exams in Sri Lanka. Therefore, many workshops, seminars, including special priorities, opportunities are given for the students who are going to sit for these two exams.
Here, I would like to agree with the comment that was made by Sahar Amer before. As he mentioned “I personally prefer to tailor the course according to the
learners needs, but of course that will generate a huge gap if a standardized test is done at the end.”
In Sri Lankan context, the proficiency of the English language of the students varied. This variation differs according to the community, context, district, rural or urban and etc. Furthermore, it differs class to class, even individual to individual. Therefore, it is not fair to make one particular standardized curriculum for everyone. (Obviously, standardized curriculum is needed but some changes has to be done accordingly, considering the learner needs) The priority should be given for the learners and their needs, motives and purposes.6 January 2021 at 5:59 pm in reply to: Discussion 5.2 – Problems of public belief about English #4810
In Sri Lankan context, there are many controversial ideas regarding English language. English language is considered as a measure which symbolizes a person’s social class. English is considered as owned by the elite class. Furthermore, sometimes people who speak English language is discriminated by the people who do not know English very well. At that time, they humiliate the proficient Eanglish speakers as “Kadden kotana ayo”, it means “people who use the sword”, here sword is English language. Another important factor, Sri Lankans do not have a proper understanding about “Standard Sri Lankan English” and they tend to be proficient in “Standard British English.”
In Sri Lanka, the decisions on English curriculum and English exams are designed by English professionals, professors, including lecturers, teachers in Sri Lanka. They are working and instructed under Ministry of Education. According to my opinion, we need to make an impact on future changes in the curriculum. For that, we can refer to international research and adapt them in the Sri Lankan context accordingly.5 January 2021 at 5:57 pm in reply to: Reflection 5.2 – Sharing Changing Englishes ideas with colleagues #4798
The concept of “World Englishes” is controversial aspect in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is in the Outer Circle country where English has been gifted in the British colonial period. There is “Standard Sri Lankan English” but it is again controversial aspect in Sri Lanka. The main reason for this issue is that Sri Lankans are not ready to accept this particular variety and Sri Lankans want to study themselves and teach their children, standard British English. After learning about this concept of World Englishes, it is kind a miracle to Sri Lankan second language learner of English and the worst thing is that they do not know about that and just follow the wave.
I would like to make a contribution on Sri Lankan society through writing a motivational blog post or an article about the concept of “Changing Englishes” which I learnt in this concept. There were many things that I learnt from this course honestly.
A language has a set of native speakers. It is generally agreed that a standard of a language is maintained by the native speakers of that particular language. English language is originally owned by the speakers of the inner circle. The people who live in UK and USA. Furthermore, they are considered as the “proficient” speakers in that particular language due to their usage of the pronunciation. Therefore, I believe the whole property of a language is owned by that particular native speakers. But still, English language is owned by the whole world because it dominates the life of the global citizens and it has become to a global language. Every global citizen tends to be competent in English language. Therefore, it is necessary for the global citizens to make the language own. In Sri Lanka, there is “Standard Sri Lankan English.” It is a variety of English. In other words, this variety of English exists as a standard form of English in Sri Lanka which has prominent features of first languages of Sri Lankans. The first languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhalese and Tamil. For instances; Exclamation terms, “Budu Ammoh, Kadavuleh, then question tags, “you are going there neh?” Here, the question tag of “neh”, furthermore, some food items and clothes names; “Kavum, Kokis, Kiribath, Osariya, Hawadiya and etc.”
In Sri Lanka, Sri Lankans aspire to learn Standard British English, the pronunciation and the speaking skills are mattered than Writing, listening or reading skills. In other words, there is a concept of “Kaduwa” exists. “Kaduwa” in English is the sword. It literally implicates English language plays a significant role in the Sri Lankan society. It opens for the idea of elite language in Sri Lanka. It shows the social standard of a person in the society. In Sri Lanka, “Standard Sri Lankan English” variety is existed. In classrooms, “Standard Sri Lankan” variety is used. There are registers which are related to “Standard Sri Lankan English” For instance; food items, costumes, questions tags. For instances; “Are you going to that party neh?” Here “neh” is a question tag. Then costumes like, Osariya, Hawadiya, then food items as, Kiribath, Kokis and etc.
According to my opinion, it is not thoughtful strategy to consider every activity in the text book and cover the syllabus. On the contrary, teacher has to have a plurithic thinking pattern and need to make an independent lesson plan and the materials according to the learner profile and the interests.
