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English Reader for the digital age

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Cover of the English Reader for Class 9, prepared by SCERT
Cover of the English Reader for Class 9, prepared by SCERT

Jabir Mushthari

Kozhikode: Representing English as an international language, not as a single homogenous entity, is what the new English Reader for standard IX in State syllabus schools tries to achieve.

Apart from basing the book on such current themes, the students will be encouraged to make effective use of the modern tools of information and communication technology in learning.

These tools had helped in the preparation and presentation of the book.

The hypertext and hyperlink devices of the Internet take a new form in the book, to make the transition of reading from text to computer smooth.

Theatre techniques and games to be used in the teaching process will expectedly make learning exciting, says K.T. Dinesh, Research Officer, State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), which has prepared the textbook.

It is after eight years that English Reader is being revised.

Mr. Dinesh says an “unprecedented cultural representation” is the most striking feature of the new reader.

“It has been designed with a view of providing learners enough scope for interacting with authentic literary pieces of the world,” he says.

Unlike the previous edition of the reader, comprising three textbooks (course book, stories and practice book), the new reader becomes one text in two volumes.

The SCERT seems to have kept in mind the idea that learning a language should also be through letting the learners experience how socio-cultural situations influence the making of a language. So, the writings of M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Malayalam novelist, feature in the reader.

Diversity

Learning of any language involves the learning of its rich and varied literature and English as an international language is no longer a single homogeneous entity. “And hence, getting a feel of its rich socio-cultural diversity is essential to understand the language,” Mr. Dinesh says.

Issues of gender discrimination, disintegration of family ties, exploitation of environment and human resource development are some of the themes running through the text.

The selections to represent these themes are from authors from various countries and genres from diverse cultures around the world.

Apart from initiating the learner into the world of literature, the book lays emphasis on developing vocabulary and the accurate use of the language.

“The approach to learning grammar is analytical in nature here,” he said.

The textbook demands a range of activities and tasks from students, such as preparing brochures, writing reviews and publishing class magazines, the contents of which they may publish on the blogs or the web sites of their schools.

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