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The New Teacher: Bringing Talk for Writing to India

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  • Tuesday, July 21, 2015
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    Bringing Talk for Writing to India by Gina Menon

    Every year I work for part of the summer holidays in India, with The Teacher Foundation, (http://www.teacherfoundation.org/) a teacher-training organisation based in Bangalore. In July 2014, I was asked to work with a cohort of pre-service teacher trainees, ranging in age from seventeen to early forties, on the content of the Indian primary English curriculum, and its interactive delivery, covering all four strands – listening, speaking, reading, including phonics, and writing – from class 1 to class 5. Not only had the trainees to grapple with the content of the curriculum, but also with an interactive methodology hitherto quite unknown to them.India 2
    The course was very intensive: six hours per day, for three weeks. Written homework was given every evening to consolidate material covered in class. The trainees could all speak and write English as a second or third language, but none was fluent. My portion of their nine-month course was preceded by an initial intensive six-week spoken English course to ensure access to the ensuing modules. All the trainees were being prepared to teach in what are known in India as ‘low cost private schools’.

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