What are the aims and objectives of Teaching English?

The following are the aims of teaching English at the Secondary stage:

(i) The student understands English when spoken at the normal conversational speed.

(ii) He speaks correctly

(iii) (a) He reads English silently with comprehension.

b) He reads aloud English pieces correctly.

(iv) He writes English correctly.

(v) He acquires knowledge of the elements of English.

(vi) He appreciates pieces of good English.

(vii) He develops interest in English.

Of course, all these objectives operate within the range of structures and vocabulary presented for the stage. There are certain specifications in case of each objective. They may be enunciated as follows:

(I) The pupil understands English when spoken at normal conversational speed:

(1) Distinguishes between English speech sounds and the sounds of the mother tongue;

(2) Follows the articulation and intonation of the speaker;

(3) Understands the meaning of the structures and vocabulary;

(4) Grasps the substance of a length of connected speech;

(5) Recognizes the mood of the speaker in a given context;

(6) Grasps the ideas or ideas underlying a piece of connected speech;

(7) Follows the sequence of ideas expressed or events narrated;

(8) Recognizes relationships between objects, persons, ideas, events etc.

(II) He speaks English correctly:

(1) Speaks with proper articulation, stress and intonation;

(2) Uses appropriate structures and vocabulary;

(3) Speaks at a volume suited to the occasion;

(4) Uses varied sentence patterns;

(5) Presents his ideas in a proper sequence;

(6) Speaks with reasonable speed;

(III) (a) He reads English silently with comprehension:

(1) Reads with reasonable speed;

(2) Grasps the meanings of words and phrases from the content;

(3) Locates key-words, phrases and sentences in a passage;

(4) Locates important details in a passage;

(5) Identifies relationships between ideas, events and facts;

(6) Interprets ideas, events, traits of character etc.;

(7) Gets at the gist of the piece;

(8) Locates the sequence of ideas, facts etc.;

(9) Infers the mood and purpose of the writer;

(III) He reads aloud English pieces correctly:

(1) Reads loudly and distinctly with correct articulation stress and intonation;

(2) Reads with reasonable speed and flow;

(3) Reads at a volume suiting the occasion;

(IV) The pupil writes English correctly:

(1) Uses appropriate structures, words, phrases etc.;

(2) Uses a variety of sentence patterns;

(3) Speaks correctly;

(4) Uses capital letters and marks of punctuation correctly;

(5) Presents his ideas logically;

(6) Organizes ideas, facts etc. into suitable paragraphs;

(7) Arranges paragraphs in a proper order to compose essays, reports, letters etc;

(8) Changes direct speech into indirect and vice-versa;

(9) Transforms sentences;

(10) Synthesizes sentences;

(11) Corrects mistakes;

(12) Uses form appropriate to different types of composition, essay, letter, application etc;

(V) The pupil acquires the knowledge of elements of English language;

(1) He recognizes structures, words, sentence patterns, sounds, stress, intonation, spellings, capital letters, marks of punctuation;

(2) Recalls structures, words, sentence, patterns, sounds, stress, intonation, spelling, capital letters and marks of punctuation;

(VI) The student develops interest in English:

(1) Reads books, newspapers, magazines etc. in English of his own accord;

(2) Listens to radio and other programmes in English like news, speeches, bulletins, debates, discussions, music etc;

(3) Views television programmes, films, dramas, etc.

(4) Writes articles, reports, stories, letters, poems in English;

(5) Takes part in debates, discussions, dramas in English;

(6) Collects lines from poems and quotations from prose;

(7) Translates materials from the Mother tongue into English and vice versa;

(VII) The pupil appreciates pieces of good English:

(1) Loves good poetry and prose pieces;

(2) Appreciates music, poetic dictions, figures of speech, imageries etc.;

(3) Feels the emotions, truth, beauty and goodness that are inherent in all good poetry';

The objectives once formulated are not meant for all times to come as they are formulated keeping in view the needs of the learner, societal needs and the quantum of knowledge at the time. Hence, in order to make the teaching process dynamic & lively, continuous appraisal and reappraisal of the objectives are not only essential, but also imperative.

In the past, more stress was being laid on reading and writing the language and the speech ability was utterly neglected. It is said that for over a century of English teaching the teachers continued to talk about the language instead of talking the language. Talking the language is more important, as it acquaints the student with the correct form of speech as well as structures.

During teaching English the teacher lays undue emphasis on the one and neglects the other with the result of crippling some of the student's abilities. The teacher, therefore, should from the very beginning plan his lessons in order to achieve the desired objectives bringing about all-round development of the language skills. If the aims of teaching English are fixed clearly before him, each lesson will be a step forward to the desirable direction and facilitating gradual promotion and achievement of objectives without any of them being lost sight of or being unduly emphasized upon.