Monday, 10 August 2015




Prepared by
M.Sc, M.Ed, JRF & NET

Calicut University has introduced a new paper entitled LANGUAGE ACROSS THE CURRICULUM in the new 2 years B.Ed. Syllabus. This article shows the importance of this paper according to the views of NCTE.

In India, language and literacy are generally seen as the concern of only the language teachers. However, no matter what the subject, teaching cannot take place in a language free environment. Assumptions about the language and literacy background of students influence classroom interactions, pedagogical decisions and the nature of students’ learning. Thus, it is important to understand their language background and know how oral and written language can be used in the classroom to ensure optimal learning of the subject area.
Several studies have shown that Indian students perform weakly in reading comprehension (Sinha, 2000). This in itself should be a crucial concern of all teachers.
Therefore student-teachers will need to be familiar with theoretical issues, and to develop competence in analysing current school practices and coming up with appropriate alternatives.
The focus of the course will be under three broad areas:
1) Understanding the language background of students, as first or second language
users of the language used in teaching the subject. The aim will be to create sensitivity to the language diversity that exists in the classrooms.
This will be based on theoretical understanding of multilingualism in the classroom
(Agnihotri, 1995); the home language and school language; the power dynamics of
the ‘standard’ language as the school language vs home language or ‘dialects’; Deficit theory (Eller, 1989); Discontinuity theory.
2) To understand the nature of classroom discourse and develop strategies for using oral language in the classroom in a manner that promotes learning in the subject area. The nature of classroom discourse; oral language in the classroom; discussion as a tool for learning; the nature of questioning in the classroom – types of questions and teacher control (Thwaite & Rivalland, 2009).
3) To understand the nature of reading comprehension in the content areas
(informational reading). Writing in specific content areas with familiarity of different registers should also receive attention.

Reading in the content areas – social sciences, science, mathematics; nature of
expository texts vs. narrative texts; transactional vs. reflexive texts; schema theory;
text structures; examining content area textbooks; reading strategies for children –
note-making, summarizing; making reading-writing connections; process writing;
analyzing children’s writings to understand their conceptions; writing with a sense of purpose – writing to learn and understand.

1)             Calicut University New 2 years B.Ed syllabus.
2)             NCTE 2 Years B.Ed curriculum
3)             Sinha, S. (2000). Acquiring literacy in schools. Seminar, 38–42.
4)    Agnihotri, R.K. (1995). Multilingualism as a classroom resource. In K.    Heugh, A. Siegr├╝hn, & P. Pl├╝ddemann (Eds.), Multilingual education for  South Africa (pp. 3–7). Heinemann Educational Books.
5)    Anderson, R.C. (1984). Role of the reader’s schema in comprehension, learning and memory. In R.C. Anderson, J. Osborn, & R.J. Tierney (Eds.), Learning to read in American schools: Basal readers and content texts. Psychology Press.

6) Eller, R.G. (1989). Johnny can’t talk, either: The perpetuation of the deficit theory in classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 670–674.
7) Thwaite, A., & Rivalland, J. (2009). How can analysis of classroom talk help teachers reflect on their practices? Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, 32(1),38.