Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Plenary Lecture Abstracts

[Abstracts of  Lecture delivered during  Plenary Sessions of Conferences/Seminars by Dr. Chandrasekharan Praveen]

Last updated 17 March 2014

1. Lecture entitled  Empowering  Teacher Education : Chipping in with ICT  at the Third Two-Day National Seminar on Recent Advances and Future Trends in Teacher Education organized by Excel College of Education on 1st  & 2nd  April 2011.

Abstract

Teacher Education programmes vary in their structure, goals and organizations around the world. But, an attempt to provide regular opportunities and experiences in a planned and systematic way to promote growth and development has been welcomed  by educators everywhere. One significant and  perceivable  emphasis is the insistence on acquisition of knowledge and  skills on how to use technology in the curriculum.

This presentation will highlight attempts made by leading institutions in select countries to incorporate technological resources and tools to transform teacher education programmes. It will throw light on ways of employing ICT resources for making instructional strategies and learning environments more effective. In addition to introducing participants to innovative teaching methods and trainee-tasks using ICT, some  ways of teacher educator empowerment through ICT resources will also be  suggested.   It is hoped that this presentation which  intends to  make use of video-based resources would provide sufficient input for participants to reflect on the  recent advances and future trends in teacher education.

2.Lecture entitled Mustering a modus operandi from the modern methodological matrix  at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Models of Teaching at MES College  Marampally, Aluva on 20th  January 2012.

Abstract

The beginnings...
For almost a century (1840-1940), foreign language teaching around the globe employed the Grammar Translation Method. With the realization of  the need for proficiency in communication and oral proficiency in language learners, the search for suitable language teaching methods began and is still continuing.

Quest for  the new...
With the growth of Linguistics as a discipline, there was an emphasis on  a scientific analysis of language. Soon speech patterns began to be seen as fundamental elements of language. The Direct Method (which attempted to teach English through English), the Structural Approach (a grammar-based method) and the Communicative Approach with a focus on communication were popular between 1950 and 1980. In milder forms, they continue to find their presence even today in English Course Books.

The shifting sands...
The growth of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and the plethora of new approaches to language teaching such as Total Physical Response, Task-based language teaching, Whole language approach etc. have led to the emergence of multiple paradigms  of language instruction in the 1990’s.

A new orthodoxy...
Today, local-specific language teaching  methodologies have emerged. More than ever before theorists, linguists, Educational Psychologists and an ever growing  army of language teachers have begun to have a major say in the selection and  implementation of need-based language teaching methods.

A mirror of the times...
Methodologies to language teaching, we know,  are products of educational systems popular at a particular point of time. And so,  just as ideas that have a habit of coming in and going out of fashion, teaching methods too have continued to wax and wane in popularity.

Affirming teacher role...
Gone are the days when  it was taken for granted that anyone could teach English. The insistence on possessing a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in English for teaching English does in some way guarantee the teachers’ linguistic competence, but not necessarily teaching ability.
Changing times, we know,  require a changing pedagogy. The learners of today are not the kind of learners we had  a couple of decades ago.  Hence,  the quest for a language teaching strategy  that guarantees  an improved linguistic proficiency of the learner,  continues for teachers of English.

Suggesting a modus operandi...
Modern Language Education syllabuses are replete with methods and practices. While some are complex and teacher-centred,  some are trendy and  humanistic. This presentation will attempt  a brief review of modern language teaching methods and showcase some  practices which would enable one to  evolve a personal modus operandi from the modern methodological matrix.

3.Lecture entitled Sheltered Instructional Strategy For UG Classrooms                                             - A Proposal for Improving Proficiency in English   at the National Seminar on English Language & Literature organized by ELTIF  in association with Vidyamandir College, Payyanur  from 1st to 3rd  June 2012.


Abstract

Literature-based language teaching and  the use of  Communicative English syllabuses have already been attempted in colleges across the country. In recent times, in some States, there were attempts at introducing Constructivist practice in classrooms. Yet, falling levels in   English language proficiency of Under Graduate students is found to be a common problem in our country.

For Curriculum developers and teachers alike, there is one simple goal  in  teaching English – viz;  helping students  to quickly develop  proficiency in English.  But, conflicting ideologies and  competing  approaches/ methods to language  teaching  have  continued to confuse  many educators. To overcome a similar situation which arose in some institutions in the  US, Sheltered Instruction (SI) was attempted with a fair degree of success.

Drawing on research findings and reports  of  SI, this paper  proposes the introduction of Sheltered Instructional strategy as a panacea for the poor  proficiency in English of students at  the Under Graduate level. The paper will also present a  modified version of  SI, that can work in UG classrooms in the country.

Key words: ELT, Proficiency in English, Sheltered Instruction, Under Graduate

4.Lecture  entitled  Web 2.0 Pedagogy for QA in Teacher Education at the NAAC sponsored  National Seminar  on  Quality Assurance in Teacher Education in the Digital Age – Issue and Challenges organized by Mount Carmel College of Teacher Education for Women, Kottayam on 12th & 13th June 2012.

Abstract
It is common knowledge that the  quality of the work undertaken by a teacher has significant effects upon his or her students. And  those who pay teachers' salaries- be it through  taxes or  through school fees- expect value for their money. Over the years, many countries have explored several avenues for measuring the quality of work of individual teachers, educational institutions and  education systems. The Quality Assurance Framework  together developed by the  Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of India (NAAC) is one such venture.

The past decade has opened up  a dream space through  Web 2.0 Pedagogy. To the daring  techno savvy teachers, it was a dream of enabling students to swim like fish in the Web 2.0 ocean of blogs, wikis, podcasts and social networks.  Some institutions attempted to explore the potentials of Online learning and  Virtual Class rooms.  Energized by an  affinity towards  Social Constructivist principles, the field was destined to be  a source of wisdom for students.  But in many educational institutions,  strict  quality control standards  and procedural  norms  did not exist. So it had not been possible to effectively  exploit the  potential of Web 2.0 Pedagogy.

This presentation will attempt to identify  ways of  ensuring Quality Assurance in Teacher Education through  the introduction of Web 2.0 resources in each of the six key areas identified by COL and NAAC. That is,  in 1. Curriculum Design & Planning 2. Curriculum Transaction & Evaluation 3. Research Development & Extension  4. Infrastructure &  Learning Resources   5. Student Support & Progression 6.  Organization & Management

A few  Web 2.0  pedagogic strategies for Teacher Education  which will be illustrated  include:  Ways of  providing digital  learning; Use  of multimedia e-portfolios; Identifying advantages of  networking of teacher education institutions; Listing down ways of conducting research through Web 2.0 resources; Identifying  the  use of  Web 2.0 tools for  developing thinking, communication skills and  Multiple Intelligence  and  illustrating the scope of  Learning Management Systems. The presentation  will also suggest a Check List to ensure that QA is maintained  for the  Web 2.0  pedagogic strategies.

5.Lecture entitled Educational Renaissance Through Reform, Transformation & New Indexes  at the UGC Sponsored  National Seminar on Educational Renaissance for  a New Generation organized by  St. Thomas College of Teacher Education, Pala, Kerala on 29th  November 2012.                                                                                                    

Abstract

“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s how change occurs…”  -Jillian Michaels

The idea of a ‘renaissance man’ suggests individuals like  Da Vinci, who  dabbled  not only in art as is commonly thought, but possessed a profound knowledge of several branches of knowledge-Engineering, Physics and Natural Science, to name a few.

Changing times, require a change in focus of education too. What kind of skills and competencies do students require today? Is an attitudinal change necessary for a  re-birth of Liberal Arts in the curriculum?  How can we reform  our teachers and students so that the products that come out of the portals of Higher Education in the country,  approximates the ideal of the ‘Renaissance man’?  The author,  in this paper,  addresses these questions and goes on to suggest  a way out through a  reformation and transformation of the present education system. And to  achieve these, a few new indexes which need to be introduced are recommended.

Key words:  Renaissance, Reformation, Transformation, New Indexes, Education, Liberal Arts.    
                         
6.Lecture entitled Fusing Video Modelling with Micro Teaching at the International Conference on Teacher Education: Meeting The Needs of the New Generation organized by Dr. Sivanthi Aditanar College of Education, Tirechendur, Toothkudi, Tamilnadu on 24th  &  25th  January 2013.

Abstract
As an instructional technique, Video Modelling is employed to teach specific skills. In a  teacher training programme, it can be fruitfully employed to evoke interest and gain knowledge about performance of target skills. Micro Teaching with its scaled down time and number of students simplifies the complexities of the teaching act thereby enabling teacher trainees to better understand the value and meaning of the teaching skill. But in spite of the acclaimed value of Video Modelling and Micro Teaching, neither finds any mention  in the training programme suggested in the BEd. Syllabus  of the  University of Kerala!

As per the Kerala University Academic Calendar, trainees joining  a ten-month BEd course have to undertake Practice Teaching within two months of joining the course. The author of this paper, a practicing teacher educator found the time available prior to the commencement of Practice Teaching particularly short. Paucity of time even became problematic. In an attempt to address the issue in question, the author attempted an integration of Video Modelling using edited clips, video recordings of model class room performance and a re-defined Micro Teaching Cycle.

This paper is a report of  the innovative strategy employed by the author. The paper will state  the methodology employed  and  show how the present generation of  teacher trainees  stood to benefit through the strategy.

Key Words: Micro Teaching, Video Modelling, Innovative, Teaching Skills.

7.Lecture entitled Precincts Preventing Dyslexia-A Local Community-based Inquiry at the International Seminar  on Thinking of Learning Disabilities Differently or Not  at all organized by  Centre for Learning Disabilities  and Difficulties (CLDD) Dept. of Education University of Kerala & World Council for Curriculum & Instruction (WCCI) on 19th  March  2013.

Abstract
An ongoing study of  learner-interaction in select schools in Thiruvananthapuram city   led  the investigator-cum-teacher  educator to identify  certain  definite behavioural  patterns among students belonging to  a particular community. A puzzling discovery was also made-viz; the conspicuously  low reported cases  of  Dyslexia or ADHD in  children from  the ‘particular community’.  Data collected from  the  BEd trainees who taught the  students and  the  data from  the  supervising  teachers  in the respective  schools  also  matched  the findings.  This  prompted  the  investigator  to  visit  the  residential  area  from which  the  students   hailed and observe them on a  periodical basis  and study their life style, daily  activities including  leisure, food   and study habits.

Around  that  time,  a  report of a study  conducted by  a researcher  on reading appeared  in the  February  issue of  the  Journal of Neuroscience.  Shortly afterwards  a researcher had  reported studies related to Dyslexia  on the Website The Globe and Mail. It stated that  although many different  factors  contribute to Dyslexia, the link between a child’s reading ability and auditory processing skills appears  to have a  ‘highly significant relationship”.  In another study  the same researcher   has found that  there is  connection between music  and  reading.

Drawing  on the  research findings  posted in  the Website,  the investigator conducted a re-examination of  the social life/ activities of the  students in the community. This led to the discovery of the prevalence of  a peculiar environment and life habit that prevent  the rise of Dyslexia  in  students hailing from the community.

This  presentation  is a  brief report of the findings based on the  study conducted. The investigator concludes  by  suggesting that it is possible to prevent   children becoming  addicted with Dyslexia/ ADHD,  if  certain life style and habits are scrupulously followed. 

Keywords: Dyslexia, life style, students, community

8. Lecture entitled When Instructional designs  vary, are we  employing emerging  designs ? at the NAAC Sponsored National Seminar on ICT Enhanced Teacher Education Among Disadvantaged Sections: Issues & Challenges For Teacher Educators organized by Internal Quality Assurance Cell, Avila College of Education, Cochin on 17th & 18th May 2013.

Abstract
Four very popular instructional designs  explored until recently  include Bloom’s Taxonomy, Multiple Intelligence, Inter-disciplinary study and Models of  Teaching. Quite recently an onslaught of instructional practices drawing on the philosophy of Paulo Freire swept through curricular practices in  school education. And, as if to fall in line with a sociological phenomenon -  what affects one, affects another- curricular reforms now in progress at   the Under Graduate (UG) level  has  begun to  reflect traces of  the school curricular practices!

When the time was ripe for  a complete overhaul of instructional designs, UG curricular practices  blindly adopted Constructivist practices, with an avarice to gorge up ‘issues’,  giving the impression that  it is the highest form of education possible,  as it activates  ‘mental processes’ which was hither to  neglected.

But the technological revolution,  coupled with the birth of the ‘Digital Native’, has ushered in instructional practices focussing on a multimodal design. The author of this paper attempts  an illustration of multimodal instructional practices prompting teacher educators to  attempt a critique of   ones own  instructional practices. The author also affirms the need to insist on the  production of  digital  materials  as Course Work to ensure that  teacher trainees are receptive to  the emerging concept of Multimodal design.

Key words: Instructional Designs, Multimodal design, Teacher Education

9. Lecture entitled Relevance of  Ancient System of Education in India to Present Day during the National Seminar on  Philosophical Foundations of Education in Ancient India and its Relevance to Present day Context  organized by SCSVMV  University, Kanchipuram,  November  2013

Abstract

A publication of the  Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute,  Pune, (Kane, P.V. History of Dharmasastras) outlining the educational system in the Dharmashastra  affirmed  the high and honourable position assigned to the teacher, the close personal contact of the pupil with the teacher, the individual attention, the pupil’s stay with the teacher as a member  of  the family, oral instruction, the absence of books, stern discipline, control of emotions and the will, and the absence of fees.  Several other  scholars have highlighted the uniqueness of the Vedic system of education which had liberation as an aim,  and the attainment of knowledge through ‘Shravan’(hearing), ‘Manan’(meditation) and ‘Nidhidhyasan’(realization). Both Manusmriti and Yajnavalkyasmrti  had laid down rules  for  the life of a student  as a  Brahmachari in the Gurukula with the  teacher variously called ‘acharya’, ‘guru’ and ‘upadhyay’. The whole  purport of education was essentially,  the moral and intellectual growth of children.


This presentation while affirming the  significance and relevance of the ancient system of education  in India, will  focus on the  teaching of morals. Since  ancient times,  words of wisdom were transferred to the community through literary gems like the Panchatantra and the Jataka Tales. Gurus and grandparents  saw in stories  an  indispensable tool for  not only alluring  the  young, but also for nurturing right  thoughts and  values. Today,  the fascination for  the story form  continues and instead of the traditional oral mode, animated digital versions of  the  ancient tales of wisdom are the preferred  mode for nurturing moral values in children. In the course of the presentation, the author will  attempt to analyze this  current fashion  among teachers  particularly at a time when story-narrating grandmothers are becoming increasingly absent in nuclear families in modern India. 


10. Lecture entitled The Indian Education System during the International Seminar on Bridging the Gaps: Education, Language and Culture organized by the School of Distance Education, University of Kerala and the Faculty of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University on 22 and 23 January 2014

Abstract
The  presentation will  attempt to provide a   bird’s eye view of  the education system in India. It will begin by tracing its  roots to  the Vedas, the high esteem in which  the guru and teacher was held in society and the Gurukula system which is unique  to India. References are also  made to ancient Indian Universities like Nalanda and Taxila.

The contributions of the British to the Indian Education System, facts and figures relating  to institutions of  higher learning in India- the IIT’s and IIM’s and major agencies of education like the NCERT will also be mentioned.

