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Pedagogical Tasks and Learner Participation in the English

Khamseng. . Baruah. Department of . E. nglish . L. anguage Teaching, Gauhati University. Background. Engineering has become one of the most preferred career choices. In the last 10 years as many as 8 new colleges have been established.

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Pedagogical Tasks and Learner Participation in the English

Presentation on theme: "Pedagogical Tasks and Learner Participation in the English"— Presentation transcript:


Pedagogical Tasks and Learner Participation in the English Classrooms of Undergraduate Engineers



Department of




anguage Teaching, Gauhati UniversitySlide2


Engineering has become one of the most preferred career choices

In the last 10 years as many as 8 new colleges have been established

However, the concept of ESP is at a very nascent stage

Syllabuses, barring a few, are largely literature based

In some colleges administrators have felt the need to include additional courses on language proficiency

Learners are largely unaware of their needs

A general negative attitude towards English existsSlide3

In the classroom…

The communication situation in a language classroom mainly revolves around two sets of participants: the teacher and the learners.

The teacher intends to transmit a message, a pedagogic one, to the learners and expects a response from the learners. Slide4

The teacher may use some pedagogical tasks to effectively convey the teaching point to the learners

Learning takes place only when learners actively participate in the teaching-learning process

Though the learning that takes place may not be immediately observable, the amount of interaction that takes place between the teacher and the learners can indicate the effectiveness of a particular activitySlide5

The challenges in an English classroom of undergraduate engineers

The learners:

May not consider it to be as important as other core subjects

May not be interested in doing the task

May not find the task relevant for them

May find it


ifficult to accept the methodology as they are used to a different method of teachingSlide6

The study aims to investigate:

whether a clear explanation of the purpose of an activity encourages active learner participation

what kind of reaction can be observed in the class when the learners do not understand the teaching point

does a failure to correctly understand the purpose of a teaching point by the learners affect their motivation in the English classSlide7

Classroom observation 1

Target group: AEI, 4



Number of students: 60

Teaching point: Group Discussion

Objective: to make them aware of group discussion

to enable them to participate in group discussions

Divides the class into 2 groups: Fruits and



Further divides the 2 groups into smaller groups of 6 or 7 students All the groups in fruits will take part in a GD

All the groups in


will become observers

Gives the topic to groups in Fruits

Asks them to think about it for 5 minutes individually

Gives a checklist to the groups in


Asks them to go through it

One group from Fruits participates in the GD and the other group from


observes them Slide8


They do not participate in the GD very seriously

The observers too do not really observe

Some comments from the students:

We need to learn ABOUT GD, we don’t need to take part in a GD.

We are being observed by our friends, that’s silly.

We should be doing serious work, we are being made to discuss issues which are not academic.Slide9

Classroom Observation 2

Target group: ETE





Number of students: 64

Teaching point: Group Discussion

Objectives: to make them aware of group discussion to enable them to participate in group discussions

Teacher announces the topic

Tells them to work in pairs and brainstorm on GD

Announces the objectives

Asks them to brainstorm on some personality traits that are looked for in a participant through a group discussion

Asks them about the importance of GD in their curriculum. She asks them when they need it.Slide10


More learners participate



re clear about the objective of the activity, so they do it more seriously



Encouraging learners to participate in an activity needs a lot of effort

Explaining the objectives of an activity may

promote learner


Learners may turn hostile and may not cooperate when they do not understand the relevance of an activity

Over a period of time learners do get used to a particular method of teaching, but it may be helpful to explicitly explain the objectives of an activity