I have made several attempts to help them read good English by making the newspapers available in the campus since early morning.I have told them that they need not read all the things published in a news paper. They might start reading the sports columns ,then interesting news reports, advertisements on job vacancies and then the editorial page.I have been trying to initiate discussions by taking a copy to the classroom and there were batches of students who indulged in serious reading and responded to the news items meaningfully until a few years ago.But recently I find that students can't read and understand most of the news items as they have never got a chance to read English dailies.So I have to read out the news items aloud first and then explain the ideas in simple English or some times in Malayalam and then initiate discussions.This takes a major part of the class time and hence can not be done every period.
Another method I tried last year was to design a quiz every day based on the day's news items.Some students showed interest in the beginning but eventually they gave up.Students have subscribed to newspapers in English during previous years but they have never tried to read seriously.I have found the students sitting on the newspapers,using them to clean the desks or to collect and sell in bundles on a monthly basis but never to read meaningfully.
How can we make them read effectively is one topic which needs immediate responses from the teachers.One thing I have noticed is that the recent change in time table restricting the school days in the higher secondary section to 5 days a week and the 10 period structure from 9 am to 4.30 pm every day has negatively affected language learning too.There is no time to take rest and read. There is no provision for morning gatherings, after lunch meetings or afternoon sessions for club activities which was done at least once a week during previous years.All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This seems to be true in the case of every higher secondary student ! During this week for reading at least we should think seriously about initiating effective reading among the students .
Read the newspapers online
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS
THE TIMES OF INDIA