The National Policy of Education 1986,  the   changes in Primary Education particularly SSA,  secondary and tertiary education  will also be briefly mentioned.
The  lecture will be supplemented with a handout and illustrative visuals and videos which will  enable the participants to gain a fair understanding of the Indian Education System.

11. Key note address  during the national Seminar on Promotion of Values  and Ethical Standards  in Teacher Education organized by TDACE, Kannirajapuram, Tamil nadu on 24 January 2014                                             

Abstract
Values are a set of desirable behaviour  which if followed is good for the individual and also the society. An unique advantage of values is that  they can become standards to be used for making judgments. 

Ethics basically is a science of discrimination between the right and the wrong. Ethical standards are principles when followed, promote values such as trust, good behaviour and /or kindness. Given the fact that teacher educators have a seminal role  to play, they are expected to display sound professional ethics. But do they? In this presentation an attempt will be made to  identify the current climate in  teacher education which is frustrating educationists everywhere.

Constructive suggestion  including  the maintenance of certain ethical standards of practice  which focus on   students and student learning, professional growth of teachers and  the role expected to be played by  the managements of educational institutions to promote a culture of  proper values and  ethics will also be made  in  the  Key note address.

12. Lecture entitled Need for Fine Tuning Student Behaviour  during the National Conference on Fine Tuning Student Behaviour  organized by Gnanamani College of Education, Namakkal, Tamilnadu on 27 January 2014

Abstract
The behaviour of students, particularly those of college students  is becoming a cause for concern.  The attempts at  enforced  discipline in campuses or  planned sessions on Moral Education  have all failed to create any positive  impact on the student community. Parents  point an accusing finger at  teachers and the latter blames the parents themselves, society and the Media for  the  pathetic state of affairs. 

Illustrative visuals and videos will be  shown to   identify the current need for fine tuning student behaviour.  At any rate,  the fact remains that  violent juvenile crime,  embezzlement,  the  addiction to drugs etc. have all resulted in a moral crisis. The special  habits and interests of the  Net Generation, the rise of nuclear families with reduced parental attention, the sense of freedom  which they display have all  made it imperative  to address  the issue failing which the state of affairs  is likely to bounce out of control.

In this presentation  an attempt will be made to   suggest a  workable  strategy to  fine tune the behaviour of  the   students of the present generation. Certain essential values which the students need to possess and the ways of nurturing the same will also be mentioned in this presentation.


13. Lecture entitled Pedagogical Base of ICT for the Digital World  during the International Conference on Redesigning Teacher Education for Value Addition organized by Immanuel Arsar College of Education, Marthandom,  Tamilnadu on 28 January 2014

Abstract
The  present generation of learners- those roughly born  after 1980,    have grown up  in an environment surrounded by  media and computing.  According to  Diana Oblinger (2006) by  the age of 21, the millennial students will have spent 10,000 hours playing video games, sent 20,000 e-mails, watched 20,000 hours of television and  spent 10,000 hours on a cell phone.

Research conducted on the Net Generation have shown that they share certain common characteristics. These include   among other things,  a  tendency for multitasking,  a need for immediacy in receiving information  and a preference for social activities. In fact,  these ‘Digital Natives’ are independent learners, who are totally comfortable using the all-but-unlimited informational resources of the Internet.

A paradigm shift is also perceivable today.  Until very recently the teacher was considered  the all important provider of  knowledge.  Today,   the teacher is only one of the providers of knowledge.  A host of providers  from  CD ROM’s  and the  Internet to videos and social networking sites  perform the role  effectively. So with new generation learners, new learning environment and new learning media, one is bound to ask  what  exactly should be the expected competency of the  new generation teacher.

This  presentation will  identify  the  changing role of the teacher  and  the learner  and suggest appropriate changes in pedagogy which involves among other things,   a change  from  blackboard / book to the use of multimedia,  the need for teachers  to  acquire the skill for exploiting Internet resources  and the need for  students  to acquire in addition to  basic computer skills, the skill of information processing.  Mention will also be made of  the current trend in institutions of higher learning  to liberally using different digital  tools and  resources and   also in developing  need-based  e-content materials. The modern practice of networking and staying connected for the purposes of learning and the special role that  the managements of educational institutions need  to play  in the changed scenario will also  find special mention.

14. Lecture entitled Innovative  Tasks Through Film Reconstruction using ICT Tools during the UGC Sponsored National Seminar on Application of ICT in Developing the Speaking and Listening Skills of Undergraduate Learners,
organized by the Department of English, SNM College, Malinkara, Kodungallur, Kerala  from 29 to 31 January  2014

Abstract
The  growth of technology has ushered in changes in almost every sphere of life. Education, particularly language teaching and learning is no exception.  The  present generation of learners  dubbed ‘Digital Natives’  are  ‘wired and connected’ for  long periods of time. They are adept  and comfortable at receiving and communicating information  using multimedia devices. Naturally,  print-based materials used as language learning materials  are not  likely to  invite sustained attention and interest in learners, especially teenagers.

Studies have shown that film ‘help learners experience real language in context, serve as an optimum source for learners to acquire useful vocabulary, provide learners with an insight into new cultures, aid learners to understand and recognize different accents, help learners improve their own pronunciation, as well as other language areas via the regular exposure to the moving image’ (Lowe: 2007:16-17).  The  verbal and visual components of film potentially provide a best fit to the characteristics of  the present  Net Generation of students.   In this presentation,  an attempt will be made to  share an innovative use of  Film for ELT tasks. It is based on  the author’s own experience of using film for teaching.

The strategy suggested is  a   film-focused method of interaction.  A short film is reconstructed   using  ICT tools  and  is presented to elicit  varied responses.   It aims at  fostering language use   in  teenage  learners.   It is hoped that this idea would stimulate  teachers to explore similar ways of  using film to  make  English language learning interesting.

Key terms: ELT tasks, ICT Tools,  Net Generation

15 Lecture entitled The  ‘Must have’ and ‘Good to have’ Soft Skills- A Relook  during the UGC National Level Staff Seminar on Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education organized by  IQAC, Sri Sarada College for Women (Autonomous), Salem on 15 March 2014.

Abstract

Soft Skills at its simplest is  doing  the   right thing  at the right time, and doing it nicely. (Joubert et al) They have an important role in shaping an individual’s personality. But employers have often noted  a lack of Soft Skills among graduates passing out from tertiary education institutions. If quality issues are to be addressed, in addition to focussing on academic work, due attention should be given to  developing Soft Skills too.

Many institutions have  in recent years  implemented training in Soft Skills. Some major Soft Skills which invariably find a place in such training programmes include Communication Skills, Thinking Skills, Problem Solving Skills, Team work and  Cultural sensitivity. A review of the content of the Soft Skills will reveal that they all comprise various sub skills which can be  perceived as ‘must have’ and ‘good to have’. The author of this paper lists  down the various sub skills and   attempts a  critique-cum-reality check  of the fulfilment level  of the same in training programmes. The author believes that  such a critique would help those who implement Soft Skills training to  reorient their programmes if necessary to address the  needs of the global job market.

Key Words: Soft Skills, Training





Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Abstracts of papers presented by Dr.Chandrasekharan Praveen





Last updated  18 December 2014
Contents:

A: Related to ELT
B: Related to Education



A: Related to ELT



A1. Paper entitled Using Audio-Visual Media for Communicative Activities at the World Congress on ‘World Languages in Multilingual Contexts’ at CIEFL, Hyderabad on 3rd to 7th January 2001

Abstract

This paper attempts to share with the participants , my nascent experiment in using audio-visual media for communicative activities.

The four-month in-service course for high school teachers at the Regional Institute of English , South India, Bangalore usually commences with Fluency-based activities during the first week.

During the present course (which started in June 2000) video clippings were made use of for the fluency activity. For the participants (who belong to multi-lingual speech communities) the use of video to make them use the target language(in this case, English) was a novel experience.


It is proposed to begin the presentation by stating the rationale for using video. Then an attempt will be made to explain some of the processes involved.


It is hoped that this presentation would help create an awareness of the potential of the video for communicative activities. It also explores the possibilities of tapping the knowledge of one’s mother-tongue in the learning of English through participative group work.

A 2. Paper entitled CLT Through Teacher-made Video at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Innovative Techniques to Aid Performance in English as Second Language at Farook Training College, Kozhikode on 15th and 16th July 2005


Abstract
Several technological resources are available for the use of teachers who are really interested in helping the learners attain a respectable level of communicative competence. Unfortunately, many teachers tend to ‘keep off’ or avoid using them either because they find it too sophisticated or because they find it expensive.


In this presentation , an attempt will be made to demonstrate the use of an unsophisticated and inexpensive video for Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). First, an issue related to CLT in India will be highlighted. Then, the rationale for using video will be given. Mention will be made of the nature of the video used before concluding with a demonstration of the teacher-made video.
It is hoped that this presentation will initiate inexperienced teachers of English to the use of video for teaching English as a second Language (ESL). For those already familiar with using video, this will provide a chance to refine and question the methodology involved.


A3. Paper entitled Teacher as Materials Producer: Computer-based Tasks for Communicative Language Teaching at the National Seminar on Perspectives in Educational Technology at Central Institute of Educational Technology,NCERT, New Delhi from 1st to 3rd March 2006


Abstract

In the context of a global society, and especially since the opening of the Indian markets to foreign investments competence in the use of English has become the passport not only to higher educational opportunities but also for better economic gains. The emphasis now in schools is to acquire language skills which will enable the learners ‘use’ the language. So teachers of English today are keen on providing opportunities to ‘communicate’ or ‘use’ the language and this is more or less the core of language learning programmes.



Teaching materials play a significant role in fulfilling learner’s expectations in the English language classroom. But most materials in the Indian situation tends to reflect a dependency culture. Both the student and the teachers in non-urban areas seldom do anything in the General English course without reference to the prescribed textbook. Sadly enough it has been found that text-based teaching materials rarely generate learning interest. Teaching Communicative English, the author believes demands a shift in the role to the teacher. He/ she has to be a Materials Producer, resourceful enough to provide suitable learning materials for communicative tasks.


In this context, it is worth noting the fact, that a study of art leads to a greater length of concentration span, enhances academic achievement and better intellectual abilities. Researchers have also shown that it is possible to teach language through the arts. The Internet, we know, is a gold mine of resources especially for the arts. Visuals, mainly paintings, available on the internet is extremely free. So if these are used as Communicative Language Teaching materials, we can not only aim at excellence in education, but also cut down the cost of materials production.


So this paper in addition to affirming the role of the teacher as Materials Producer goes on to demonstrate the possibilities of using paintings down loaded from the Internet as Communicative - task materials. Through this the author attempts to show the possibility of :
 1. Motivating learners.
2. Making language learning interesting.
3. Generating an interest in the arts especially painting.
4. Providing inter-disciplinary study.


A 4. Paper entitled Priming to Howl Back?: An Examination of ELT Issues in God’s Own Country at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Decolonizing the English Classroom –Studies in Perspective at Government College, Madappally on 28th  and 20th August 2006


Abstract

When the British left India, as in other newly independent countries, English was taught as a Second language. Thanks to the three-language formula implemented by the Departments of Education, the marginalization of Indian languages was largely checked.

In recent years a diligent team of Resource Persons at the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) in Kerala , ‘God’s Own Country’, have been attempting to hoist the local ELT sail to suit the wind they perceive. But have they perceived it right? Are they in their preoccupation for fruitful sailing, conveniently ignoring the undercurrent of a covert ‘ELT industry’, flourishing in India and elsewhere? Will the local sail ultimately drown the ‘neo-baboos’ in the making? In this paper the author attempts to identify the issues which he confronted while associating himself with teaching and curriculum design of primary, secondary and tertiary level ELT syllabuses.


The paper begins with a brief sketch of the ELT curriculum recently introduced in Kerala at the Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary level interspersed with the author’s own impressions on how it was received. A fairly detailed examination of the ELT issues related to the implementation of the new ELT curriculum in the State follows. The paper concludes by stating possible course a tertiary level pedagogy should follow to eliminate completely the vestiges of colonization in Indian classrooms.


A 5. Key note address and paper entitled Art Beat via Cyber CLT at the seminar on Indian English Teaching /Learning @ Cyber World organized by the PG Dept. of English Mar Athanasius College , Kothamangalam on 28 Oct 2006


Abstract

Experienced English Language teachers know that instructional materials play a pertinent role in generating language. Even the very quality of classroom interaction in an acquisition poor environment is dependent on the material used. But sadly enough the English Language Courses offered in many educational institutions in the country centres around prescribed Text books which seldom generate learner interest.


Studies have shown that instructional materials with a strong visual element used for language learning can help rivet the attention of the learners. Once attention grabbing is achieved, instructional materials can easily aid in the performance of its primary role- that of promoting communicative language use.

How can the Cyber World help in this regard? What role can it play in facilitating Language learning? This paper explores the possibility of exploiting Cyber world material for learners of English.

The author a practicing teacher, intends to present his modest attempt at designing and developing Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) tasks using art material downloaded from the Internet. The presentation of the material will demonstrate how art materials can become the content for communication, produce instant attention, and generate interest for Indian learners of English.

A 6. Paper entitled Communicative Skills at the inaugural function of the English Association of MES Keveeyam College Valancherry on 4th Dec 2006


Abstract

The spectrum of communication in contemporary society defies description because of the immense variety and range of its components. Communication, we know maintains and animates life.

The presentation begins by defining communication and goes on to briefly discuss its characteristics . It shows how communication is an expression of social activity and civilization, leads people from instinct to inspiration and creates a common pool of ideas. The presentation also demonstrates how at every turn , the degree of success in communication could be hailed or deplored depending on the individuals ability or inability to skillfully utilizing and exercising his or her skill at communication. The author also makes a reference to the term ‘skill’ and attempts to elaborate the term ‘Communication Skills’.


A 7. Paper entitled Art beat via Cyber CLT: An Aesthetic Dimension to ELT at the Second International and 38th ELTAI Annual Conference at BSA Crescent Engineering College Vandalur, Chennai on 9th and 10th February 2007


Abstract

The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 places emphasis on art education. Studies have shown that instructional materials with a strong visual element used for language learning can help rivet the attention of the learners. But sadly enough the instructional materials used today for teaching English in India rarely uses material related to art nor makes use of colourful visuals.

The paper suggests how paintings downloaded from the Internet can become the content for communication, produce instant attention and also provide an aesthetic dimension to ELT…perhaps a novel way of teaching English for today and tomorrow!


A 8. Paper entitled Language Generation Using Films at the National Conference on Innovative Approaches and Techniques of Teaching English at the PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore on 13th and 14th July 2007


Abstract

Film as a form of input in the classroom can be valuable as a teaching aid. The visual element is rich with non-verbal clues which can aid students’ comprehension. Perhaps the greatest advantage to which film can be used is for generating language.


This paper explores the possibility of language generation using a clipping from a film.The task oriented activity which follows the viewing of the film will energize the learners and provide scope for lively interaction . In fact , the film material becomes a document for inspection and discussion.


The presentation will begin by identifying the characteristics of language. Then mention will be made of the possible causes for failure of the printed text and audio recordings to generate language. Though the main focus in the paper is on affirmation of the potential of the film medium for generation of language, a reference will be made about the problems one is likely to face while using films for language generation.



