Language learning is acquiring the skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking
in an integrated manner. Language learning becomes meaningful when it is connected with
the immediate environment of the children.
We explicitly develop skills in the following components of language. In Literacy, we have
receptive and productive skills. Listening and reading are receptive skills, whereas speaking and
writing are productive skills. The objective is to develop these skills in a holistic manner. The
development of linguistic proficiency in children is needed for the spontaneous and appropriate
use of language in different situations.
Listening is a prime activity in an English classroom. Learning situations need to be created
to develop respect and comprehension for listening activities. Listening can include class
room activities, school activities, audio/video and beyond the school situations. Listening at
this stage is crucial so that the children are able to listen carefully to views put forward,
reflect on them, and to respond accordingly. Listening can also play a role in the reception
and enjoyment of literary texts; and it is integral to radio, television, film and other media.
Appreciation of non-verbal clues also needs to be developed.
Speaking is a natural part of communication and can be used for learning in pairs, small groups
and in large groups. It is a way of expressing feelings and thoughts in a number of different
genres, and is linked to writing and reading. It is closely allied to listening. The role of speaking
in elementary education and beyond must continue to be significant. Speech can be used as a
rehearsal for writing or a follow-up to it.
Reading covers both seen and unseen types of text. It is closely allied to writing, reading
aloud (speaking), speaking and listening. The links between text and image are emphasised,
and written texts should be used to allow talk about experiences and feelings as well as about
language. Besides the reading of fiction, poetry and play-scripts, information texts, such as
maps, guides, menus, advertisements and other ?real world’ texts such as newspaper articles
and online media should be used. There can be variety in the way reading is introduced and
taught, including formal teaching in class; small group exploration of texts; reading for
information; reading for pleasure; and reading for other purposes.
Writing is not a mechanical skill; it involves a rich control on grammar, vocabulary, content,
punctuation as well as abilities to organize thoughts coherently often using a variety of
cohesive devices such as linkers etc. The children should develop the confidence of
expressing their thoughts effortlessly and in an organized manner. Children must be
encouraged and trained to choose their own topic, organize their ideas and write with a sense
of audience. This is possible only if their writings are seen as a process and not as a product.
They should be able to use writing for a variety of purposes and in a variety of situations
ranging from informal to very formal. Teachers should make sure that students build on what
they have learnt.