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Bilingual Education Policies and Practice in Sri Lanka and ...

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Developing the communicative competence of bilingual Bachelor of Educationundergraduatesusingthe subjectcontent;Action Research
Background
Lack of English Communication skills – one main reason for graduate unemployment(Perera, Silva, &Marambe, B. 2009)BME introduced in schools in 2001 – prepare students for higher education & employmentImportant toB.Ed(E/M) students – two ways
The Iceberg Theory (Cummins, 2000)
Development of BICS – & CALPS.Basic Communication Skills & Academic Communication SkillsStudents not developed BICSBICS & CALPS ofB.Edstudents should be developed simultaneouslyUsing the subject content is the most suitable
Objectives
1.Identify the problems students face in communication in the second language2. Examine ways of minimizing the above problems3. Implement aprogrammeto develop the communicative competence4. Assess the level of development of the students
Methodology
Action ResearchInterviews, classroom observationsIdentify Problems students encountered in speakingIntervention – (8 weeks)to develop speaking skillsSample –B.EdPart 1 undergraduates
Data Collection- Observations- Recordings-Reflections- Feedback of the studentsThe students recorded their own speech and were encouraged to identify their own errors in speech through reflection. Common errors were discussed at the end.
Activities (based on the content)dialoguesgroup activitiesasking and answering questionsexplaining concepts in simple languagereporting and narratingexpressing preferences and objectionsgroup discussions on issuespresentations and teaching a small section of the content
Findings
Reluctant to speak - fear of making mistakes.All the students made grammatical errors –word order, prepositions, conjunctions etc.Did not use appropriate questioning structuresEg. “True Education is what?”
Inappropriate use of vocabularyEg.“I think themajorideaisan Educationemergingthe innate potentialities”MainideaofEducationistodrawthe …..“Education shouldbecreateadevelop people.”Education shouldcontributeto……
Common Pronunciation errorsdifferent pronunciations of the same syllable in different contextsEg. district/diversitysilent letters in words -pour, halves.consonant clusters‘recognize’ pronounced as ‘recoraganize’
At the end of the Intervention
Ability for self and peer corrections (through reflections)Ask simple questions, give simple, relevant answers accurately. (content based)Explain parts of the content in simple languageConfidence to make presentations
Conclusion
Using subject content of the undergraduates to develop their communication skills is successful because;Language used in practical, authentic situationsmotivates the students to use the language meaningfully.Dialogues, group discussions, competitions, explanations and presentations effective in the development of communication skills
References
Cummins, J.(2000).Language, power and pedagogy: Bilingual children in the cross fire, by J. Buffalo. NY: Multilingual Matters Ltd.National Education Commission. (2003).Proposals for a national policy framework on general education in Sri Lanka;Envisioning education for a national policy framework.Sri LankaCommon European Framework of Reference for Languages; Learning, teaching assessment. Language policy unit, Strasbourg.Retrivedfromwww.coe.int/lang-CEFRPerera, E.R.K., Silva, G.L.L.P. &Marambe, B. (2009). Development of an outcome based curriculum embedding employability skills, institutional goals and values: a Sri Lankan experience.Country Reports-Enhancement of Graduate Employment. ASAIHL Conference,20th– 22ndMay 2009, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Pp. 19-25
Thank YouSulochanaNeranjaniDept. of Humanities EducationFaculty of EducationSupervisor : Prof. MariePerera

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Bilingual Education Policies and Practice in Sri Lanka and ...