A 9 . Paper entitled Linguistic Tasks & PC Generated Film Clips to aid HR Education at the International Conference on New & Emerging Technologies organized by the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG, UK in association with ELTAI Computer Technology SIG and Loyola College,  Chennai from 3-5 Aug 2007

Abstract

Several classroom strategies have hitherto been employed in India to practice and experience Human Rights behaviour. Topics related to Human Rights are invariably included in the General English text books prescribed for study at the Secondary level but, the present generation of learners are in the habit of watching films and they prefer watching films to reading! Hence the introduction of Human Rights topics in the English text books rarely turns out to be a fruitful teaching encounter.


The paper will attempt be to familiarize readers with ways of transacting Human Rights issues using select film clippings generated through a PC. It is hoped that such a procedure will help in infusing and practicing HR behaviour effectively in the English classroom.


A 10. Paper entitled 1 + 1 = 3 : Nurturing Creativity in the ESL Classroom Using Films at the 3rd International and 39th ELTAI
Annual Conference at Satyabhama University , Chennai. 8th to 10th February 2008


Abstract

The Micro Chip age has ushered in new avenues for fostering creativity. With the support of Multi-media tools , there is tremendous scope for exploiting Feature films for developing creative language use.

One added to one should make two…. not three! But one short film clip conveying a coherent theme when added to another short film clip with another coherent theme, by applying the ‘splicing technique’ employed by film editors, would give, not two themes , but a third coherent theme!! How is this possible ? How can such a technological gimmick help in developing creativity in the ESL classroom?... These are some of the questions this paper attempts to answer.

The paper begins by referring to the role of films in teaching and goes on to identify one major avenue thrown open by the advent of Digital age technology viz; Non-linear Editing. This will be followed by an attempt to illustrate the ways of interpolating film clips for creative language use in the ESL classroom. The paper concludes by providing suggestions for proper use of films to nurture creativity – an activity which has the potential for teachers engaged in the activity to experience life-long learning!



A 11. Paper entitled Pic Tasks For Chit Chat at the National Conference on Task Based Learning for Communicative Competence organized by the Department of English , Sri Vasavi College, (SF Wing) Erode, on 01 March 2008


Abstract

A derivation of an old Chinese proverb is : “One picture paints a thousand words”. Whether students are visual learners or not they will all benefit from the use of pictures. Pictures have an irresistible quality – that of attracting our attention. Used properly pictures can rouse the students’ imagination. Appropriate use of pictures can serve as stimuli for interaction too.


The Digital Age has thrown open avenues for easy access to quality pictures for the common man. The birth of Search Engines with features that help narrow search results to ‘web’ ‘images’ etc has made it comparatively easy to download the exact type of picture we need. Further, there are plenty of web sites that permit free downloading of pictures. In short there is an untapped gold mine of pictures out there in the virtual world for teachers to exploit for language teaching.


But what type of downloaded images can serve as reference points for chit chat in the classroom? How can teachers exploit images for developing communication skills? What procedure should teachers follow for involving students in language generation activity using pictures? How can teachers produce image-based materials that serve as an excellent tool for communicative activities? … These are some of the questions this paper attempts to answer. The author also intends to share his experience of using linguistic tasks based on pictures for students at the Under Graduate level.


A 12. Paper entitled Emerging Literacies vis-à-vis ELT: A Constructivist Reformulation of the Film-Litt. Pedagogy at the National Seminar on Literature, Language, Communication at Pondicherry University on 27th  and 28th March 2008


Abstract
In our ever-changing world , youngsters are bombarded daily with multiple forms of media via the internet, television, advertising , music, movies, video games, and other digitized realities. It is an acknowledged fact that teenagers are some of the most avid participants in this media- crazed society.


Educational theorists emphasize the importance of connecting student knowledge with college knowledge. Even recent brain research supports this pedagogical approach. One way of achieving this is by selecting a film based on a literary text , that relates to the students, connects to their schemata, and engages them with its story. If the chosen media-supported literary text, strongly fits within the experiences of the students, it will have relevancy for their lives. And by doing so, we will be creating a dynamic environment in which the students think about the film and the literary text critically, expresses their opinions orally, and writes profusely about select aspects of the film and the literary text.


In fact, the time has come for a shift from a Literature based ELT programme to an integrated Film–Litt. pedagogy which has tremendous scope for developing communicative competence of the learners. One obvious advantage of the introduction of integrated media-based language texts is that it can help meet some of the demands of globalization and intense electronic interactions.

Such an integration demands a novel approach to curriculum design . Perhaps the most appropriate approach could be Constructivism- with its emphasis on the individuals actively constructing knowledge by working to solve problems, using Discovery learning techniques including predicting of narratives, involving in Project-based learning and Collaborative learning and of course the developing of Critical Thinking skills by basing the chosen film-based text on the learners’ schemata.


What goes in to the making of an integrated Film – Litt. ELT programme with an emphasis on developing Communicative Competence ? What kind of learning activities should be included in such a curriculum ? What would be the role of the teacher and the learner? And finally how can such a curriculum based on the Constructivist paradigm be evaluated? These are some of the questions that this paper will try to answer. An attempt will also be made to illustrate the approach using an extract from a popular literary text and a film clip based on the extract .


A 13. Paper entitled Honing Trainee Writing Skills Through ICT-based Immersion Programme at the National Seminar on Best Practices in IT-Enabled Teacher Education and Knowledge Management organized by the Dept. of Education,University of Kerala , Trivandrum on 17th and 18th Oct 2008



Abstract
Those who join the teaching profession need to be able to exploit the potential of ICT to meet his or her teaching objective. Today, it has become imperative for teacher educators to equip trainees to evaluate examples of ICT to make sound judgments about when, when not and how to use it.


Teachers of English, in India have attempted to bring about changes in the educational environment of ELT to keep pace with the technological advancements. This paper is a report of an immersion programme of e-learning aimed at facilitating and enhancing Second Language (L2) competence of the BEd trainees whose optional subject is English. The study was conducted in Government CTE, Calicut, during 2007-08 - an institution affiliated to the University of Calicut which recently introduced ICT as a Core Paper.

As part of the study, the trainees were initially familiarized with the use of Communication Technology and later encouraged to use E-mails to communicate and Blogs to publish their work. How did it help the trainees to develop their L2 competence? What were the consequences of the shift in teaching strategy? This presentation will attempt to answer these questions.


The paper begins by presenting the background of the study and goes on to highlight the initiation programme to ICT followed prior to the study. Next, the rationale for focusing on E-mail and Blogs is given and the role of the teacher educator / trainees is mentioned. Before concluding, it states how the approach followed benefited the trainees and the college in which the study was conducted. Areas for further study are also suggested.

A 14. Paper entitled Glocalizing ELT in the Time of Postmodernism at the National Seminar on Postmodern Pedagogies for the Emerging Global Society at Sahodaran Ayyappan Memorial College of Education, Poothotta, Ernakulam on 18th and 19th May 2009


Abstract

Everything around the world is in a constant state of flux. We have witnessed modernism, globalization, liberalization and now postmodernism. All these have had profound effects on existing educational structures, and even on English Language Teaching (ELT) . Debates rage in several corners of the world accusing ELT practitioners of promoting British language and culture, and of aiding the imposition of a Western liberal capitalist ideology.

So, what kind of ELT should we render in the time of Postmodernism in ‘God’s Own Country’? This paper is an attempt to present a ‘glocal’ ELT which will be acceptable and will help resolve the kind of heated debate raging over ELT.


The paper begins by identifying the shifting perspectives of postmodernism, moves on to identify an appropriate agenda for ELT in postmodernism and proposes ‘glocalisation’ as a solution. Next, the concept is explained and the nature of the materials/ tasks and the role of the teacher and the students is presented. A sample Multimedia ‘glocalised’ material is also proposed to be part of the presentation.

A 15. Paper entitled Twitter for ELT...A Web 2.0 Fad? at the UGC Sponsored State Level Seminar on Implications of Novel Technological Approaches in Education at Titus II Teachers College, Tiruvalla on 9th  and  10th July 2009


Abstract

We have witnessed several Web.2.0 fads. Right from the time they were launched, we have seen techno savvy teachers and students go for it. The Microblogging facility, Twitter though only three years old is no exception. English Language teachers are keen on exploiting Twitter as a language teaching tool. But will it really help in English language teaching ( ELT) ... or is it likely to end up as just another fad?


In attempting to answer this question, the author takes a critical look at Twitter as a teaching/ learning tool and identifies ways in which it can be used for ELT and more particularly as a communication tool.


A 16. Paper entitled Ensuring Engagement Through Ad. Critiquing In Mixed Ability Classes at the Fourth International & Fortieth Annual ELTAI Conference on Managing Mixed-Ability Classes at the JBAS College For Women, Chennai from 7th to 9th Aug 2009


Abstract

Teaching mixed ability groups have always been problematic. Tackling students of mixed levels, of mixed learning ability, or even both, teachers agree, is no easy task.


One solution is to abandon lockstep teaching of parts of the lesson which helps the teacher to work intensively with a sub-group of the class while the others work autonomously. But this too, may not necessarily be successful in all mixed-ability classes. It is on finding this approach unsatisfactory, that the author attempted to identify new materials for the mixed-ability class.


Banking on his familiarity with the use of film-based materials for language teaching, the author experimented with the use of materials related to authentic advertisements as a language learning activity in mixed-ability classes. This paper is a report of the experiment conducted.


The paper begins by looking at the nature of mixed-ability classes and the problems that such classes give the L2 teacher. The objectives of the study, the rationale for pitching on the skill of evaluation, the methodology and tools employed are also mentioned. Before concluding, the nature of the materials used and the findings of the experiment, will also be presented.

A 17. Paper entitled Animations To Animate Language Use at the International Seminar on Innovations in English Language Teaching organized by the Centre For English Language Teaching and Government College For Women, Thiruvananthapuram on 26th July 2010


Abstract
Contemporary language pedagogy emphasizes the use of authentic materials to teach language. The last decade witnessed the production and publication of numerous books drawing on popular animated classics for language teaching. Such materials targeted a wide range of learners from advanced novice to intermediate. Most of those books were accompanied by video/ CD-ROM which provided interesting exercises in language skills and were even seen as a spring board for the discussion of foreign cultures.

Our historic interest in using animations has been in employing animated films based on a story line for performing language tasks for different levels of learners. This presentation explores the inverse process, namely generating text from individual animated figures, gifs or a piece of sustained animated sequence.

The key to generating language in this innovative approach, the author believes, lies in making learners create semantic meaning on their own, to perform language tasks built around single, double or a cluster of animated gifs. This presentation will begin by providing a brief review of the use of animations in language teaching and move on to explain the innovative approach to using animated gifs to generate language use. Sample language learning tasks will be presented. Before concluding some tips for using animations to animate language use will also be provided.


A 18. Paper entitled The CQC Text - An Innovative Approach To Pruning Future Jurists at the Fifth International and Forty-first Annual ELT@I Conference, organized by the Department of English, Anna Adarsh College for Women, Anna Nagar, Chennai from 5th to 7th August 2010.


Abstract
This paper is a report of an experimental study conducted in the National Law School of India University, (NLSIU) Bangalore. The Language Proficiency Course material in use in the institute was modelled on the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) materials. But it was found that the materials failed to evoke any interest in the students and were unsuitable for pair or group work.


Given the fact, that the students of NLSIU will in future be arguing cases in courts of law, the investigator thought it best to use language learning materials which will help them in their career. The Cartoon-Quotation-Coupling (CQC) text which the investigator prepared were tested on the particularly bright students of NLSIU. The results were very positive. The collaborative learning task gave students an opportunity to engage in discussion, take responsibility for their own learning and become critical thinkers. The paper will provide information about the CQC text and the methodology employed. This innovative approach to pruning future jurists using the CQC text, can be used by teachers to develop the skill of arguing.

A 19. Paper entitled Ad’s, MI & ELT: An ICT Enabled Integration at the International Conference on ELT: Pedagogical Strategies in the 21st Century, organized by UGC-SAP, Institute of English  and  Centre for English Language Teaching, University of Kerala 3-4 Feb 2011

Abstract 


Using advertisements for pedagogical purposes is not something new. Access to the Internet and the explosion of media-based materials have made it possible for teachers to download online resources like TV commercials from a variety of sources.

A well crafted TV commercial, is visually and linguistically memorable, with catchy music, song, slogans and images. But studies have shown that there is very little exploitation of the fascinating uses of language and visual elements of advertisements.

This paper attempts to suggest an innovative approach to using advertisements-TV commercials in particular, for integrating English Language Teaching (ELT) and Multiple Intelligence (MI) through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The focus is on recreating commercials through ICT tools which necessitate the marshalling of the learners’ MI related skills.

The paper begins by listing down the features of advertisements that make it suitable for teaching language. The scope for employing ICT for creating advertisements that nurture the MI of learners are identified. While specifying the procedure for integrating ad’s, MI and English Language Teaching (ELT), the role of the teacher, the learner and evaluation strategy for the final product are also stated.


It is hoped that this innovative approach to ELT, if used properly can enhance a whole gamut of learner competencies through a pedagogic strategy appropriate for the 21st century.


A 20. Paper entitled A Survey Probing Qualities Essential For Teachers of English and its Implication for Teacher Education at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Learning To Be: Problems And Prospects Towards Developmental Education at S.N.Training College, Nedunganda, 18-19 March 2011


Abstract

Social Scientists are fairly familiar with the theory that everything around us is in a state of flux. If this be true, won’t changing times require a changing pedagogy? How often have we come across reports in the Media of the occasional failure of the teaching community to address developmental problems of children!

English Language Teacher Training programmes like the programes designed for Science and Mathematics have Educational Psychology as a compulsory paper. But, a survey conducted recently by the researcher on practising College Lecturers have shown that the qualities essential for teachers of English in colleges are ones hardly addressed by any teacher training programme!


This paper sheds light on some startling responses given by a set of highly motivated teachers of English. The paper begins by providing a brief background of the study and goes on to state the procedure employed for collecting the data. A detailed list of the qualities which the respondents found to be essential for teachers of English is provided. The paper concludes by listing down the implications of the survey and suggests ways of addressing the lacuna of our teacher training programmes. The suggestions include the introduction of a proper Developmental Teacher Education programme and need-based In-service programmes.


A 21. Paper entitled Transforming Digital Language Labs: Report of an Innovative Venture at the VI International and 42nd Annual ELTAI Conference on Teacher Development at VIT University, Vellore. 16 to 18 June 2011


Abstract


When the Digital Language Lab was introduced in India, everyone thought that the perfect solution for a burgeoning student population keen on acquiring a good pronunciation have finally been found. But the hard reality was difficult to swallow. In several colleges, the initial euphoria in students to don headphones and listen to native accents in the drill mode, simply waned! Soon, the facilities of the Language Lab turned out to be underutilized. In fact, what was proposed by language experts as a boon albeit huge investments for setting up the lab, turned out to be a complete waste!

This paper is the report of an initiative undertaken by a committed teacher in a government Arts and Science college to put to effective use the Digital Language Lab installed in the college. The description in the paper will offer insights on how an innovative, internet and computer-based, student-specific teaching programme of great value can be put in place, conducted and successfully implemented for three years.


A 22. Paper entitled Visual Prompts to Nurture Writing Skills –A Study at the  National Conference on Emerging Trends in Arts and Science organized by the Nesamony Research Forum,  Nesamony Memorial Christian College, Marthandom, Tamilnadu, October 2011

Abstract
Teachers of language are particularly concerned with the development of Productive  Skills in students viz; Speaking  and Writing. A popular saying  in academic circles reads : “A good picture can  tell a  thousand words”.   To Linguists, words are the back bone of thought. If this be true,  can a fruitful generation of words in students using visual prompts  lead to an improvement in the writing skill of students? A study undertaken by the researcher on groups of students at the Higher Secondary and Under Graduate  level has found that if  visual prompts are employed, students can enhance their writing skills. This paper is a brief report of the study.

