زبان اسوه علم
Learning Every Thing In The Domain Of Language
USING LOCAL LITERATURES IN ENGLISH OR TRANSLATIONS FOR TEACHING ENGLISH
Professor Dr.S.Elangovan,P.T.Lee Chengalvaraya Naicker Engineering College,
Oovery. Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu State, India.
07 – 2009
This study aims at elucidating the universal phenomenon that native literatures and translations can be beneficially and effectively used as a launching pad to learn a foreign language like English. The source of inspiration is the ardent students, willing to learn more and more English but hailing from rustic surroundings in Tamil Nadu, India who have English as their second language. The primary objective of any language is to serve as a vehicle of thoughts and ideas. When this is best served during the teaching of English through native literature and translations it can expediently be adopted in class room situations.
Our students feel very much at home with our own native literature. More over it is familiar to them. When the same native literature is used in the teaching of a foreign language like English, the task is much easier. I tried this method to develop communication skills and to enrich their vocabulary among students and found to be very effective.
What is already known to students may be taken readily to teach English in an Understandable way.
Interesting and funny stories , anecdotes
may be expediently taken
to make English teaching interesting. Jokes from native language also
will serve the purpose. Word punning will not work in bilingual
situations. Very rarely brilliant teachers find opportunities in this
Personal Experiences of this English Teacher:
The theme of one of the original Tamil literature works insists to “search not only food but also God”. It says in Tamil verbatim “ Besides searching food, search God too ”. When teaching this maxim, this English teacher used the pun of the Tamil word “ Irai “ (which interestingly mean both food and God in Chaste Tamil) which in turn in English also both mean “Prey” and “Pray” (of course pronunciation wise same). In the class this application had tremendous effect.
When we teach English through Local literature, we create a sort of homely atmosphere at the same time to prepare themselves with a smooth transition for a foreign language. This process works slowly but sometimes instantly with desired results but steadily. Local literature is taught from tender age onwards to children in any country. So it is well entrenched in their minds if used in learning English.
Local food served in Foreign Plates.
Teaching English through the use of Local Literature is akin to serving local and customized food through foreign plates. When a difficult- to – swallow pill is coated with sugar, then the job is made easy Same is the case with Teaching of English using native language and translations.
Our students had better be introduced other family Relatives such as English only from the Parent –Native Literature ,
I just observe students with a syllabus containing mostly materials from Local literature and with certain dose of Translations from local literature. They have enriched their vocabulary considerably.
Similarly those students who have different set up of syllabus with very little exposure to native literatures and translations or thereof , though subject wise smart score poorly when it comes to English and also their vocabulary range is.very limited.
Use of the Bhaghawat Geetha to Teach English:
I have used the Hindu scripture the Bhagawat Geetha abound in Lord Krishna’s wise counsels to mankind , to teach English. It has permanent impact on the minds of callow, young students both linguistically and Anglically. Some of the verses are simply jugglery of words. “ I am in everything and In everything am I” “ He who sees me in everything and in everything myself, is a real sage” “ He who sees action in inaction and inaction in Action, is a real sage”. These quotations taken from the original native literature is really useful in the teaching of English vocabulary with an alliterative style. Usually Lord Krihna is loved by students for his resourcefulness and cleverness and for the strategies with which he had fought the eipic Mahabharatha war. When their English learning centers round their ideal, role model hero, naturally they become absorbed with the teaching.
Stories from native literatures told in English:
Stories create sort of interest in the minds of both children and adults. The known and thought provoking stories are told in English, students slowly pick up words from English and understand with their mother tongue equivalents. In this method the teacher must be fluent in both English and the native language.
Stories are told from childhood onwards to children by their mothers with warmth and affection. As such, when the same is used inside the class room in the teaching of English, it is quite effective.
Effective literature-based lessons engage learners and capture their interest. They make the learners excited when they understand how language is used to express an author’s expressions. They make learners active participants in tasks that lead them to discover objective language features and arrive at their own well-supported interpretations of a text. They teach learners that their own understanding of a text is worthy of respect, if it is supported by evidence from the text as narrated by the teacher in English. They are the springboards for creative communicative post-reading activities. They make learners want to read further literary texts on their own.
Such lesson outcomes do not happen by accident; teachers must carefully plan for them. This article is firmly based on the theoretical principles behind such lessons, but it will focus most heavily on experiential learning in a workshop format. So, participants will apply the theory to create highly motivating lessons with interesting stories that teach specific language features as a means of understanding poems, short stories etc.
