In light of the need to implement the NCF 2022 in the upcoming months, the 103rd Episode looked at Contextualizing Language Education within NCF 2022. We covered Chapter 3. It comprises the Principles and Approaches of Language Education that are envisioned by the NEP 2022.
The following were some of the focal points of discussion:
The dilemma concerning English is due to the aspirational value attached to it:
Our schools are always in a hurry to teach English due to the job-oriented pluses and the global recognition that it eases one into. While English is not the official language of India, it has become the language of the ruling elite- which in many ways, influences the aspirations and inspirations of those not part of said social strata. Fluency in English is highly sought after and brings the potential for social mobility to the underprivileged sections of society. In a context like this, schools and parents fall into a place of a dilemma wherein regional languages- as much as they are desired and upheld, may look like a less attractive option.
The acknowledgement of the fact that the child comes to school with a natural bent for language comprehension in her mother tongue and the need to acknowledge and induce informal modes of language learning:
NCF 2022 recognizes the importance of a child’s prior knowledge and acumen concerning language. It applies multilingualism in education by emphasizing the need to use the child's home language as a medium of instruction in the early years of schooling. Research has shown that cognitively oriented language proficiency, which ensures properties of cohesion and coherence in discourse, is transferable to other languages. It advocated for focusing on the languages known to learners as the base of learning and then transferring the concepts to other languages as the child progresses within the school system.
Innovative methods to enable multi-lingual classrooms: I think it is safe to say that the discussion mentioned above is a much-needed step towards inducing efficient learning and confidence within students. To implement the same, our panellists suggested some excellent methods that we could use in our classrooms. The following are:
a) Use of Visual Aid for learning languages.
b) Doing away with “punishing” the child for using a language that is easy and known to her.
c) Providing adequate translation support to students.
d) Creating a profile of Parents- involving parents in the process of dispensing language education to students/ their own children.
Integrating multilingualism with praise and not attaching punishment to using particular language[s]:
To address the issue of language in education, we first need to abandon the elite concept of a ‘pure and standard’ language. All languages are equally systematic and fluid, and we should be able to talk of Sanskrit and Assamese in the same breath and with the same respect. Embracing the beauty in knowing the regional languages of our country is an essential step in this task.