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  .


Five principles of highly effective teachers.

1. Believe in your students… every one of them! You must believe that every one of them can achieve good results.

2. You should make the students know that you believe in them, so that they also start to believe that they can achieve results.

3. Once you believe, you have to set ambitious, measurable and meaningful goal to your students.

4. Make sure that the goal you have given to the students becomes the everyday priority for them and their family.

5. Plan purposefully. From the objectives that you have defined, plan backwards to create an efficient path for success.

( This is the summary of TEDx talk by Pierre Pirard, who decided to become a teacher, after a high profile career as CEO. Working in Brussels’ most disadvantaged neighborhoods, he discovered that these children — usually portrayed as troublemakers — are able to rise above this negative image. He believes that these kids are the future of our society and that we should care for their education, no matter what their socio-cultural and economical background is.)

Quality Standards in Teaching

quality in education

Commonwealth Education Hub, ran a three weeks eDiscussion during May2016, on the topic “Quality Standards in Education”, in which 750 people from across 11 countries in the Commonwealth area participated and shared their views. The key summary points of the discussion are:

  • Quality in education has yet to be defined.
  • The relevance of education with each context must be understood.
  • Education has multiple purposes.
  • Education must prepare people “beyond the qualification”.
  • There needs to be a distinction between quality inputs, process and outputs.
  • Education must develop productive and participatory citizens.

You can read the full report at


Teacher Training Programmes – Few observations

During our teacher quality improvement programmes across many CBSE schools in Tamil Nadu, we made few interesting observations ( these are just observations and not supported by any scientific research study).

  • Teachers in smaller towns (such as Thiruchendur, Vallam, Dindigul, vellakoil, etc…) seem to have stronger “passion for teaching” than the teachers in big cities.
  • Female teachers out number male teachers in many schools ( in some schools more than 80% of teachers are females)
  • Language teachers show higher level of interest and participation in training programmes than other teachers.
  • Teachers between 5-10 years of experience show more interest in learning new things, than the freshers or senior teachers.
  • Teachers always like activities as part of the training programme. However, when asked to demonstrate their teaching ability, most of them resort to simple chalk and talk.

Do your students remember you?

One of the common questions we ask in our training sessions to teachers is “Can you talk about a few teachers who have lasting impressions in your life….”

Generally the answers will start with emotionally charged voice, “yes, during my school days there was a teacher by name….”

We ask them “So, that teacher was influential in changing your course of life?” many a times we get answers such as “only because of that teacher I have this habit”, “I got interested in this”, “I learned how to be positive….” etc. Imagine after more than 10-20 years of leaving school, one person still stays in your mind, guides you through your choices and influences your decision. Teachers have that power.

We then ask the teachers, “Do you think your students will remember you in the same way after many years? Have you been a positive influence on their lives?”. Many teachers are not sure.

How you can shape the lives of students in small ways, even after they leave the schools. Just think about it.