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Thursday, June 15, 2017


Most of the questions in the public examination demand  the students of higher secondary  to prepare reviews of films,news reports ,editorials,letters to editors based on contemporary social issues.In order to excel in these exams students must make it a habit to read the English dailies.But are they reading ?My experience is that they are not.

 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 .

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