The paper begins by providing the background regarding common teaching practices for nurturing Writing Skills. Details about the sample chosen, the rationale for using visuals, the methodology involved  and the findings of the Study are also given.

 It is hoped that the presentation will give ample food for thought to  researchers in general and teachers of language in particular. The highlight of the presentation will be the Visuals- both Still and Moving which generates language,  prompting improved Writing Skills.

A 23. Paper entitled A Net-based strategy for empowering rural learners  at the National Seminar on ELT organized by ELTIF and S.N. College of Education, Mahe on  13 and 14 January 2012


Abstract

Thinking skills are the foundation of high achievement. Today, in language  learning, thinking has assumed  great significance. However, ELT activities in classrooms, particularly in rural areas, focus only on providing a limited knowledge of English.
Digital technology has made available to teachers of English, an array of tools to enhance thinking skills. The Internet, we know is a treasure house of visual resources. If students are introduced to visuals related to textual content, it is possible to stimulate  critical thinking and creative thinking.
This paper is a attempt to illustrate ways of fostering thinking skills in resource-starved rural institutions using visual resources downloaded from the  Internet. The strategy to be followed in the classroom while using such visuals, the ways of fusing text, thought and image will be stated. It is hoped, that if properly used such technology-based pedagogy can  go  a long way in empowering our rural learners by developing their linguistic  competence and capacity to think.

A 24. Paper entitled Tapping the Thrill: Activity-based Teaching Using Bond Film Trailers at the International Seminar  on ELT: Innovative Interactive Strategies organized by UGC SAP, Institute of English & Centre for English Language Teaching, Thiruvananthapuram  in February 2012

Abstract
It is almost fifty years since the first James Bond film was released.  As a thriller,  Bond films  have  amazed audiences the world over with  its  terrific  effects and stunts. Though  007 films are popular, a brief survey conducted recently in select schools in Thiruvananthapuram city found that  many children are fairly ignorant of  Bond films.

The author who has specialized in adapting films for language teaching, proposes language teaching activities  which taps the element of thrill in the trailers of   popular James Bond Films. The activities listed in the  paper are  of two types- ones in which  mere oral responses are expected and ones which involve group work resulting in both oral and written responses. What is unique about the activities is that they engage the attention of learners and make  language learning an interesting activity.

A 25. Paper entitled Adapting James Bond Film Clips for Pruning the Skill of Evaluation at the UGC sponsored International Seminar on Fiction and Film : An Inter-Disciplinary Approach organized by Government College for Women, Thiruvananthapuram in association with Kerala State Chalachitra Academy in March 2012

Abstract

In Bloom’s   classification of Learning Objectives, the highest order among skills in the Cognitive domain  is  ‘Evaluation’.  At its simplest, evaluation involves making judgment about the value of ideas or materials.  Many teachers take for granted that  the skill of evaluation is something that learners acquire. Pitching on the argument that this is not  the case, the author of this article proposes some ELT-based tasks using Bond film clips to prune and develop the skill of evaluation.

But why Bond films?  It is almost fifty years since the first James Bond film was screened. Hence Bond films have been receiving plenty of Media attention for the last couple of months.  But  unlike the days of its launch,  when one had to visit   a theatre for viewing the film or  its Trailer, today, one has the  luxury of  viewing it  by surfing the Internet at the  mere click of a button.

The present generation of  learners were born at a time which saw a phenomenal  revolution in terms technological use.  They have  an information acquiring style quite different from those of the older generation.

Given the renewed interest in Bond films, the author proposes  a few interest arousing ELT tasks which necessitates  the surfing of the Internet which the present generation is adept at. The activities suggested in this paper  ultimately aims at nurturing and pruning  the skill of evaluation.

A 26. Paper entitled Music Videos for ELT-A Multimedia Exercise   at the National Seminar on Initiatives  in Educational Psychology  IIEP 2012 organized by St. Antony’s College of Education, Angel Nagar, Mannarpuram, Tirunelveli on 24 March 2012

Abstract

Songs are part of the  daily life of most people. Many enjoy music at home, while working and even while travelling.  Some students are  so addicted to music that their music system will be on, even while they  prepare for an examination!
Music videos have  a charm of their own. The younger generation of today are  often in the habit of watching  music videos  in  TV channels. Now most music is accessible to almost anyone anywhere, either through radio, CDs, DVD’s and the Internet. The launch of YouTube has made it possible  to download plenty of music videos  free of cost.

Several  innovative methods have been attempted for language teaching.  A growing body of research confirms that  songs  are   useful  as a language acquisition tool.  This paper suggests the use of Music Videos downloaded from the Internet for  teaching English.
The videos listed  in the  paper   have been  chosen following two main criteria-  Ability to comprehend and   cultural  appropriateness. The highlight of the presentation will  be the  illustration of   some ways of using Music Videos  with a multimedia PC in  the  English language  classroom.

A 27. Paper entitled Sheltered Instructional Strategy For UG Classrooms –A Proposal For Improving Proficiency in English at the National Seminar on Second Language, Literature and Culture- Classroom Perspectives, organized by ELTIF in association with Vidyamandir College, Payyanur 1 to 3 June 2012

Abstract

Literature-based language teaching and  the use of  Communicative English syllabuses have already been attempted in colleges across the country. In recent times, in some States, there were attempts at introducing Constructivist practice in classrooms. Yet, falling levels in   English language proficiency of Under Graduate students is found to be a common problem in our country.

For Curriculum developers and teachers alike, there is one simple goal  in  teaching English – viz;  helping students  to quickly develop  proficiency in English.  But, conflicting ideologies and  competing  approaches/ methods to language  teaching  have  continued to confuse  many educators. To overcome a similar situation which arose in some institutions in the  US, Sheltered Instruction (SI) was attempted with a fair degree of success.

Drawing on research findings and reports  of  SI, this paper  proposes the introduction of Sheltered Instructional strategy as a panacea for the poor  proficiency in English of students at  the Under Graduate level. The paper will also present a  modified version of  SI, that can work in UG classrooms in the country.

Key words: ELT, Proficiency in English, Sheltered Instruction, Under Graduate


A 28. Paper entitled Language Refinement Through Native Faculty Immersion- A Local CLT Experiment at the Seventh International and the 43rd Annual ELTAI Conference on The English Classroom-Experiments and Experiences organized by  Velammal Engineering College & ELTAI  & supported by  The British Council 19-21 July 2012

Abstract

Many institutions in the country have attempted  teaching of English using native speakers or   teachers trained in Britain. But there is very little information or evidence of attempts made by institutions or  agencies to create a limited native community setting in  rural or semi-rural areas to enable local  children to  acquire proficiency in English. This paper reports on an experiment conducted in a Government-run school in Kerala State, through  a  community initiated ‘Native Speaker Immersion Programme’ solely funded  and administered by the local Municipality.

The report is based  on  observation of classes, interview with the  learners, teachers, local administrators, members of the community and a detailed  post experiment interaction with the faculty from the United Kingdom who participated in the programme. The findings are quite encouraging but it underlines the need to implement similar programmes only after careful planning.

Key words: ELT, Immersion Programme, Language Skills, Native Speakers

A 29. Paper entitled 41 ICT-based Interdisciplinary tasks for Digital Natives at the International Conference on English Literature organized by Thassim Beevi Abdul Khader College for Women, Kilakarai in collaboration with ELTAI from 21 to 23 September 2012

Abstract

The students of today are not only consumers of information but also active information creators—including text, images, audio and video in Websites or Blogs. They are adept at downloading music, movies, ringtones  and anything they fancy on the Internet.  Dubbed as digital natives, they require no assistance  for online chatting, sending of SMS messages, emails or  photos.  In short, they are empowered and their communication is increasingly digital. Does this not necessitate the introduction of ICT-based instruction in a Literature class too?

Now, it is commonly agreed, that connecting the study of Literature to subjects across the curriculum enriches both subject areas. Such connections would not only reinforce related concepts across disciplines but also provide a fuller understanding of concepts or topics from different disciplinary perspectives.

With the objective of  making  the teaching of  Literature  a more meaningful exercise for Digital Natives, the author of this paper attempts an identification of  41techno-based  tasks to integrate Literature with other disciplines. The text employed for the purpose is  a popular short story  by O. Henry entitled  The Gift of the Magi.  To elicit interest in the text, Internet-based technological resources related to the story have also been identified by the author. Though the tasks are ideally suited for  Intermediate and Under Graduate level, some of them can be  easily adapted for secondary level classrooms.

Key words: Gift of the Magi, ICT  Tools, Inter-disciplinary, Teaching Literature

A 30. Paper entitled Text  To Context Through Multimedia: An  Exploration of Pedagogical Possibilities at the Two day UGC Sponsored National Seminar on English Language and Literature in the e-Era organized by Payyanur College, Payyanur in association with ELTIF on 4  and  5 January 2013.

Abstract

As an educational tool, multimedia technology opens up immense possibilities of contextualization by textualizing knowledge through its representational capabilities. In fact, what the Printing Press did to the evanescent spoken work, multimedia technology does to words and images.

Experienced teachers of Literature know that asking students to think about their literary experiences in a variety of forms can lead to fresh insights and new understandings of a text. Thanks to  the revolution in modern technology, it has made possible the introduction of resources  that cater to the tastes and interests of a generation of learners  dubbed as ‘digital natives’.

This presentation will attempt to demonstrate  the author’s attempt at exploring the possibility of addressing  recent curricular focus on Multiple Intelligence, Interdisciplinary study and  the fostering of thinking skills in the e-era. For this. Internet-based technological resources  related to two popular literary texts- a poem ‘Night of the Scorpion’ by Nizzim Ezekiel  and a short story ‘The Last Leaf’ by  O. Henry is made use of.

It  is  hoped  that  the  presentation  would  prompt    delegates to  explore  and employ similar  practices  in the   classroom.  

A 31 . Paper entitled Chip and Connect-An innovative Approach To Teaching Poetry at the National Seminar on Classroom Practices in Teaching English organized by Holy Trinity  College of Education, Melpalai, Edaicode, Kanyakumari  on  09 February 2013.

Abstract

Teachers of English have often observed that though poetry promotes language acquisition, the  use of poetic concepts and cultural assumptions make learning difficult too. This was particularly true in the recently introduced  Secondary English Course Books in Kerala State. Some of the prescribed  poems  focussed on themes  that matched the curricular objective of   introducing ‘issues’. Some such poems were, translations from foreign languages into English. But their sophisticated literary and linguistic expression made comprehension and appreciation  elusive.

To address the problem, the  author, a Teacher Educator, employed  an innovative approach to teaching    poems found to be ‘tough’ for  normal classroom transaction by  trainees. The author employed an innovative ‘Chip and Connect’  strategy which was found to be useful  both for the trainees and for the  students whom the trainees were assigned to teach. This paper  illustrates the strategy  employed  and  suggests how   teacher educators can employ  it  effectively to help teacher trainees  teach translated verse with a complex structure  and in the process  improve  the trainees’ own  creative use of language.

Key words: Poetry,  creative expression, connect, strategy

A 32. Paper entitled Silver Screen Portrayal in ENGLISH  VINGLISH  vis-à- vis  Women Trainee Impressions- An Exploration at the 8th International Conference  and  44th Annual ELTAI Conference  organized by SRM University, Chennai in collaboration with English Language Teachers’ Association of India  in July 2013

Abstract

English Vinglish, the  Indian Comedy-drama film, ever since its release in October 2012, have been creating a ripple of sorts among  adult learners of English. The film basically tells the story of  a woman who does not know English being made to feel insecure by her family at large. But at another level,  it captures the inherent struggle of people all over the world in learning  the English language.

The English  language learning  environment particularly in metropolitan cities in India, is quite distinct. Often one can perceive a culture of English language elitism,  a tendency to nose at those unable to speak good English and the common habit of  cutting off communication midway on encountering  mispronunciation. For learners, particularly women with a lack of basic linguistic skills, repeated fiascos  can  evoke a feeling of insecurity. This makes  the uphill struggle to master the language, quite difficult.

In a State like Kerala, which experiences a  scarcity in jobs, many  have been forced to hunt for jobs  outside the State. This has made  a mastery of the English language  a necessity for potential job aspirants.  What kind of problems do  women teacher trainees face in their   endeavour  to master the English language? Are they  similar to  the kind of challenges  the housewife,  Shashi   faces in the film? If the  problems they encounter are different,  in what way are they  different?  How can a knowledge  of these, help  those  offering courses in Communicative English, for adult learners?

In an attempt to  find out answers to the questions listed above, the  investigator,  a  teacher educator by profession,   collected  viewer impressions  and  data  related to  personal problems of   women teacher trainees in a  leading  teacher training college in Kerala State.  The  findings  which will be presented in this paper is hoped, would  be  particularly useful for teachers,  administrators and  curriculum developers.

A 33.Paper entitled Equity + Enrichment = Employability: Lessons  From Empowerment Programmes at the International Conference on  Teaching English for Employability (TEE 2013)      organized  by Annammal  College of Education for Women, Toothukudi in collaboration with  ELTAI (ACE Chapter) and  with support  of British Council and RELO (USA)

Abstract

With a view to equipping students with the confidence to face the future, many Universities have charted out a range of activities. These include among other programmes, training in Life Skills and Soft Skills. Communication Skills invariably  finds a place in such programmes. The University of Kerala, through the Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension (CACEE) and the Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT) is currently offering courses for both students and the general public. The investigator-cum-trainer, served as a faculty for a number of such courses.  The widely heterogeneous group of participants of such courses hailing from disadvantaged sections led to the realization of a need for employing different  strategies for different students. Often the investigator had to play multiple roles- as friend, philosopher, guide, mentor, scaffolder and teacher. The experience of serving as a faculty of such courses led  the investigator to realize  that if empowerment programmes  offered  by the University is to deliver, issues related to equity had to be addressed even as the teacher engages in attempting to empower the student.

This  paper provides information on the nature of the equity issues, particularly with reference to  developing communication skills  in English. It is hoped that  the  areas identified would be of use to both practicing teachers and material developers.

Key Words: Competence, Employability, Equity, Empowerment
A 34.Paper entitled Language Generation in Adult Learners Using Print Media Visuals -A Study at the International conference on English Language Teaching and Technology organized by Malabar Christian College, Calicut in December 2013.

Abstract
Enrichment Programmes  are quite popular in educational  institutions these days. Along with courses in Life Skills, Communication Skills in English is also in great demand. The faculty teaching  the latter, often adapt materials prescribed for study in schools and colleges for developing Communication Skills.
An unique feature of the participants attending courses  in Communication Skills and Spoken English offered  by the University of Kerala for  the general public  is its heterogeneity. That is, students, employees, house wives, entrepreneurs, labourers etc. attend such courses. Developing an ability to use language is the prime objective of both the Communication Skills and the Spoken English courses.

