Teaching English in Kashmir : A Teacher's Experience
by Mohammad Ameen Parray
(North Campus, Kashmir University)
Believe me or not, it is just something that ultimately does not hit the mark.
Being a postgraduate in ELT from the Aligarh Muslim University in India, I thought that the communicative approach to teaching English, would be the only good option back home in the class.
I started as a +2 English Lecturer in a nearby Higher Secondary School.
It was amazing to get the tag lecturer immediately after I finished my PG at the AMU.
I hardly had any idea of the challanges and difficulties ahead.
I was all ready to bamboozle my students with the theories of language learning that I had actually learned but was yet to practise.
The balloon was punctured when I saw more than three hundred students entering the class and struggling for some space.
The same was true for the other classes that I had to teach.
Upon inquiries and investigations throughout Kashmir Valley , I came to know that in most of the higher secondaries and colleges in Kashmir, the classroom situation is just the same.
Believe me, I forgot all the theories of ELT and linguistics and decided to be myself an approach and a methodology.
I needed to do it myself.
The administration could not do anything. More than three hundered students in the class, and I am there asking them to read aloud a poem, discuss a point from an essay, have a dialogue or just write something on a given topic. Slowly, I could control the situation which other teachers could hardly do.
I tried my best to involve my students in activities that they were quite familiar with.
I would try my level best to make them speak even if that be only one word.
With the passage of time, I found that a good number of my students were not only taking utmost interest in the class but they were also motivated enough to do more in the assigned tasks.
I found a change in myself. My motivation level increased with every passing day and every day before entering the class I would think of something that may enliven the congnito of my students.
This small experience at the +2 level has taught me one thing as a language teacher that if only a teacher is serious and motivated enough to change the fate of students, marvellous results could be expected.