English Teaching Objectives for the First Language (L1) and Second Language (L2): General Concept of Text Book

Even though the English teaching objectives for the L1and L2 groups are different, the gap is narrowing fast. And in the first quarter of 21st century any book, intended for the students of vernacular in Indian subcontinent, should contain passages for the study of English as First language (L1) as well as Second language (L2) in no water tight compartment. While compiling any anthology   a number of tentative teaching objectives and selective pieces that might be used in realizing them are need to be meticulously chosen.

There were complaints that for several years a number of students who are considered at risk of educational failure because of limited English proficiency have been finishing school with but little command of English. This confirms in the general finding, arrived at through an analysis of the students performance in the  examinations, that by far the largest majority- of the L2 group need a great deal more practice in comprehending and writing simple English than hitherto given or practiced. They need more practical and tactical text to deal with the problems. But much as we should like to take advantage of the modern methodology of teaching English as a Second or Foreign language, we cannot ignore the fact that the use of English literature as a means, if not the sole means, of mastering the language is firmly established in this region. Here we can follow this guidance while providing best anthology to the students. Truly thus, most educators consider programs in English as a Second Language (ESL) to be neither remedial, developmental, nor special education but a separate category of educational support. 

Avoid Individual Preferences: Educators have to attempt a curriculum devoid of personal preferences. While selecting appropriate texts and   a balanced and purposeful design in the syllabus must be considered. The texts, both in Class X or + 2 either in L1 and L2, have to be selected after a careful consideration of the objectives stated in the syllabus. Indeed, the passages for   the L1 group can be literary; those for the L2 group are by and large so. Text be can be also provided with some additional materials so that the anthology may offer scope for future changes in the module of the study for  serious and inquisitive students, if they choose to do so may also benefit from the extra reading materials.

A Right Combination: Generally the answers offered for the exams show that most of those who go in for English as their L1 have a fairly good command of the language. Therefore, it is considered appropriate that the difficulty level of the literature they are to study measures up to the standard expected of one study in the literature in one’s mother tongue at this stage. In addition to the passages to be prescribed from their text book, they will be required to study standard works of literature written in different centuries. The final examinations will require them to interpret literature in accordance with their cognitive maturity.

For the L2 group what are now to be prescribed are not just relatively easy literary passages but, more importantly language work on them. The L2 can be said a taunting task because at the post + 2 stage in graduation they have to equal the entry level with L1. Thus, at this point it may be urged to the concerned with preparing this group for the exams to note that questions will be so set as to discourage memorized answers. So the students must be taught to write answers themselves rather than be given prepared answers to memorize.

The questions set on the passages from the text will require for the L2 group to show a thorough acquaintance with the passages concerned. For the purposes of examination no passage, or part thereof, will be considered more or less important than the rest. No unfair demand will be made of the examinees. Those who follow the course in all its components may expect to get good marks and also lead to maturity.

Different Components: The weightage on the different components of the course will be so distributed as to reward every bit of learning that the student achieves. In measuring comprehension, for example, maximum credit will be given for the examinees’ understanding of the given passage, while his power of precise expression in correct English will be measured by a number of different questions.  The passages for comprehension test will be unseen which will be a sum of theirs vocabulary content, for though comprehension is of considerable value in life, such comprehension can be measured only by confronting the examinees with reading materials that he has not seen before.   English newspapers and other appropriate sources can be alternative texts for them.

 For both L1 and L2 some phoneme transcription (stressed) can be introduced as a beginning of the teaching of pronunciation with the original intentions that the educators   will   teach this part and demonstrate in class how words like these are correctly stressed and pronounced in speech. The transcription   can be included for the guidance of the teachers and enthusiast students also.

Since, as has been already noted, success with the text materials presented in any ideal text book will considerably depend on how effectively the learner grapples with the other parts of the course. Reading Writing speaking   are the specialized skills which is not difficult to impart to the thousands of students if we have ideal text book and motivated texts.

An ideal text is an on-going process. Unfortunately in India neither the text books nor the syllabuses of which they form part can be revised as often as they are in richer countries, but the more innovations are on the way. Finally, it can be said that the ideal English text must be constructed keeping in view the cognitive level of the students, the infrastructural inadequacies of school plant resources, as well as the nationally accepted objectives of teaching English at the class X and +2 stage.