On finding  the available language teaching material unsuitable for the heterogeneous group consisting mainly of adult learners, the faculty-cum-investigator made an innovative  use of visuals from the Print Media as teaching  materials. The effect was  that the  adult learners who were found to be passive became active participants.
This paper  reports on the experiment which was carried out in several courses  for over two years. It also  provides information on  the nature of  the visuals, the criteria employed for choosing the visuals and the tasks given to generate language in adult learners. Suggestions are also  made regarding ways of  converting  the visuals from the  Print Media to digital resources  for  Communicative tasks.
Key words : Adult learners, Communication Skills, Print Media, Visuals

A 35.Paper entitled Tapping Humour  From Digital Texts In A Spoken English Course : An Experimental Study at the  Littcrit Three-day International Conference on Humour: Texts, Contexts held at Thiruvananthapuram  in  December 2013.
Abstract
Practising teachers know the advantage of using humour in the classroom. However, attempts have seldom been made to  use texts which are  exclusively  humourous.  Addressing this gap, the   investigator  who  served  as a   faculty for a  short term course   for developing Communication Skills for adult learners,   adapted authentic material which were basically  humourous to identify its effectiveness in eliciting language. Classes were engaged using tasks  related to texts which are humourous   and texts  that are   of the normal serious type.  Data were collected from non-participant observers, in classes in Communicative English, engaged by the investigator.    The  data collected were analyzed to identify the effectiveness of the material. The nature of the material used and the  findings are presented in this paper.

Key Words: Adult learners, Communication skills, Humour


A 36. Paper entitled Revision To Content Generation- A  m-Learning Experiment at the English Language Teacher Educator Conference [TEC 2014] on Innovations in English Language Teacher Education jointly organized by the British Council and EFL University  at Hyderabad from 21 to 23 February 2014.

Abstract

Revision in the m-learning mode has already been attempted in academia. But is texting suitable for Peer Testing? Can  the material generated through  texting  become much sought after  pedagogic content? This paper reports on the findings of  an innovative post Practice Teaching  experiment involving BEd. trainees at the University of Kerala. It highlights  the  scope  for  m-learning  as a  cost effective  testing, learning and content generation tool against the backdrop of an ever  growing criticism of misuse  of  mobile phones  by students.







A 37. Paper entitled Participant  Observer Study of an Online Professional Development Course for Teachers of  English  at the   Two Day  National Seminar on Reconceiving Teacher Education for Meeting  the  Challenges of  the Knowledge Society,  organized by Government College of Teacher Education, Thiruvananthapuram on 27  and  28  November 2014.

Abstract
In an age of information explosion,  the necessity to  assist and guide students as they construct their knowledge base  becomes imperative. In such a context  Online courses  which opens up new ways  for enriching content knowledge  have become  a boon. So today it is only natural to find educators  perceiving  Online learning as the best  avenue for  acquiring new strategies and techniques  to  enhance their teaching  and  to stay competitive. 

But  how is Online training different from  a face-to-face  teacher empowerment programme? Does  Online programmes  transform  teachers? What  do  teachers undergoing Online training gain through  Learning Management Systems like  Blackboard, Online collaboration and use of multimedia content? Unfortunately very little research has been done  in this area and most such questions remain unanswered.
The author of this paper, recently completed an Online Professional Development Programme  for teachers of English on TESOL  Methods  in  the University of Maryland, Baltimore County,  USA. The participants comprised teachers and teacher educators from India and Pakistan and  were trained by  expert  teacher educators  in  the  US.  This paper is a  report  of the author’s own experience as a participant observer. Data collection on the effect of the Online  professional development programme was done  mainly through interactions with  both  the participants  of the training programme and  the course instructors.  

It is hoped that the  findings  of  the study  would  add  to the  knowledge base on the effects of Online  training programmes and also  motivate  fellow teachers to  pursue Online training for their own professional growth.
Key words: Online training, Professional development, TESOL Methods Course

B: Related to Education

B 1. Paper entitled Problems in the Use of Information and Communication Technology at the NCTE sponsored State Consultation Meeting for Capacity Building of Teacher Educators at Calicut on 15th and 16th April 2005

Abstract 

Progress of information and communication technology in the last twenty years has been rapid and dramatic. With the price of personal computers falling, more and more educational institutions around the world are acquiring this technology. Today ,teachers and students have the capacity to share information quickly and inexpensively.


No one denies that a visit to the Internet will show amazing technology and a fascinating storehouse of information. But many people do not realize that there is a kind of cultural invasion through the Internet. Frankly speaking ,there is much that is trivial, tasteless and inappropriate for the user of the Internet.

There are scores of problems, which need to be discussed and debated, and for which solutions have to be found. The misuse of information and communication technology can create problems which are physical, social, psychological and cultural. This paper attempts to highlight a few such problems


B 2. Paper entitled CCC for AAA: Tapping Creativity, Cooperation and Collaboration for Quality in Teacher Education at the Fifth State Convention and National Seminar of the Council for Teacher Education, Kerala State Centre at NSS Training College,  Ottapalam on 13th  and  14th October 2006

Abstract

Our educational system is showing signs of moving forward…Innovational instructional media are being widely adopted and have become an integral part of teaching.“ Technology has entered the classrooms as a support system in the form of television literacy and computer literacy, which includes WIRE, WEB, and WINDOWS leading to CONNECTIVITY, NETWORKING AND APPLICATIONS.” We have witnessed the launch of the Edusat, and the beaming of classroom instruction to every nook and corner of our country. Today, UGC-CEC is avidly engaged in training teachers in instructional design based method of packaging knowledge which will shortly be available in the virtual world. Universities too have started introducing ICT as a compulsory part of Teacher Education programmes.


Experienced educationists know that for any new programme (here ICT enabled Teacher Education) to be of value, Quality assurance should be ensured through appropriate steps right from the planning stage till the feedback stage. But what should be the nature of the input, process and output of ICT enabled Teacher Education? What involves in the Planning, Implementation, Monitoring, Supervising and Evaluation of an ICT integrated Teacher Education programme where Networking plays a key role? This paper attempts to answer these questions by drawing up a feasible plan for integrating ICT in Teacher Education programmes and suggesting ways of drawing the rewards of Networking.


The presentation begins by explaining the relevance of Networking in Teacher Education institutions and then goes on to suggest ways of drawing on the rewards of Networking by tapping Creativity, Collaboration and Cooperation. This will be followed by identification of ways of applying the CCC formula while deciding the Input, Process, Output and in the Planning, Implementation, Monitoring, Supervising and Evaluation stages of ICT enabled Teacher Education.


B 3.Paper entitled Think with Your Heart, Smile with Your head: Soft Skills @ Work at the National Conference on Progressive Advances in Constructive Pedagogy at BNV College of Teacher Education, Thiruvallam, Thiruvananthapuram on 10th and 11th May 2007

Abstract

Curriculum revisions in our country always takes in to consideration the need of the hour. On realizing that our students lacked Oral Communication Skills, most Universities while redesigning their Curriculum introduced teaching of Communication Skills. The introduction of Functional English, Communicative English and the opening up of Spoken English Coaching Centres both in the Public and Private sectors are evidence of the need based change that has set in since the 1990’s.

But the modern day employers are not just satisfied with Oral Communication Skills! They are looking for Soft Skills in their prospective employees. So, it has become imperative for Universities to train the students of today with Soft Skills.

What are Soft Skills? Why are they important? How can we introduce Soft Skills ? The paper will attempt to answer these questions . It is hoped that an understanding of this new concept can help practicing teachers to prune their own teaching to help learners develop necessary Soft Skills.


B 4. Paper entitled Blended Delivery : Integrating Communication Skills and ICT at the NAAC Sponsored National Seminar on Innovations in Teacher Education For Quality Enhancement at Peet Memorial Training College, Mavelikkara on 8th and 9th October 2007.

Abstract

Several efforts have been made to improve Teacher Education programmes in our country. The decision of the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) to make ICT Literacy a compulsory part of the Pre-service Course, is one such effort.

Communication of ideas and information is an inevitable role that a teacher has to perform. And in the changing global scenario, a communicatively competent person is held in great demand. Not surprisingly, many educational institutions in the country have started insisting on Communication Skills as a requisite qualification along with ICT skills for appointment of teachers.

ICT enabled Teacher Education programmes have already been introduced in several Universities. But the possibilities of exploiting the Computer or the Internet for developing Communication Skills is rarely attempted. This paper attempts to highlight the significance of Communication Skills and underscores the scope for blending Communication Skills and ICT. It also suggests ways of developing Communication Skills through ICT support . The author believes that such an integration can to an extent lead to Quality enhancement of Pre-service Training Programmes.


B 5. Paper entitled Pedagogic Grooming via Silver Screen at the Seminar on Changing Scenarios in Teacher Education at Government College of Teacher Education, Thiruvananthapuram on 26th  and 27th October 2007.

Abstract

‘Modelling’ of teaching is an essential learning experience given to trainees prior to the Practice Teaching sessions for Pre-service training programmes.

Observation of Video Lessons of actual classroom teaching , Demonstration Lessons by the Teacher Educator / Resource Persons and Micro Teaching sessions are invariably employed for ‘modelling’. But the use of scenes from the Silver screen related to teaching for ‘modelling’ is seldom attempted.


This paper will focus on an innovative approach to ‘modelling’ viz; the use of materials from the Silver screen . It will report on the use of this approach in 2005-06 and 2006-07 in the Govt. College of Teacher Education, Calicut.

The presentation will begin by explaining the rationale for using material from the Silver screen for ‘modelling’. Then it will proceed to explain the procedure involved and highlight the unique advantages of such an approach to ‘modelling’ based on trainee response. The paper will conclude with a note of caution on the indiscreet use of this approach and will suggest possible solutions to overcome them. The author believes that  this approach is worth emulating in Teacher Training Programmes in Kerala .

B 6. Paper entitled Nurturing MI Though Movies at the International Seminar on Cognitive Restructuring : Linking With classroom Competencies and  Life Skills at N.S.S Training College, Changanacherry on 14th  and 15th December 2007

Abstract

Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence (MI) has fascinated curriculum specialists and educationists all over the world. It has found a place in the recently revised Secondary and Higher Secondary curriculum in India too. So teachers today are forced to design the learning process in such a way that the content gives due importance to all the eight categories of intelligence identified by Gardner. But Curriculum transaction in almost all the states in the country, is heavily text-dependent. This has made the transaction of the content in a way that helps the learner express his intelligence in multiple ways an intricate task even to an experienced teacher.

According to the famous culture critic Henry Giroux , movies are "powerful pedagogical forces, veritable teaching machines in shaping the social imaginations of students in terms of how they view themselves, others, and the larger society." Educators in a number of disciplines have used the movies for innovative teaching.
The author believes that it is high time that teachers gave up their slavish dependence on text books alone for instructional purposes. The entertainment value of movies, and its wide variety which lends itself to illustration of the content of instruction has prompted the author to explore the possibilities of using movies for nurturing Multiple Intelligence. In this paper, an attempt will be made to exploit an English film based on the famous Russian novel, Anna Karnena to identify suitable tasks for developing MI.

B 7. Paper entitled Interpolating Films For Packaging Soft Skills at the International Conference on Quality Enhancement in Educational Communication at Bharathidasan University, Thiruchirapalli, India on 29th  and 30 March 2008

Abstract

In today’s competitive world, organizations are on the look out for outstanding performers. Employees in several organizations have begun to realize that Technical Skills alone don't lead to recognition, promotion and most importantly opportunity. Technical Skills are important but so are Soft Skills.


Soft skills, teach one to succeed, and to exceed expectations and so, many educational institutions have started giving attention to developing Soft Skills in their students. So far in our country, teachers have been using conventional text-based materials in many learning situations. The current demand for Soft Skills in job aspirants by employers have prompted many Universities to chalk out programmes for developing Soft Skills in students studying at the Under Graduate level.

The area being relatively new, training materials on developing Soft Skills are not easily available. The use of clips from Feature Films for teaching Soft Skills is yet unexplored. This paper aims at helping teachers develop innovative learning experiences on Soft Skills by interpolating films. This paper presents a feasible plan for packaging Soft Skills by interpolating films. The author believes that, it is one way of ensuring quality in distribution of knowledge on Soft Skills.

The paper begins by highlighting the significance of Soft Skills and goes on to briefly mention agencies involved in Soft Skills training. After making a reference to attempts at teaching through films, it proceeds to illustrate ways of interpolating films for packaging Soft Skills. Before concluding, some guidelines are provided for both packaging materials and using film material via satellite which could create issues related to the Copy Right.



B 8. Paper entitled Digital Age Artistic Excursions For Pre-service Quality Enhancement at the national seminar on Implications of National Curriculum Framework 2005 on Teacher Education at St. Gregorios Teachers’ Training College, Wyanad on 23rd April 2008

Abstract

For over a decade Quality has been the buzz word in Education. The quest for Quality has led educational institutions to reap the fruits of technological advances. And ways of ensuring Quality, through ICT-enabled Teacher Education programmes have been attempted in several States.

Art as Annie Besant puts it “is the international language , in which mind can speak to mind, heart to heart, where lips are dumb”. Given the fact that, what teachers mostly do, is communicate, can any discussion on Quality or Education, afford to ignore issues related to Art in general and Art Education in particular? The National Curriculum Framework (2005) has also noted with concern the poor attention given to Art Education!
The executive summary of the NCF reads “Art as a subject at all stages is recommended, covering all four major spheres, i.e. music, dance, visual arts and theatre. The emphasis should be on interactive approaches, not instruction, because the goal of art education is to promote aesthetic and personal awareness and the ability to express oneself in different forms. The importance of India’s heritage crafts, both in terms of their economic and aesthetic values, should be recognized as being relevant to school education.

Though Art Education has already found a place in BEd programmes elsewhere, we in Kerala are yet to introduce it. This paper will attempt to present a feasible plan for enhancing Quality of Pre-service trainees through artistic excursions appropriate for the Digital Age.


B 9. Paper entitled Linguistic Reconstruction of Digital Images : An Innovative Approach to Language Enrichment at the National Seminar on Inroads Into Constructivist Pedagogy at Devakiamma Memorial Teacher Education College on 7th  and 8th Aug 2008

Abstract

Using pictorial aids in language teaching , we know, has a lot of advantages . But when education is subsidized and free text books are liberally supplied for learners, visuals, especially colour images which have the unique ability to draw the attention of learners cannot be included profusely owing to the enormous expenditure it is likely to incur.


The internet we know is a mine field of resources especially for free downloadable images. Unfortunately, both curriculum specialists and teachers alike have often over looked its potential advantages. In this paper, an attempt will be made to illustrate one way of adapting downloaded images from the internet for developing linguistic ability in a classroom following Constructivist ideology. It illustrates how digitally altered images can serve as springboards for linguistic reconstruction- an activity appropriate for the digital age leading to language enrichment.


B10. Paper entitled Literacy Sans Visual Culture !... Sifting Paradigms To The Aid  at the CTE Seventh State Convention  and  National Seminar on  Beyond Constructivism: Exploring Future Learning Paradigms at Govt. College of Teacher Education, Kozhikode on 5th and 6th December 2008

Abstract
Shifting paradigms fostering Constructivist thinking, Critical Pedagogy and Issue Based Curriculum advocated for schools in Kerala is no doubt a welcome change. This very seminar too has whole heartedly assumed that “…the learner’s active involvement in his own education and his grappling with and resolution of the problems would determine his learning.” But, can an all encompassing education afford to ignore issues related to visual culture? How long can we ignore the fact that the stream of images and contexts presented by the media, particularly television, shapes the identity of children and the youth? Should we really rack our brains for identifying still effective learning paradigms or has the time come for sifting existing paradigms?


