Saturday, September 24, 2016

Inauguration of Ernakulam chapter--A Report

A one day workshop was arranged by KVS Regional Office  Ernakulam on the 27th  of August 2016 at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ernakulam for the English Language teachers of the KVs in the region with a vision to offer a platform through the support of a highly  acclaimed professional organisation ,The English Language Teachers’ Association of India (ELTAI).The aim was to mould the teachers into true professionals as well as to share and enhance their knowledge, skills, expertise, innovations and experiments in the teaching-learning process of English language which will ultimately benefit the students entrusted in  their care. In the time span of eight hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the teachers were given a golden opportunity to listen to and interact with the eminent and notable personalities in the field of ELT.
After the registration of the teachers from various KVs in the region, the workshop commenced with an invocation and the lighting of the lamp ceremony, followed by the welcome address by Mrs. Rajalakshmi G Panicker PGT English of KV, Ernakulam.
In the Presidential Address Dr. Mrs. Uma Sivaraman, Deputy Commissioner of KVS Regional Office, Ernakulam highlighted the need for the English language teachers to be in a professional organisation like ELTAI which can offer them a wider perspective in connection with English Language Teaching. ELTAI was founded on August 7th, 1974 by the late Padmashri S Natarajan , a noted educationist of the country. She commented that ELTAI provides a forum for the teachers of English to meet periodically and discuss the problems related to the teaching of English in the country. It will help them to interact with the educational administrators on matters relating to the teaching of English.  “If the ELT fraternity is brought under a single umbrella through ELTAI, it would pave a long way for expanding the horizon of a teacher’s knowledge and expertise and thus promote professional excellence among its members in all possible ways”, she commented. She gave a detailed introduction about each one of the dignitaries present on the dais to the teachers participating in the workshop and also explained in detail about the working and functioning of the numero uno educational institution in the country - Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS)-  to the dignitaries. 
The Ernakulam Chapter of ELTAI was launched in a grand manner after a detailed presentation on the Association by Dr. Mangaiyar Karasi Wilson, Associate Professor, Ethiraj College for Women and General Co-ordinator of ELTAI. She suggested the teachers to visit the ELTAI website to know still more about the organisation. She introduced the journal published six times a year by ELTAI (The JELT- The Journal of English Language). She requested the teachers to share their ideas, experiences, material reviews, innovations and experiments, and resources on the net, through the journal. A copy of the journal was provided to each participant.
Felicitations were offered by Dr Brinda, Head of the Dept of English, CUSAT and Mrs. Maya Mohan, Retd. Principal, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Vaduthala, Kochi who expressed their enthusiasm and happiness in being a part of the programme .
The key note address was delivered by Dr. Muralikrishnan T.R., Associate Professor and Head of the Dept of English, M.E.S. Asmabi College, Kodungallur.   He  concentrated on “New Englishes and ELT”. He also pointed out how the English language is in the process of evolving, through a word web consisting of a few words that have found a place in the active vocabulary of the language recently, thanks to the new generation users of the language. He  focused on the methods, methodology and approach in ELT in the modern times. Reflecting back on the three major issues in ELT during the 90’s, he has established the need to accept English in the socio-cultural milieu of its user- rather, it is time to accept the native variety of English language. After explaining the key trends in ELT today and the paradigm shifts in the ELT area, focusing on the new approaches, he has also concentrated on the features of a modern language classroom and the contemporary techniques in ELT. He talked in detail on the teaching method and philosophy devised by ScottThornbury and Luke Meddings in “Teaching Unplugged”, which has three primary aims: teaching through conversation, taking out external input such as course book and technology and letting the course content be driven by the students rather than being pre-planned by the teacher.  He has made clear the relevance of English literature in the modern times by pointing out how IIMs teach ethical issues, leadership, organisational behaviour, social  intelligence , team building lessons and such twentieth century skills through English Literature. The class came to an end with him explaining the use of ICT in the language class to assist language usage and teaching-learning activities.
After the tea break, there was a session by Miss Amrithavarshini of the Indian Schools Debating Society.  She took detailed sessions about Indian Schools Debating Society (ISDC) and expounded on the format and guidelines of World School Debating Championships (WSDC).  
The post lunch session continued with a highly interactive and interesting session by Ms. Amrithavarshini who gave detailed guidelines regarding judging at WSDC and using resources to teach WSDC format to students. She also illustrated how teachers can use the WSDC elements in the classroom. 
The tea break session in the evening was accompanied by the teachers joining ELTAI as members and finding out more about ELTAI. It was followed by a   formally informal, enlightening, enthusiastic and interactive wrap up session where in the Hon’ble Deputy Commissioner of KVS RO Ernakulam, Dr. Mrs. Uma Sivaraman interacted with each and every participant who attended the workshop. She made sure that all the English Language Teachers of the Region are brought together as a single entity. She expressed her happiness about the beautiful results in English and lauded the hardwork of the teachers behind the same. She motivated each and every teacher to do his/her best in developing not only the knowledge and the skills of the students but also that of themselves.  The first meeting of the newly formed Ernakulam Chapter of ELTAI thus concluded and decided that the next meeting would be held in KV, Adoor. The session came to an end at 5pm.

The day turned out to be a red letter day for the English Language teachers of the KVS  Ernakulam Region as Dr. Uma Sivaraman Deputy Commissioner, Ernakulam Region pointed out at the outset of the her Presidential Address. It became a noteworthy and memorable day due to the enlightening sessions at the workshop by the experts of ELT and ISDS.  

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