English Teacher also learns in this Method
When this teacher was teaching the local-legend associated with Lord Shiva with the objective of teaching English, he found this is really a rewarding experience to himself too. According to the legend, Lord Shiva offered to judge the superior between Brahma, the God of creation and Vishnu , the God for Protection. Lord Shiva gave them sort of test to pass out. Suddenly Shiva took gigantic proportion and his head went beyond the sky and feet penetrating the earth. Brahma had to touch the plaited hair of Lord Shiva and Vishnu had to feel Shiva’s Lotus feet. In the Process Brahma assumed the form of a swan and searched Lord Shiva’s matted hair. When the flying got tough, Brahma asked the cactus flower, which was then falling from Shiva’s hair, to lie to Shiva that he had touched his hair . When the cactus flower lied to the Omniscient Shiva, he became angry and first Changed himself into a massive column of fire and later to Mount Arunachala. People even now circum ambulate this Holy Mountain Arunachala. Earlier Vishnu masqueraded as a wild- boar, dug the earth in his pursuit of the Lotus feet, but finally admitted his fruitless endeavour to Lord Shiva and bowed down in all his belated humbleness Lord Shiva blessed him with as many temples as there are for Lord Shiva.
In my venture to teach English to my students with the above reference from the Local literature, the first thing students learn is enriching their vocabulary with new words such as “ gigantic, penetrating, matted- hair, plaited -hair, assumed, Omniscient, massive , endeavour and circumambulation “ etc.
I planned to use this legend for English Teaching, invariably I had to include
new vocabulary at the same time in such a way as it will be easily digestible
by the students. In the process I found and used more and more new words but in
a slight dose.
Many of our students who are in a quite precarious situation, have their
own wishes to pursue – to leave and start new lives in Greener Pastures
like America, Singapore etc. These are their dreams and they are preparing
displaying these aspirations partly by studying English. Such students
are self-motivated and even small encouragement from teacher’s side will work
enthusiastic to learn English are already familiar to some extent with their
native literature and translations of other literatures into their first
language. This condition is like a road laid f or the passage of traffic. Now
Riding or driving the English vehicle is comparatively a smooth affair.
They say ‘the giver adds value to the gift’ Same way if the teaching of English is given through local literature then it must be interesting and enjoyable experience to the students.
Native bodies in exotic outfits :
and teaching a foreign language like English through
“Appropriate” contextual support
Here I deliberately use the word “appropriate” because I have chosen the vocabulary understandable to even below average students in the class ,to teach English through stories taken from local literatures.
When I teach English vocabulary, this method comes in handy. Students have the twin benefit of firstly enjoy the stories and literature which they know already but in a different medium and they also learn English unwittingly.
Using Translations for the Teaching of English
Using Translations of native literatures as a tool to teach English involves minimum effort with maximum results. Of course there are certain things to be taken care of in this method. As far as possible the teacher should use a vocabulary that is within the range of students’ comprehending capacity. Native literature mainly revolves around a culture which is quite indigenous. In a diversified culture there are certain terms for which we cannot find equivalents in English. On such occasions the English Teacher can give allowance to the students to clear their doubts when they don’t understand a particular expression or expressions. As far as possible the English teacher can use one word substitutes and when this is not possible the teacher can explain the concept in a clear manner.
What are the stumbling blocks in this method
The teacher should judiciously select new dimensions, approaches and unknown anecdotes from an otherwise known native literature and translations because certain students likely to develop boredom towards what they know already. For example a teacher can start Adam and Eve and man’s downfall story, which is known to every student, with a different start. The teacher can take a cue from the quotation “ If knowledge can create problems, it is not with ignorance, we find solutions”. That the” tree of knowledge only is the cause of miseries” is a kids play.
Uses of different forms of Local literatures and translations in the teaching of English.
Different forms of native literature and translations serve different purposes. For example in the study conducted, it is found that to develop conversational skill in English, translations of dramas and plays from Local Literatures are very useful as they are mostly written in dialog forms. Devotional songs translated into English are approached by the students with as much veneration as they are read in the original lingua franca. When stories from Local literatures are used to teach English, students find words with their English equals and thus slowly English Language becomes their second nature.
Would it be expedient to use native literatures and translations thereof to teach English?
Yes it is a wise move and it helps students two fold. Inculcating values and moral practices according to the native culture in the students’ mind is the bye product apart from making them conversant and knowledgeable in English the main benefit of this method. This method of teaching English also gives lasting benefits to both students as well as to the teacher.
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