This paper attempts to present a more meaningful learning paradigm arrived at by sifting existing paradigms. It squarely addresses issues related to pruning visual culture, by incorporating into the curriculum a grossly neglected, but potentially vibrant area, viz; Media Studies, which is already popular in the west. A workable strategy for nurturing visual culture based on incorporation of time tested instructional strategies is also presented. This, the author believes is what the digital age demands…for, ‘as the wind blows you must get your sail.’


B 11. Paper entitled Marshalling Student Capability Through Knowledge-Centric Web Critiquing- A Study at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Capability Building in Students: Concerns and Challenges of Teacher Education at Sree Narayana Training College, Nedunganda, Varkala on 26th and  27th March 2009.

Abstract

For those joining the teaching profession, it has become imperative to acquire the ability to exploit the potential of ICT. Naturally, the time has come for teacher trainers to not only talk about ICT in the class room but also model best practices in ICT for student capability building.

But most universities in Kerala follow an assessment criteria for ICT that merely requires the submission of a Power Point presentation on CD-ROM as Practical work by the trainees. This has prompted trainees to approach local experts to produce on their behalf a Power Point presentation for submission for their BEd Degree Practical Examination. Needless to say, that this defeats the very objective of ICT–enabled learning and in no way contributes to student capability building!


In an attempt to make ICT-enabled learning truly enhance trainees’ knowledge, skill and understanding, the author conducted a study on trainees of the Govt. College of Teacher Education, Calicut during three academic years.


This paper is a report of the study conducted in which the trainees had to report on websites which they visited, share opinions and ideas regarding its potential. The rationale for conducting the study, the objectives, the methodology followed and a brief analysis of student performance will be presented.


The findings of the study conducted during the three academic years: 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 show, how knowledge-centric web critiquing has the potential for marshalling student capability. It essentially addresses one of the objectives of this seminar - identifying ways of instilling “qualities and capabilities among prospective teachers so as to be utilized for accelerating the wholesome development of future citizens.”


B 12. Paper entitled Pruning and Publishing Student Writing at the NAAC sponsored Two Day National Workshop on Best Practices in Higher Education, organized by Loyola College of Social Sciences, Trivandrum on 18th and 19th July 2009

Abstract

Curricular aspects and Best Practices play a significant role in improving the Quality of Higher Education. Realizing the importance, the Government College of Teacher Education, Calicut, introduced several Best Practices prior to the NAAC Peer Team visit to the college for accreditation in 2008.


This paper gives a detailed description of one of the Best Practices followed in the college, namely ‘Pruning and Publishing Student Writing’. – A Practice which received accolades from the NAAC Peer Team and the community.

The paper begins by making a reference to some of the Best Practices followed in the college for the last couple of years. Next the objective, significance and step by step detail of the procedure followed in executing the Best Practice is given. Before concluding, suggestions regarding the next phase of the Best Practice is given.


The paper reveals how the Best Practice actually helped the target group, the students in general and the college in particular. There is an affirmation that this Best Practice is more an Innovative Practice. It is perhaps a practice other colleges can easily emulate!

B 13. Paper entitled ‘Kanavu’…Swan Song For Alternative Schooling?–An Investigation at the International Seminar cum Eighth Annual Convention of Council For Teacher Education, Kerala State Centre on Development Education : Paradigms For Twenty First Century Teachers organized by the Department of Education, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram at the Institution of Engineers (India) Hall, Thiruvananthapuram on 30th and 31st Oct 2009

Abstract

The Wikipaedia entry on Kanavu reads : “an alternative school/commune in Cheengode in Nadavayal village, Wayanad district, Kerala, India set up by writer, activist and film director K. J. Baby. The school's activities include performances of traditional plays and music, as well as martial arts (Kalarippayattu) training. During the year 2007 the Kanavu was registered with the students of kanavu as a trust, and they have taken over the charges”.

A popular documentary produced in Malabar by a few educationists attempted to eulogize the existence of Kanavu. Recently the web site of a tour organizer found in ‘Kanavu’ a soul-stirring spot in pristine settings! The repeated focus on projecting ‘Kanavu’ as a novel venture, prompted teacher educators from a college in Calicut to make a journey to Kanavu to investigate those aspects which make Kanavu unique.

A group of four teacher educators armed with Note Pads, a Still Camera, a Tape Recorder and a Video Camera during its one day stay in Kanavu and its locality, investigated and documented its programmes.

The investigation revealed some unsavory truth that lisps the swan song of alternative schooling in God’s Own Country! This presentation is in tune with the seminar’s objective of “generating a solidarity among teachers” and “promoting human sustainable development”. It is hoped that the presentation will prompt a few concerned teachers to act.

B 14.
Paper entitled Coupling Visual Learning & Visual Culture : Paradigm For A Changing World at the International Conference on Adaptability and Responsiveness in Teacher Education organized by the Government College of Teacher Education, Thiruvananthapuram, on 18th and 19th June 2010

Abstract

Learners, particularly adolescents, grow up in a culture, where most of their information and entertainment comes through the visual media. Studies have shown that the meaning one gets from a particular visual experience may not be the same to another. In fact, many grapple with the meaning of objects and events that is being depicted in the world visually. From a pedagogic perspective it can be stated that visual experiences are theoretically open to a wide set of interpretations. This implies that we need to prune the learners of today to deal properly with the pluralistic meanings which visual experiences give.

In this paper, the author presents a few teacher-made tasks based on the proposed paradigm. The moving-cum-still visual material, prepared using film clips, photographs and cartoons aims at nurturing visual learning skills. What makes them unique is that it also develops in the learner, the ability to focus on the cultural meaning rather than aesthetic value. The tasks are not subject/ discipline-specific and has the ability to draw the attention of learners with widely different learning interests. The author affirms that the coupling of visual learning and visual culture essentially helps learners to clarify thoughts, organize/ analyze information and to think critically. The material is presented for preview as an innovative paradigm for “adapting curriculum to respond to the changing world”.

B 15. Paper entitled Connecting For Peace: A Five-Step-Formula at the Ninth Annual Convention  and  International Seminar of Council For Teacher Education (CTE) Kerala State Centre, on Peace Education: An Orientation For Gen Next, at St. Thomas College of Teacher Education, Pala, Kerala on 13th  and  14th August 2010

Abstract

Socrates in the West and the Buddha in the East have pointed out centuries ago that self-knowledge is the key to wisdom since it eliminates disorder in consciousness and generates virtue. The Indian education system with its rich yogic tradition, has taught us that mere academic learning does not transform consciousness. Unless we introduce a holistic education which aims at achieving excellence in all the four aspects of our life- physical, the intellectual, the emotional and the spiritual, it is fairly difficult to ‘know thyself‘. It is only by ‘knowing thyself’ can one really grasp the essence of the teachings of a great saint of India, Swami Nirmalananda- “If you desire to live in peace, hear all that falls on your ears, see all that comes to your eyes, realize that everything is in accordance with the Eternal Law of nature and be silent”.

Drastic curricular change, we know is in the pipeline in India. Many educationists of the older generation have often noted that in the fervour for curricular reforms, old and time-tested educational practices which includes yogic exercises sometimes get obliterated. It is this, which prompted the author to submit for preview, a five-phase strategy garnered from his personal two-decade-old quest for harmonious living. It is presented as a formula to connect for peace in the world. To achieve its aim, the author affirms that the five steps have to be integrated into the curricular programmes propelled through yogic exercises. The paper is an illustration of the following five stages:

•Control of the mind and the senses

•Bhakti and spiritualism

•Advocating the philosophy of love

•Deep meditation

•Initiation to the interconnectedness between the microcosm and the macrocosm

B 16 .Paper entitled Cartoons To Coax Active Learning at the International Conference on Towards a Global Competitive Learning Community- Role of Active Pedagogy organized and hosted by Department of Education, University of Kerala 4-5 Feb 2011


Abstract

One of the most alluring aspects of cartoons is that they add humour to a topic and illustrate the idea in a memorable way. Interestingly enough, the Michigan State University website states that humour reduces stress, increases student interest and attentiveness and does much to improve the classroom environment. Hence using cartoons for pedagogical purposes deserves attention.

As part of additional course work in a teacher training programme, the author had employed cartoons to coax active learning of the topics prescribed for study in the Eduational Psychology paper, with a fair degree of success. In this paper, the author wishes to share with the participants of the conference, his nascent experiment of using cartoons for coaxing active learning in teacher trainees.

The paper begins by defining active learning and goes on to state the rationale for using cartoons as a pedagogical tool to enhance active learning. Next, the actual procedure employed will be stated. After highlighting the effectiveness of the strategy employed, the paper concludes by stating that using cartoons to coax active learning is a strategy that deserves the attention of teacher educators. There is also an indirect affirmation that employing cartoons for active learning can engage young teacher trainees fruitfully in the teaching learning process.


B 17. Paper entitled Ugly Ducklings To Mahalaksmi: A Cyber-enabled Transformation at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Gender Quest in Multiple Intelligence organized by Farook Training College, Kohikkode on 02-03 Sep 2011


Abstract

From time immemorial, a great many women and girls have had to consciously address a genetic endowment for which they themselves were in no way responsible- viz; ‘beauty’. A diligent use of the body of knowledge available worldwide, even by the best Beauty Parlors have not succeeded in transforming one born ‘ugly’ into a graceful swan. The apparent outcome of this has been nothing short of utter misery. In the marriage market or in social gatherings where a media-generated hype and preference for beautiful women has a profound influence, those born ugly have always been and will continue to be at the receiving end. Is there any way out of this circle of doom? YES… argues the author of this paper and goes on to suggest an innovative solution-viz empowerment through e-Multiple Intelligence.


Given the fact that girls born with unattractive features are likely to lead a cocoon-like existence, the author affirms that more than any other intelligence, it is Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligence which has to be given prime attention. And for this purpose, the author suggests some cyber-enabled tasks which if performed meticulously can result in a successful transformation of girls branded as ‘ugly ducklings’ to a ‘Mahalakshmi’ who becomes much sought after by men and the general public.



The paper begins by providing a brief background of the present scenario where beautiful women are much sought after and ones born ugly are often derided by society. After affirming the need for focusing on Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligence, research findings of women empowering themselves through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is presented. Next, the strategy to be followed for nurturing Multiple Intelligence (MI) through ICT is presented. The precautions to be taken by parents and teachers to prevent girls from getting sucked into hidden traps in the cyber world is also mentioned. The paper also provides a list of on-line resources which would enable girls to work in the privacy of their homes to transform themselves into a Mahalakshmi.


B 18 .Paper entitled Fostering MI in Teacher Educators : Cashing-in on the Techno-surge  at the UGC sponsored  National Seminar on Educating Teacher Educators for Diversity organized by Govt. CTE,Kozhikkode on 15-16 Sep 2011

Abstract

A sociological profile of the students who join the BEd. course in Kerala State would give a grim picture. Many choose to join the Under Graduate (UG)  course in Education only after having failed to get admission  for much sought after professional courses such as Engineering, Medicine and Management. This leads us to assume that the  cream of talent  seldom joins the UG course in  Education! It also logically follows that those who pursue a Post Graduate  course  in Education after having completed the UG course may not necessarily possess those intelligence deemed essential for becoming successful  Teacher Educators viz; Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence, Visual-Spatial Intelligence and Interpersonal Intelligence. How can we meaningfully resolve this problem? Can  we foster the development of MI in Teacher Educators through activities? This paper attempts to propose  a feasible strategy.

Technology is all around us and is progressing every day. Studies have shown that technology can be fruitfully employed for instructional purposes. Many educational institutions today employ projectors and touch screen technology. Use of Laptops is becoming more and more popular in institutions of Higher Learning owing to its great usefulness. Addressing the need of the hour, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has  affirmed the need for integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for instructional purposes in Teacher Education programmes.

This paper will begin by affirming the need for developing MI in Teacher Educators. It will then move on to suggest ways of integrating ICT  to  Teacher Education programmes through tasks aimed at fostering the development of MI. The paper  will also list down several  ways of nurturing  MI through technology-based resources.


B 19 . Paper entitled Quality with a humane touch: The ‘One Class-One Pet’ Scheme at the  National Seminar on Quality Concerns in Education  organized by the Department of Education, University of Calicut on National Education Day, 11 November 2011

Abstract

Several national policies have reiterated the urgency to address quality concerns in school/college education on a priority basis. In an attempt to  ensure quality in the products coming out of schools and colleges, many institutions  in India  have begun to introduce  Life Skills training as part  of  their curricular programmes. But, the short time span in which most of these programmes are executed, have led many to question its effectiveness.
Taking the cue from a leading Malayalam Daily, which supplied every other  week on a specified day, seeds for their subscribers, the State Education Department in Kerala introduced the ‘one child-one plant’ scheme. Though no comprehensive data is available regarding the effectiveness of  such ventures, it has been found that both schemes  to  a large extent succeeded in sensitizing the general public and the student community to the importance of planting  trees.
This paper proposes the natural next phase to the ‘one-child, one plant’ scheme which the author calls  the ‘one class, one pet’ scheme. Pitching on the assumption that teaching students how to  care for and properly express emotions  to fellow human beings  forms one of the objectives of Life Skills training programmes, the author in this paper,  spells out the rationale  and the  procedure for the proposed programme. Illustrations of student-pet rearing programmes attempted in certain institutions and research findings on the effectiveness of  such programmes is also given.


The paper affirms that the scheme proposed is more rewarding than the regular short term Life Skills training programmes now being implemented and that it  can to a large extent effectively address quality issues in education.

B 20. Paper entitled  A Plastic Art Pedagogy for Sustainable Development  at the  UGC sponsored National Seminar on Empowering Teacher Educators for Sustainable Development organized by Farook Training College, Kohikkode on 29  and  30 November 2011

Abstract

Reports indicate that an estimated  one hundred million tonnes of plastic is produced every year all over the world. It has also been found that  in India  on an average a person uses  3 kilo of plastic every year. Urbanization has added to the plastic pollution in concentrated form in cities.  In beaches near urban areas,  plastic  used as packaging is dumped adding to the pollution problem. As plastic does not decompose  it  poses a major  environmental problem. Is there a feasible solution? Perhaps the best  solution is to manufacture alternative degradable material. But given the  huge expenses involved in mass production of alternative material,  we have to live with the sad reality that plastic is here to stay for years to come.

What can teacher educators do to address the ‘plastic problem’? In this paper, the author  proposes   an innovative solution to address the problem viz;  ‘a plastic art pedagogy’. At its simplest, it aims at familiarizing teacher trainees with ways of recycling plastic materials into art forms. The activity has sustainable development as its ultimate objective. The paper suggests ways of  producing  creative and useful products from  waste plastic. This,  the  author believes  can  to a large extent  help put an end to the dumping of wastes in streets and the burning of plastic which produces toxic fumes that causes diseases.

This paper spells out the strategy for  the plastic art pedagogy. A visual display of  an interesting array of creative art work produced using waste plastic will also be the highlight of the presentation.

B 21. Paper entitled  Fostering the Art of Loving and  Living - An Animal X Student Interactive Life Skill Programme  at the UGC Sponsored  International Education Meet on  Education for Global Excellence   at  Mar Theophilus Training College,Thiruvanthapuram from  5 to 7 Jan 2012



Abstract

It has been found that modern educational practices  in India  often ignore our cultural practices and  nurtures an education pattern restricted to academics alone. The  assiduous engagement  of students in the mad rat race for  career gains is often accompanied by a failure of educational institutions to nurture  appropriate values and social graces in their alumna. So has not the time come to create modern age gurukulas that impart values including Life Skills to students  without deviating from conventional modes of learning?

