The criteria for judging the success of the program will be based on the three core objectives of the English Communication and its relevance and student needs and interests.
Tests are conducted regularly and in an organized manner as a part of the CIA (Continuous Internal Assessment). There will be three micro tests of 1 hour duration and one macro test of 2 hours duration every semester which will provide teacher and learner with constant feedback on the teaching-learning process. Students are tested for skills on their ability to use language and not their memory of content and knowledge of discreet grammatical items. Hence, unseen passages for comprehension and unrehearsed writing tasks but similar to the ones done in the class become an integral part of the testing format. The curriculum even though launched will never be static – cosmetic changes within the existing curriculum is bound to take place post entry of the learners and the conduct of the entry level examination based on learner specific requirements.
In the first semester of the training, the objectives of the course are stated in terms of not only catering to major skills such as Grammar, Oral Communication Skills (LS), Developing Reading Skills, Written Communication, Vocabulary, Verbal Ability and Critical Reasoning but also sub skills spelt out under each category and built into a hierarchy. The assumption is that each of the major skills could be broken down into sub skills identified, taught and tested in isolation, that is, the sub skills under a major skill are mutually independent. It is also believed that training input is equal to learning output. Materials for all modules are so chosen whose use in the classroom would facilitate the development and acquisition of these skills. Consequently, these materials have compiled into a training package for communication for students.
Student-oriented procedures (students themselves engage in reading, work through exercises or answer questions – answers discussed in the class and trainer feedback on answers) are followed in class.
The training does rely on appropriate materials and books; but most importantly the training depends on the trainer expertise and creativity where trainers not only make use of the available materials but also supplement them by designing their own tasks and exercises but still modeling them on the ones found in the course books prescribed earlier.
For tapping the trainers’ resources as indicated above, the academy employs a crucial strategy, namely, of pooling together the collective pedagogic experience of trainers (both verbal and soft skills) along with the feedback on trainers through TTT (Train The Trainer) for which one day (Saturday’s) a week is allotted in the time table. Besides producing exercises which would help to realize individual sub skills, the trainers will also produce tasks / activities such as debates, discussions, problem solving activities, which will be challenging, interesting and hence motivating.
The ‘staying power’ of this Diploma project will depend on the continuous responsiveness to the learner’s needs and aspirations and the trainer’s conviction about the need to change and belief in their own capacity to meet the demands of change. Thus, if and when, the learner experiences reasonable dissatisfaction with any module/materials or any part of the training methodology, the trainers, instead of being overcome by the anguish of the responsibility would tap their own resource and bring about the change that is required to cater to the needs and interests of the learners. This demonstrates that the project depends very much for its ‘staying power’ on the resourcefulness and self-reliance of the trainers. The kingpin in any educational reform is the teacher himself and the success of the project is a tribute to the teachers/ trainers on the project.