In the classroom, as a teacher, I love to follow innovative teaching methods which make students interest and energetic on learning process. I prepared for my lesson before hand, so for that I prepared a lesson plan which divides into three categories as Pre-task activity, While-task activity and Post-task activity. As for teaching materials, based on the tutorial or the lesson, I create my own lesson. There are activities including less individual tasks but, majority of the activities are based on pair activities and group activities.4 January 2021 at 3:32 pm in reply to: Reflection 4.1 – Talking to students about English(ee), learning/teaching it #4779
In my university life, I learnt about World English(es) but in my teaching context, I have never got a chance to explain my students about this particular concept of World Englishes. However, I got a chance to teach English language for a group of students who were lost their passion about teaching English. From the feed back I received from them, enlightened me the fact that they were fed up of the learning language due to lack of adequate teaching strategies and the motivation. I reduced the writing hours that they spent in the classroom time. But, I engaged them in group presentations, pair work, poster presentations and so on. My target was to prepare them for the university and the professional context.
When it comes to my teaching practice, I prepared myself before I enter to the classroom. I have a lesson plan which divides into three categories as pre-task activity, while-task activity and post-task activity. When it comes to the pre-task activity, I do some kind of an activity to warm up the students’ schemata like a game, asking short questions in order to warm up the students. Then, when it comes to the while – task activity, the main grammar part or the lesson will be covered through interactive sessions, students – centered activities like or group or pair activities. Then, for the post-task activity, in order to practice the lesson that is taught in the classroom, teacher will give a home work to do at the home. Most of the time, it can be writing an essay, review basically it is about reflecting own thoughts. In conclusion, I really need to engage every student in the classroom with the lesson and I consider about learner needed and interests before I plan my lesson.
- This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by Pabasara Ponnamperuma.
According to my opinion, as a teacher when I teach English for my students, there are two prominent things that I need to consider. The very first thing is, teach students English language and make them competent in all four language skills including Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading. When I build up their proficiency, I can relate the authentic situations, daily routine patterns with the activities. So, here are some suggestions.
For the primary level students;
Teacher can teach students with basic good habits in the classroom, for that teacher can be creative and make a sample bathroom using plaster of paris or on a whistle board.
For the secondary level students;
Teacher can teach students with typical conversation patterns like conversations happened at a market, post-office, hospital, bank, and etc
For the tertiary level students;
Teacher can teach students with email writing, letter writing, how to create a poster and etc.
In Sri Lanka, both Standard Sri Lankan English and Standard British English are promoted in educational institutes. Most of the times, Standard Sri Lankan English as a subject is promoted at the university context, but everyone dreams to learn and be proficiency in Standard British English which is far more reaching than the possible Standard Sri Lankan English, for instances; prepare with Cambridge university exams.2 January 2021 at 5:54 pm in reply to: Discussion 3.2 – Factors that shape the learning of English #4745
In Sri Lanka, there are many factors which shape the learning of English in the country. It is the official language in the country therefore, it is required to communicate all the administrative and educational matters. Consequently, Sri Lankans tend to learn English in order to have a good job. Furthermore, English language and the competencies of having English language show the social standard of the personnel in the Society.2 January 2021 at 4:07 pm in reply to: Discussion 3.1 – Places & Contexts of English Exposure #4743
In Sri Lanka, Students learn English as a second language. It is an official language in the country, and it is the only way to make a link with the international context. Therefore, it is compulsory to learn English language. In school, students tend to learn English language with essential grammar, vocabulary and lexical items including the four skills, reading, writing, speaking and listening. It serves only to learn the language and it is a standard variety of English language, Standard Sri Lankan English. But still there are contexts where English is used as in daily routine. For instances; Watching English movies with international content, usage of English in the daily life, listening music, chats with penpals and etc.1 January 2021 at 6:10 pm in reply to: Reflection 3.1 – L2 Learners – Declarative vs Procedural Knowledge #4729
Declarative and procedural knowledge mutually operate in the human being’s brain. Most importantly, these two aspects help a learner in both L1 and L2 learning. When a child starts to learn his or her mother tongue, their procedural knowledge memory starts working. Basically, it makes an unconscious procedure. For instance, the child learns to listen and then speak the language he or she can hear from his or her parents. It is basically, babbling. Then, when it comes to the declarative memory, the procedure is complex because it has a conscious memory proceeding where a child starts to learn L2 language. For instance, learning English language (L2) at school, the proceedings are used such as Dictation, Writing essays, writing letters, speak the language. Basically, here the child needs to make an effort to acquire the language.