Indian Universities have recently taken the right step to implement Life Skills training for students. The ten core Life Skills  listed by  UNICEF, UNESCO and WHO is imparted to students through training programmes aimed at empowering young people to take positive action, and engage in positive social relationships.

It is common knowledge  that a lecture on ‘good behaviour’ in a Life Skills training session will not lead to the practice of acceptable behaviours. Life Skill lessons work best when  augmented or reinforced. Studies have shown that if a message is given once, the brain remembers only  10 percent of it one day later, and when  the same message is given six times a day, the brain remembers  90 percent of it.

In  an attempt to squarely address the startling flaw in some Life Skill training programmes, the author  of this paper, proposes a novel  strategy for Life Skills training- An Animal X Student Interaction Programme.
The paper will attempt to illustrate ways of implementing certain practices aimed at  Animal X Student  interaction, observation and association which would in every probability result in the nurturing of essential Life Skills. The author affirms, that this is the need of the hour, for, possession of  right values and  character is the key to success in any education programme aiming at  global excellence.

Key words: values, Life Skills training, interaction, animal rearing

B. 22. Paper entitled Digital Concept Maps to Aid Revision- A  Study at the National   Seminar on ICT Trends in Education, Bethany Navajeevan College of Education,  Vencode, Kanyakumari, January 2012

Abstract

A Concept Map we know,  is a graphical representation of  a student’s knowledge of a domain. In institutions of Higher Education, students are often encouraged to arrange major concepts from a text or lecture into a visual arrangement similar to Concept  Maps. Unlike student created Concept Maps, Digital Concept Maps available on the Internet has an added advantage-viz; visual imagery and a richer expressive power.

Five distinct uses have so far been indentified for Concept Maps in education. These include: to generate ideas, to design complex structures, to communicate complex ideas, to assess understanding and to aid learning by integrating new and old knowledge. But,  very rarely has Concept Map been used as a tool for revision of   content knowledge  of  a subject of study.

This paper is the report of an experimental study undertaken on students of Education by the investigator using  Digital  Concept  Maps downloaded from the Internet. The objective of the  study  is to identify the effectiveness of  Digital Concept Maps for revision of content knowledge.

The paper begins by providing the background  and rationale for the study. The preparations undertaken to  edit the tool viz; the Digital  Concept  Map, the population on which the study was conducted  and the procedure employed is stated. Before concluding  the investigator attempts to list down the perceived advantage/ disadvantage of employing  Digital   Concept Maps  for revision.


B. 23. Paper entitled Online Videos for Knowledge Processing- A Study at the International Meet on Differential Perspectives in Classroom Transaction organized by the Departments of English, Christian College, Kattakada, Govt. College of Teacher Education, Thiruvananthapuram (affiliated to the University of Kerala) and Canterbury Christ Church University, UK in Feb 2012

Abstract

The Internet is an enormous resource of online video. On several websites easily downloadable free digital video files are stored and exhibited for viewing. The content of some of the videos available are often dubbed as controversial or even bordering on obscenity, yet, there is a tremendous growth in its viewership. Though teachers  have found many videos useful for class  instruction, they have been doubly cautious in employing them for instructional purposes. The investigator of this study made a bold attempt to explore the possibilities of using  online videos for pedagogical purpose.

                                              
Incorporating technology to connect with apparently abstract concepts, we know can make class room transaction both engaging and meaningful. This is the report of a study which attempted to use Online videos for improving class room transaction in a teacher training programme offered in a couple of colleges in Kerala State.

B. 24. Paper entitled Lacuna  in MI : An ICT-based empowerment strategy for women trainees at the Two Day National Seminar organized by  the Department of Education, Gandhigram  Rural Institute (Deemed University), Dindigul in February 2012

Abstract

Over the years the education of women have begun to receive great attention in India. What kind of problems do women trainees face? Recent studies  conducted on women-teacher trainees in select institutions in Kerala have shown that the problems they experience are unique.

One  hither  to unattended problem  in  women trainees  relates to the  apparent  lack of certain types of intelligences essential to  perform as effective  teachers.  Is there any hope or solution for such unfortunate  women trainees? YES states the  investigator and goes on to suggest an ICT-based  empowerment strategy.

The paper begins  with a  brief background of teacher training programmes for women in Kerala. Next, the findings of recent studies conducted on women trainees will be highlighted and the apparent lack of certain types of intelligence will be mentioned. Then follows an illustration of  instances of empowerment of women through ICT. Before concluding an attempt will be made to list down  different ways of fostering  MI through ICT.

B. 25. Paper entitled Shockvertising in Print Media: A  Minor Reception Study at the Two-day National Seminar on Emerging Perspectives on Media Studies organized by the  Department of English, Govt. College for Women, Thiruvananthapuram February 2012

Abstract

Most of us are familiar with humourous advertisements that attract our attention. But often we stumble upon another type of advertisement that disturbs or shocks us. ‘Shockvertising’  is the  technical term used to refer to advertisements that are designed to shock and create controversy.  But for leading advertisement firms,  use of such audacious method  is nothing new or uncommon.

How do people, particularly youngsters  perceive such advertisements? Do people in the West and in our own State, Kerala, God’s Own Country,   perceive them  the  same way? What kind of impressions do such shocking advertisements leave on the minds of viewers ? The data related to these questions were collected by the author from two sources : a survey  on randomly selected students who have completed their Post Graduation and an analysis of impressions recorded on a website by viewers.

The paper will begin by referring  to advertisements in general. Then, an attempt will be made to  provide a detailed description of Print versions of different kinds of shocking advertisements now available on the Internet.  Finally conclusions are drawn based on an analysis of the impressions recorded by the viewers. It is hoped that the study would sensitize viewers to the changing values and perception of our own society. The highlight of the presentation would be  the display of  select  shocking Print Media advertisements that drew widely different  comments.


B. 26. Paper entitled Click Button Publishing: A Teacher Educator’s Weblog Experience at the  National Seminar on Quality Concerns of  Teacher Education in the Technological Era organized by Dr. Sivanthi Aditanar College of Education, Tiruchendur in February  2012

Abstract

Blogs have been  popular for almost a decade,  but only recently have they been viewed as  a potential mainstream  teaching tool. The author of this paper, a teacher educator by profession started using Blogs as an educational tool,  five years ago.  It was a time when  like  many educators, the author too was  perceiving an apparent  mismatch  between  print-based reading habits and   a growing interest in teacher trainees   to quickly acquire digital literacy. Naturally,  the space available  for the  author  to experiment with was  varied. On the one hand there was scope for uploading   potentially  useful  learning materials  at the mere click of a button. On the other hand,   there was  the scope for  learners to  learn in a collaborative space with peers   through  digital  media, particularly through online connectivity.


Being  a new technological approach,  the  five  year experience was never  hassle free. There were times of turbulence and  rough sailing. Yet   each academic year,  the shore was  always  in sight. What were the problems  the author faced?  What lessons were learned ?  These  are some of the questions this  paper will  attempt to answer. It is hoped that novice teachers interested  in using Blogs  as a pedagogical tool will find useful tips from the experiences shared by the author.

B. 27. Paper entitled Precautionary Pointers for Effective Online Learning : Lessons From  a Blended Learning Experiment at the Two-day UGC sponsored International Conference  on Preparing World Class Teachers Through Online Education: The Future is Now!  Organized by Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya College of Education, Coimbatore, in collaboration with USIEF on 20th and 21st April 2012

Abstract

An euphoric introduction of Online instruction is in vogue in many  Universities around the world.  But can Teacher Education programmes be successfully implemented   through  an Online learning environment? The author of this  paper  expresses serious doubts  about the prospects of  offering teacher training  through an Online  mode.  Drawing on his six-year  experience of  evolving a  Blended Learning environment in  a  Government- run  Teacher Training  College, which draws the cream of talent  in   the South Indian State of  Kerala,  the author  observes that   a lot of groundwork  needs  to be done  prior to the introduction of Online teaching.

The paper begins by providing the background of the Blended Learning experiment. The nature of the student role, the materials used and the role of the Teacher Educator  who  engaged in the Blended Learning experiment is  also stated.  A critique of the experiment follows  which  throws light on the fact that there is every possibility of  Online learning environments   failing to deliver  if aspects  such as visual literacy,  information literacy and  information fluency vis-a-vis the individual learner  are  not squarely addressed. The paper also highlights the need for looking into learner competency and learning habits prior to admitting students for  an Online teacher training programme.       

B. 28. Paper entitled When a student stabs a teacher...does Gandhi matter? at the Dr. N. P. Pillai Centennial Celebrations cum International Seminar on ‘Gandhian Educational Principles & Practices for the Emerging Global Scenario’   organized by  Dr.N.P.Pillai Centennial Celebration Committee  and  Dr. K. Sivadasan Pillai Foundation for Educational Research & Development at Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Thiruvananthauram in July 2012

Abstract

Recent reports of a culture of violence that has swept through schools in India have sent shock waves across the nation. Anecdotal evidence gathered from  some institutions confirm  that teachers are prone to a high degree of aggression from students who are physically larger than them.

Can we blame students for getting spoilt through  the constant watching of movies and surfing of  the Web? Can we expect students to fare better when the television they regularly watch, bombards them with news about scams, murders and  other acts of perversion? Why is it that the teaching of a subject like ‘Moral Science’ failed to prevent the escalation of student violence?

In an attempt to find a solution to the disturbing tendency,  the author of this paper makes an earnest suggestion- sensitizing students to  Gandhian  Philosophy, particularly that of Non-violence. The paper begins by listing down instances of student violence in campuses and the failure of teachers to properly tackle it. Next, classroom activities that help sensitize  students to  the philosophy of non-violence will be suggested. It is hoped  that if such activities  form  a part of  curricular programmes in India,  there is every possibility that  the citizens of tomorrow can  become successful leaders in the emerging global scenario.

Key words: Student violence, Gandhi, non-violence, strategies


B. 29. Paper entitled Pruning Through Negation: An Innovative Modelling Strategy at the 11th State Convention of CTE, Kerala State Centre and International Conference on Innovations, Quality & Excellence in Education-IQEE 2013, organized by Fathima Memorial Training College, Kollam, Kerala State on 11  and  12 January 2013

Abstract

Class room performance of teacher trainees to a large extent depends on the kind of training received in pedagogical techniques. If teacher education programmes are planned in such a way that actual  class room  teaching is preceded by Micro Teaching sessions, the trainee stands to benefit.

Teacher training programmes now being followed in the colleges of Teacher Education,  affiliated to the University of Kerala, seldom employ Micro Teaching. Instead, trainees participate in Discussion Lessons, observe Demonstration Lessons  and participate in Criticism Lessons before Practice Teaching. One consequent lacuna observed by Supervising Teachers during Practice Teaching is that many trainees show a complete ignorance of various sub skills related to teaching skills like Set Induction, Explaining and Demonstrating.

In an attempt to address the lacuna, the author of this paper made use of  self-edited videos of actual teaching sessions. This presentation will illustrate the methodology  employed and will go on to state how the innovative modelling strategy employed, benefitted the trainees.

Key words: Micro Teaching, Video Modelling, Teaching Skills

B. 30. Paper entitled Fostering Values Through YouTube Videos- A Minor Study at the UGC Sponsored National Conference  on Social Media in Education: New Horizons (NCSMENH) organized by Sri Sarada College of Education, Salem & Tamilnadu Teacher Education University, Chennai on  01  and  02 February 2013

Abstract

Given the sad erosion of essential values now being perceived in teachers, Value Education has come to acquire increasing prominence in  discussions related to  teacher education programmes in the country. Working on an assumption that  an experiential learning process initiated by viewing videos will serve as a spring board for discussion, the author, a teacher educator  by  profession arranged brief discussion-cum-viewing sessions of select YouTube videos downloaded from the Internet.  The objective was to sensitize budding teachers  to values they need to  acquire  for serving as effective teachers of  future generations.  This paper is  a report of the study. It will illustrate the methodology employed and  throw light on the potential usefulness of the  innovative strategy employed.

Key words: Values, Teacher training, YouTube videos

B. 31. Paper entitled Resuscitating  Gandhism  in  the Metamaterial  Age  Via Social Media at the National Seminar on Gandhian Vision of Development  for  a Progressive Nation, organized  by the Centre for Gandhian Studies, University of Kerala  in collaboration with Department of Education, University of Kerala  March 2013
 
Abstract

The editorial of the March 2013 issue of the  New Scientist  magazine   addresses the question, ‘Are we living in a Metamaterial Age?’ and goes on to add  “We devise so many new  materials  nowadays  that  it  is  hard  to  know  which  one  would  define our times...”

The rising  middle class in India  in the ‘metamaterial age’,  appears to have embraced  a purely materialistic life.  For instance, it is not uncommon to perceive the opening of Shopping Malls and  Company Outlets of  leading  consumer brands in once  lesser known towns.  And close on  its heels comes   the  issue of  rising divorce rates,  Old Age Homes  and to  top it all,  proposals to  open  Night  Clubs  in  confluence with  a changing  culture! Are these not fatalistic  for  our  youth?  Are we not conveniently forgetting the fact  that it is in these very youth,  that we have lain our faith to take us forward  to   a new  era?

In this context, it  is worth recalling  the fact that the youth of today have  never  had any first hand experience of  foreign rule or  the struggle for  Independence. Neither have they  ever realized the need for acquiring Gandhian values in troubled times! So has not the time come for  a  resuscitation of Gandhian values? Won’t  an  awareness  rousing campaign preferably  through the Social Media,  draw the attention of  the youth in  our country?

The author  in this paper  dwells on certain developmental issues in the country and goes on to expresses his conviction and faith in  the Gandhian vision. Next, an innovative strategy is proposed to address  the problems  that have  risen  from  a materialistic outlook- viz;  the  use of tools of  Social Media to which, the youth of today are addicted to promote  Gandhian values. 

Key words: Consumerism, Gandhism,  Metamaterialsim, Social Media

B. 32. Paper entitled The Swami mourned and the Guru reformed- Can either help  renovate education in Kerala?  at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Renovating Higher Education: Vision of Swami Vivekananda organized by Sri Sarada College of Education, Salem  and  Tamilnadu Teacher Education University, Chennai on  April 2013
 
Abstract

Over 100 years ago,  Swami Vivekananda toured the princely states of Kerala. Having  witnessed the  horrors of the caste system, then  being practiced, Swami  Vivekananda, concluded: ‘I have wandered into a lunatic asylum!'  Then came the social reformer  Sri Narayana Guru on the scene. His untiring efforts led to the emancipation of the helpless and depressed sections of society.


What Swami Vivekananda saw a century ago has drastically changed.  Perhaps at this moment in history- the  150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, it is indeed  appropriate  to  recall his contributions  which have a relevance to  educational reform in Kerala. But any educational reform cannot afford to ignore the socio-cultural background of the target community.


The Ezhava  community, once  severely discriminated by the upper castes in Kerala, now forms  fifty percent of the  Hindu population of  Kerala (3.20 Crore). The Ezhavas, today, are an  empowered lot, thanks to the philosophical and spiritual teachings of the  Saint-Philosopher  Sri Narayana Guru who hailed from the same community. So, any  talk of educational renovation in Kerala have to take into consideration, the contributions of Sri Narayana Guru. Incidentally, the recent move by the Government of Kerala to introduce  the Guru’s  teachings into  the school and college curriculum, is  one significant  milestone with regards  to educational  reform in Kerala.


