Teaching Language to Children

(An article by Mrs.P.Geetha, A language teacher with more than 36 years of Service)

Teaching is an art as it is not limited by a set of rules. Language is not a subject, it is a skill, so language teachers require some extra qualities.

The teacher should be compassionate, loving and caring and she should enjoy her teaching. Her first duty is to understand the child… his plus and minus points as it helps in handling them differently. First of all interest has to be created towards language. Play way method is the best suited technique, especially in lower classes. Telling stories, dramatizing certain stories, reciting different types of poem in different manner, are some of the interesting ways and children enjoy it.  The first few classes should be devoted to create interest.

Poems are very important, especially the rhythmic once. To improve the word power children should be taught more poems than prose to begin with. Poem creates a sense of appreciation. By learning a poem a child develops the sense of appreciation which in turns makes him/her more social and curbs jealousy which is very important for character building .Poems improve the power of imagination.

While teaching alphabets care should be taken that the child writes them in the proper way and does not copy it from the black board as a drawing piece. Now-a-days most of the children don’t write the letters in the proper way as they are not taught in the proper way. The teacher writes on the black board and children are asked to copy it. At the lowest level each child should be taught separately, the teacher-student ratio should be 1:1. A little care in the initial stage takes them a long way. Till the child learns, emphasis has to be given on the proper way of writing. A little extra effort on the part of the teacher initially, makes a lot of difference. Every teacher should aim at perfection.

Reading is very important for any language. Hindi language is very easy as we read what we write –silent letters are not there. Pronunciation plays a major role as a word pronounced differently changes the meaning. For example, “kana” is one eyed person, while “khaana” is food.

Children should be taught the difference between such similar words from the lower classes. Good reading needs regular practice. Hindi class should start with reading by the teacher and the whole class should follow. Then at least four children should be given the chance to read individually and the teacher should check  then and there for any mistakes. This practice followed regularly will result in  good reading ability. Good reading develops reading skill, listening skill, understanding and concentration. Hence, in language teaching, every child should be given a chance to read.

About the Author Mrs. P.Geetha:

Mrs. P.Geetha, after Graduation ( from Banaras Hindu University ) joined  Chittaranjan  High  School for Girls’ as a English Teacher and worked for  four and a half year teaching English  for classes IX ,X,XI . She then shifted to Chennai and started working at  Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School, Adyar.  She then joined P.S. Senior  secondary  school in 1981 June  taking Higher Hindi for classes VI to X and Economics for class IX ( part of social studies ) and was the head of the Hindi department .

After a short stint of about 5 years in Mumbai, where she worked in Gurukul  Junior college, Geetha came back to Chennai and joined Sri Sankara  Senior school  and worked for 7 yrs, taking Higher Hindi  ( for classes VII to X ) and Social Studies ( for classes IX-X ). Since  2007 she has been  working as a consultant (for Question creation and Translation ) with Satvat Infosol , Adyar , Chennai  .

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