Friday 1 December 2017

Poem by Jaykumar Buddhdev

art and talents

with twenty and nine candles
here i am burying them
sometimes burning too
both with a practiced quietness
this art not learnt
but ‘tis a taste acquired
and a habit born on
empty dinner tables with
unworn rings - unclaimed lips
beds unshared and peerless nights
now no more them i see
opened or closed eyes
yet flashes of fancy
emerge rise and sink
staying momentarily but
the seeds of this art
sown slow and sudden
at ten and eight
just before adding ‘nother
to the tally of years
this bilious activity grew
gradually ‘twas nurtured
making them gangrenous too
seeming slightly simple to you
maybe ‘tis too
sans dancing and chanting
‘round their remains with
a wooden stake through
for even cold and buried
or burnt and bloody
they became someone new
with these talents
and hands sanguinary
glistening eyes
i am ready
with a cleaver
and such arts
should you begin

to seem enticing too

This poem has been published in the international journal The Criterion (Vol 8, Issue IV)

Wednesday 6 September 2017

On Teachers’ Day
Ms Pratixa Parmar
Department of Communication Skills
Having teachers in your life is a blessing but along with that being a teacher is also a blessing. A teacher is the one who not only teaches their students but learns so many things from them. There is a beautiful relationship between a teacher and a student. The moment teacher step into the classroom there is a different world full of amazing ideas, imagination and the best part is enthusiastic students. The most important thing is to see and recognize all good things that are there around you. The way sun shines and brings brightness to endless life is the same way where students shine and bring enlightenment into their lives. What exactly they need is the ability to see and transform themselves. This way a learner can be a good teacher and a teacher can be a good learner. 

The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don't tell you what to see. Happy Teacher's Day.

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Teaching Practice

Practices for Teaching Vocabulary
Mr Ashok Pandya
Department of Communication Skills, MEFGI - Rajkot

Words have power to destroy and heal. - The Buddha
Whatever and wherever we are today it’s because of our words that we have used in our life. Using minimum words and conveying maximum thought is heart of communication. One of the problem with vocabulary is that students (we also) do not remember new words for longer time, I had question in mind that how we can teach vocabulary in such way that students can remember it for longer time. I tried to find out answer. There are some techniques that I have come across which teacher can experiment for example teaching words with different images, showing movie scenes in which character uses that particular word, using it in their conversation, recording that conversation, creating story by using that particular word, creating what’s app group etc. I have experimented some of the techniques.

1.   Teaching words with different images:
Science says whatever we see we can remember it for longer time. When I teach anything and when   I use any word that students find difficult I explain that word by showing image of that word for   example ‘LIONIZE’ means to treat someone as celebrity, after explaining usage of that word, I       showed an image of that word on projector screen (type particular word on Google and click on       image)

I also explain it with white board.

2.   Creating WhatsApp group:
In my lab, Students have created WhatsApp group for learning vocabulary. I have advised them to introduce any new words with images in group and then they are supposed to make sentence of that words.

3.   Teaching through particular movie scene:
Students like when you talk about movie. Movies are source of learning. Students might not remember text but they remember dialogues of the movies. For example, I taught word ‘ENTREPRENEUR’ by showing movie clip of English Vinglish.

Now questions are: have they learnt words in a better way? Are they able to use effective words? Are they now able to remember words for longer time? Answers of these questions will be written in my next article.

Tuesday 11 April 2017

Resources for Teaching Reading Comprehension

Resources for Teaching Reading Comprehension
Dr Pooja Mehta
Department of Communication Skills, MEFGI - Rajkot

I was in search of some good resources for reading comprehension. There are various books of and on reading comprehension available but from them what to choose and how to customize was the issue. At the same time to give something as an exercise which is latest or at least updated is also the point to be considered. While searching for the resources I came across two good websites. I would like to share them with you. 

1) The New York Times: Articles and Questions

It makes teacher's task easy. It has latest articles on various issues, the good part is, with questions for comprehension and analysis. Even there is Before Reading material provided as well as a stimulus for after reading analysis. This may work with students good at language. 

2) Student New Daily

This is also similar kind of a website but may work better with students as it is for students, keeping their level and need in mind. You find sections such as Daily News Article, Friday's Editorial Cartoon, Friday's News Quiz, Wednesday's Media Bias etc. Moreover, you find notes on key words, questions and answers, other resources etc all in a printable format.

We can customize these resources as per the need and use them not just for reading comprehension but for varied purposes. Hope this may be useful. Happy Musing!