The author however has identified quite a few similarities in the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and  Sri Narayana Guru. And in this paper,  the author presents a  brief  review of  the current socio-cultural scenario in Kerala  and concludes  with the impression that several  factors have to be looked into before either the Swami’s or the Guru’s views on education  is to  create any impact at all   with regards to  educational renovation  in   Kerala.

Key words: Kerala, Education, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Narayana Guru   


B 33. Paper entitled Emerging Literacies and Yawning Gaps in Teacher Education- A Case Study at the Two-day Regional Workshop on Scientific Research Skills for the 21st Century organized  by AIRIO, Kerala Chapter in collaboration with Pazhssi Raja College, Pulpally & Council for Teacher Education, Kerala State Centre, Pulpally, Wayanad on 26  and  27 April 2013

Abstract

As part of Course Work, BEd trainees  were assigned the task of designing and producing  multimodal instructional material for teaching English. The study conducted in six consecutive   years involved student teachers  of  two government-run teacher education institutions in Kerala. Findings indicated signs of students’ emergent multimodal awareness with a growing sensitivity to semiotic  codes. The investigation  has however identified widely different levels  in student capability :


Those at the base level comprised students  who  could barely list  the descriptive attributes of multimodal resources. The second level comprised students who could  expand the  value of semiotic resources and also show an awareness of the functional use of semiotic resources to synthesize idea.  But an advanced level   which displays  an ability to rationalize and explain the selective and adaptive use of resources  and employ such knowledge for digital material production was  very rare.


Data sources which comprised classroom observation, informal interviews, multimodal response tasks and evaluation led to the identification of  a yawning gap in  student teacher performance. The findings call for a classroom pedagogy responsive to technological developments and the associated changes in new literacies.

The implication of the study for teacher education includes an urgent need  to develop instructional practices that actively work with multimodality to enhance students’ learning. As pointed out  by  Cope and Kalantzis (2000), teachers should not be merely executors of language lessons but be ‘designer’s of meaning toward a more involved, collaborative participatory “design” culture.


Key words: Multimodal design, New literacies, Semiotic codes, Pedagogic strategies

B 34. Paper entitled New Directions Through Assessment- An Extension Work at the NAAC sponsored  National Seminar on People Management for Quality Enhancement in Higher Education, organized by IQAC of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore July 2013

Abstract

One way of  improving  teacher performance is to provide  in-service training and provide avenues for  professional development of teachers. But a scientific  approach to  such a programme should begin by  identifying  the  performance of individual  teachers in the  context of the  educational institution  in which they teach. This should be followed by offering  guidance for  improving performance  in those areas in which  a lacuna is felt by those assessing  the  teachers. The  practice  becomes complete when  proper  training  in  areas which deserve  attention is provided to individual teachers. This  paper reports on an unique extension work carried out to  assess and provide need based training for teachers of a local school.


B 35.  Paper entitled ‘KISS & Smile’- A Formula for Digital Knowledge Packaging   at  the UGC Sponsored National Workshop on  Knowledge Management & Instructional Technology-The Praxis of Teaching  and  Learning organized by Sree Narayana Training College, Nedunganda 23- 24 August  2013

Abstract

Recently the   National Mission on Education  outlined a plan of action to  make available  personalized  and interactive modules  for  Higher Education Institutions in an any time any where mode. The proposed strategy is to leverage the potential of ICT to provide high quality, personalized and interactive knowledge modules over the internet/intranet for all the learners. 

Reputed  Universities  and  Institutions   of Higher Learning  like the  IIT’s  have joined the  bandwagon  to  package  knowledge.  True,  most Universities and  IIT’s  have  talented  faculty  capable of  producing  knowledge modules.  Some have already  uploaded  their content for free download in  portals like the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL). But   are the materials really  suitable for learners ?  Do they have  the ingredients essential for sustaining  the interest of learners?

The author of this paper critiques a  few  packaged materials   now available for free download and   comes up with a, ‘KISS and Smile  formula’.  The  rationale for  developing the formula and the nature of the formula  will be  presented in this paper. The author hopes that  employing  this formula can  help ensure the  production of   instructional materials that evoke interest- something essential for knowledge modules.

Key Words: ICT, Knowledge modules, Knowledge Packaging

B 36.  Paper entitled Recasting Vivekananda’s sine-qua-non for Bliss-The Sexual Abstinence Index at the International Seminar on Revisiting Swami Vivekananda’s Vision for  Facing the New Educational Challenges  organized by Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi  and  SPFERD in collaboration with several organizations at Gandhi Bhavan, Thycaud, Thiruvananthapuram from 5 to 7 September 2013

Abstract

Swami Vivikenanda considered ‘akhand brahmacharya’ (unbroken celibacy) for a minimum 12 years  at-a-stretch  an absolute must  for realizing self-bliss. Obedience to the Guru without questioning and strict observance of Brahmacharya was to the Swami the secret of success.

The student of today grows up in an environment bombarded by lust-exciting glossy magazines, television and films. Studies have shown that  concomitant with the rise in  the use of  Internet for academic purposes, there is a rise in the  popularity of sexually explicit materials. From an analysis  of 400 million web searches, researchers have concluded that 1 in 8 of all searches online are for erotic content.  Studies have also shown that there is a relatively high-level of acceptance of pornographic materials among traditional-aged college students. 

Such findings are a cause for concern. How pervasive is the problem? Does it affect students and teachers? How can  we address  the issue  by recasting  Swami Vivekananda’s   observation that the ideal of all education, and  all training, should be man-making?  This paper attempts to find  answers to  these questions. The author also proposes the introduction of  a ‘Sexual Abstinence Index’  for the realization  of  Swami Vivekananda’s  vision.  

Key words: Brahmacharya, Pornography, Sexual Abstinence Index


B 37. Paper entitled When Unlike Poles Repel-The Teacher Education Colleges X  SCERT  Case at the  UGC Sponsored National Seminar on Inclusion and Quality in Higher Education: Challenges and Prospects organized by Sri Sarada College of Education, Salem and Tamilnadu Teachers Education University, Chennai 20 and 21 September 2013

Abstract

Fostering quality in Higher Education is no doubt a challenge. We also know that the   complexity of Higher Education institutions normally make interaction between institutions  difficult.  But it is natural to assume that when there is a similarity in institutional goals, there would be  greater  scope for cooperation and collaboration. Is it always so? The author of this paper  attempts  a comparison of educational practices in Teacher Training Colleges in Kerala and the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT). The   study  identifies a widening gulf in areas  that  deserve  high levels of cooperation and collaboration which is  essential for high quality instruction in the State.  The study is based on personal interaction with the faculty of both  Teacher Training Colleges and the SCERT.


Key words: Collaborative Practices, Higher Education, Quality


B 38. Paper entitled  Philosophical  Ideals and the  Reality of  the Kerala School Curriculum  at the  International Seminar  on             Impact of  Philosophy  on  Education  in  the  Present  Curriculum
Organized by  Peniel Rural College of Education, Vemparalil, Dindigul, Tamilnaduin September 2013

Abstract

After the formation of NCERT in 1961, Kerala avidly  followed all the curriculum reform efforts initiated at the national level.  The most recent curriculum revision programme was  initiated  in Kerala in 1996. The State’s curriculum reform effort gained  impetus with the formulation of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005). This  along with the  Position Papers provided grounds for introspection and formulation of the Kerala Curriculum Framework (KCF 2007).

Education  we know  is  a  tool  to achieve efficiency in all walks of human life whether social, political, religious or philosophical. Education always evolves out of historical and cultural contexts.  How did  the society in Kerala, including parents, teachers and learners receive the new curriculum?

This paper attempts a review of the Kerala School Curriculum with a  focus on its philosophical ideals. It  also includes references to some studies done about education in Kerala.

Key words: Curriculum, Philosophy, School Education

B 39. Paper entitled  Value Sensitization Through Internet Resources: An Experimental Study on Teacher Trainees  at the International  Conference  on Values or Virtues? Redefining Moral Education  organized by  Bethany Navajeevan College of Education, Marthandom, Kanyakumari District, Tamilnadu, January  2014
Abstract


We have seen that there is too much violence and dishonesty in society. And educators and parents have often expressed fear about the fact that values are falling and  nobody is respecting them. Yet,  during discussions of Curriculum, issues  that invariably find a place at the top of the agenda are identification of strategies for teaching  subjects like Science, Social Studies, Mathematics and Language. Moral Education or  strategies  to teach moral values,  seldom gets any attention.

Common sense tells  us that moral values need to be taught, because, it will prepare students for future roles in society. More importantly one might forget the Science and Mathematics  one learns in  school or college, but  the values one learns in all probability is likely to stick with  one for life.  Narration of anecdotes, engaging students in  open discussion etc.  have all been tried  as strategies  for Moral Education. But  the  present generation of today are  addicted to  technology.  Working  on the assumption that changing  times require  a changing pedagogy,  the investigator  attempted to sensitize select values  in  teacher trainees using Internet resources.  This paper is a report of the innovative experiment.

Key words:  Internet, Values, Videos

B 40. Paper entitled  Sensitizing  Pedagogic Perspective Through Short Films-A Study at the International  Conference [ICBDM-2014] organized by the Department of Human Resource Management, Noorul Islam University, Kumaracoil, Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu on 28 February 2014.

Abstract

It is common knowledge, that the best way to  help teacher trainees grasp  pedagogy-related concepts, is to expose them to  actual teaching  encounters. But teacher training programmes in Kannur University invariably  follow a schedule where Practice Teaching  sessions are conducted only during the Second Semester. The First Semester is set aside for familiarizing novice trainees with teaching strategies through   criticism of Peer Teaching.
A perceived aim of the BEd programme is to sensitize  trainees to pedagogy and  appropriate  teacher qualities. Studies  have  shown  that film materials are easy to integrate into curriculum and  that they allow flexibility of teaching techniques (Aiex,1999). The investigator-cum-teacher educator   found in  Short Films,  an useful medium  to achieve the perceived aim  of the BEd programme  during the period  when trainees  receive only  a limited exposure to actual teaching encounters.
This paper is a brief report of the study  conducted to identify the scope of  select acclaimed Short  Films to sensitize   pedagogic perspective in  teacher trainees.                                    
Key terms: Pedagogy, Short Film, Teacher behaviour

B 41. Paper entitled  Human Rights Issues vis-à-vis 12 Years A Slave at the National Seminar on Human Rights for Sustainable Future  at Thalassery, Kerala, organized by Government Brennen College of Teacher Education, Thalassery in association with the Institute of Parliamentary Affairs, Thiruvananthapuram on 05 and 06 March 2014.
Abstract

The  2014  winner of  the prestigious Oscar Award, 12 Years A Slave  which narrates  a  slavery drama    lays  bare the cruel  and dehumanizing system that twisted the morality and psychology  of  a dark period  in  US history. It is true that in the 21st century,  Black Americans are no longer slaves. But a sense that human rights for Black Americans  and more particularly other people of colour, like Asians, are still contingent and at risk is very real and alive!


This paper  turns the  critical search lights on Human Rights issues  and goes on to argue that such depiction will turn out to be a timely reminder to oppressors and  a  plea to those in power  to  take constructive steps for addressing  such issues.

B 42. Paper entitled  Soft and Hard Part of Communication Skills-A Qualitative Approach  at the National Seminar on Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions- Criteria, Techniques and Issues organized by the school of Education, Pondicherry University, Puducherry on 21 and 22 March 2014.
Abstract

Employers and educators  alike  are of the opinion that if  students have to make a successful entry into the workforce they should possess the right  kind of  Soft Skills.  Beyond academic or technical knowledge, the one skill that most employers look for in their employees is the ability to  communicate effectively.

On finding that the traditional type of education is inappropriate for  developing the required Soft Skills, many institutions of Higher Education have started implementing training programmes in Soft Skills. Activity-based classes for developing Communication skills, ask students  to present information in front of the class and also focus heavily on delivering speeches. Such programmes also have a writing component  aimed at developing clear writing ability.

But would  such a focus on Communication Skills suffice?  According to the author of this paper, Communication Skills which   forms the  hallmark of  an  individual, has an even wider scope. And in this paper,   an attempt is made to illustrate a  wider perspective of Communication Skills. The  author also suggests that if this aspect is ignored, students passing out of our educational institutions are likely to trail far behind  in today’s job market which in many fields are becoming ever increasingly competitive.


Key Words: Communication Skills, Soft Skills


B 43. Paper entitled  Experiment on  an ICT-based Learning Project in the Connectionism mode-A Critique at the International Seminar  on Institutional Interventions  to bridge Competency Gulf in an e-World  (IIBCGeW 2014)  and 12th State Convention of  Council for Teacher Education (CTE), Kerala State Centre and hosted by N.S.S Training College, Pandalam, Kerala, 24 to 26 March 2014.
Abstract

Teenagers of today  are getting addicted to  one social networking site or other at a rapid pace.  In an attempt  to match student-favoured learning strategies, several institutions  of Higher Education are exploring the possibility of  employing  networked information and communications  technology  for  teaching and learning. Learning Projects  following  the Connectionist mode is one such  venture.
This paper is a critique  of an experiment on an ICT-based Learning Project in the Connectionist mode which the  researcher-cum-teacher educator  gave his trainees. The  venture being new, during the learning project,  the investigator observed  trainees experiencing  several snags in communication.  The paper in addition to  critiquing the experiment, attempts to identify the possible causes for the snag.  It is hoped  that the  impressions  drawn through  hindsight   will  be  useful  for   teachers  attempting to  employ  ICT-based learning projects  in the  Connectivist mode for  teaching and learning.


Key words: Connectionism, learning,  social network, teaching 




B 44. Paper entitled Social Media  and  Eating Disorder– A  Toxic Combination  at the UGC sponsored two-day National Seminar on Sports Culture and Society: Trends and Challenges organized by  Govt. Brennen College of Teacher Education, Thalassery  on 17 and 18 December 2014.

Abstract

Consumption of  food, since historical times have had a social meaning.  Even today,   to get a comprehensive picture of  the  food eating patterns of school children,  one has to conduct a  thorough study of  the  social life of  the population. And given the fact that  with the birth of  social media,  social habits and  economies  are  undergoing  dramatic changes,  one cannot afford to ignore the effect social media creates on  individuals,   particularly  students.
But  does social media  impact eating habits?  A  study conducted by the Rochester Institute of Technology a couple of years ago found that it does indeed affect. This roused the curiosity of  the  teacher educator-cum- researcher of this paper. Data collection on the  eating habits of  school children and food consumption pattern of  adolescents  hanging out in food joints was undertaken. When a  pattern was found to  emerge from the data, additional data was  collected from families  on the  expressed interest of children and adolescents  while at the dining table and during  tea time. An analysis of the data revealed that children and adolescents and a small percentage of adults too have little or limited interest in family style  traditional meals. And for a vast majority, the time chosen for food consumption or the preference for a particular food  is  dictated by the impressions of friends and peers to whom they get into contact  through the social media to which they  plug in! 
The findings of the study according to the author is  a cause for concern. In  this  presentation, the author hopes to  sensitize participants  of the seminar to the  toxic combination that  social media and eating disorder  creates.

Key words: Adolescents, Eating disorder, School children, Social Media