Saturday, November 23, 2013

Global meet on English studies gets under way - The Hindu

For about two months, ever since I started my new job as Director (Training) at Vignan University, I have been away from conferences, seminars and workshops and been busy running a series of training programmes, even on Sundays, to raise the employability potentials of students of engineering and technology.  It’s a Pygmalion-like situation. In Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, Professor Higgins picks up a Cockney flower-girl and struggles to train her in the finer graces of English speech. During these two months, I have often reflected on the struggles of Higgins. Teaching our students employability skills is as formidable a task as turning Eliza Doolittle into a Duchess with a Wardour Street tongue.  At the same time, but for such inspiring fairy-tales (Bernard Shaw, I can hear you gnashing your teeth at the suggestion that your play is a fairy tale, but, sorry, that's how it reads in this 21st century), it will be difficult for trainers like me to undertake to do what we are indeed doing with a faith which can outmatch that of a missionary. 

Well, against this background, it was indeed quite a break to be at an international conference to talk about issues which have been some of my concerns for over a quarter century. Use the link below to read about what happened at the conference:

Global meet on English studies gets under way - The Hindu

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Peer feedback in ESL (English as a second language) writing

Here is a brief article on a massive experiment I conducted with significant results at the Loyola ELT Centre, which I headed till 31 May 2013. Please click on the link below to read the article. (The article was published in IATEFL Voices, UK)