Monday 27 March 2017

 Faculty Development Program 
Department of Communication Skills, MEFGI - Rajkot
9-11 March, 2017
In accordance with the overarching goal of MEFGI, the Department of Communication Skill had organized a 3day Faculty Development Program (FDP) for the faculties of the Department. The program focused on innovative techniques and tools for teaching English language and communication skills.

The FDP was conducted by Dr. Kalyan Chatopadhya, an esteemed scholar in the field of English language and Communication. He has been active in this field with his versatile genius as a teacher, trainer, lecturer, and researcher for last 15 years. He is an Assistant Professor in English at Bankim Sardar College, University of Calcutta, and a Guest Lecturer in English at Rabindra Bharati University, India.

The FDP program was custom-designed to fulfill the developmental needs of faculties with view to the education environment, students and academic necessities in MEFGI. The entire program focused on practical pedagogical approaches of teaching language and communication skills.

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Teaching Practice

Teaching English Language to B.Sc. Students: addressing attendant’s participation

Mr Bhautik Limbani
Department of Communication Skills
MEFGI - Rajkot

It is observed many times that learning and teaching English Language becomes fruitful when it is learner centric.  It requires need analysis. Need analysis enables a teacher to know what the learner knows and what the learner needs to know. We did so before the commencement of Semester II, B.Sc. We prepared lesson planning accordingly. In the labs, under the supervision of felicitator, they do writing and reading practice. In the lectures, we discuss Wings of Fire by Abdul Kalam.

The need analysis showed that they were efficient enough in the basics of English grammar so we started our first lab on writing practice. The first session was on Developing a Paragraph. We discussed four elements of Paragraph Development: order, coherence, unity and completeness. We saw a paragraph from one of the posts of Amitav Ghosh from his blog “Folly of Sundarban”. However one of the students was confused and perplexed. She looked exhausted at the end of the session. She was clearer about the paragraph development when we started, but the end was enigmatic for her. She understood theory well, could find out four essential elements of paragraph development from the given paragraph. Most of the students enjoyed the lab. However, as a felicitator, one should not forget to revise session planning to make delivery more satisfactory.   

It has to take account of three fundamental principles:

(1)  Only theory doesn’t work in Language Learning.
(2)  Language learners, from Science field, need different learning materials.
(3)  Learner matters.

The habit of revising lesson planning after every session helps one to increase student’s classroom participation. The next week we started afresh. We prepared a list of sixteen topics which “B.Sc. student” can write a paragraph on. Topics like “What is science?”, “What is microbiology according to me?”, “Difference between Invention and Discovery?” were given. Learners were given total freedom to select their area of interest. They discussed it with their classmates. They had to prepare a list of words related to their topic. They did so. They prepared a list of twenty words on their topic. They were asked to join three to four words together and structure a sentence. The only condition was their sentence must be meaningful. The next step was to arrange all the sentences in a proper order because when they are read together they all become a paragraph. They did so. The below given paragraph was the first draft of one of my second semester B.Sc. students.    

“Science is a single word, which describes our own existence. It is a bright area briefing to about our comforts, which has been made easier through science. It is a library allowing a person to be an inventor. To understand it in an easier way, it has been divided in different fields but actually, all are interlinked. As all matter has its two sides in the world, science is also described in two manner, which includes its advantages and disadvantages. Advantages describing our own comfort, which had made our life. Disadvantages had totally stopped our mind by more and more comforts gifted by science.”(Second draft)                                                                                                 - Anjali Ladani
The paragraph was the result of the efforts to cluster the words, she jotted down. She joined all words by using some helping verbs and conjunctions. She rejoiced after presenting her understating of the field she is studying in. The presentation was followed by a five minute discussion. She received some appreciation and suggestions from her classmates. As a felicitator, I explained some usages. She rewrote it as given below: 
“Science is a field that studies the elements of the nature. It does so by briefing about it and bringing comfort to human life. It is a library that helps a curious mind to become an inventor. To understand the science in a better way, it has been divided into several branches but they are not isolated ones. Modern technology is a boon of science. It helps human to be more comfortable in the life and know and grow faster.”(Third draft)                                 - Anjali Ladani

Despite some loose and isolated sentences, the paragraph generated meaning. I was surprised when their classmates offered their suggestions on “coherence”, “unity”, “order” and “completeness” of the paragraph development. They became aware of the importance of all four essential elements of paragraph development. The task of writing a paragraph was assigned to all the students; they underwent the same process. Each wrote a paragraph, presented, received the observations and suggestions and re-wrote it. (Some prepared three drafts!)

At the end of the process, they realized that they can write a meaningful paragraph on their own. Is not learning (self) realization? I suggested them to create a blog for the entire classroom; they did so. All have posted their paragraphs (third draft) on it. Your one click on may boost up the spirit of the students. Your suggestions would make our learning happier!