As a forum for teachers of English language and literature, Fortell has consistently been providing a platform for academic and pedagogical engagement for its practitioners both at the secondary and at the tertiary level. With the teaching and learning environment posing ever new and ever complex challenges in the multilingual, multicultural and multiethnic Indian classroom, such engagement provides not only an insight into new strategies but seeks endorsement for one’s own practices. Multilinguality, collaborative learning, vocabulary-building, curriculum framework development, enhancing communicative competence through literature amongst students of professional programmes, and negotiations with technology – Issue no. 39 of Fortell traverses a vast spectrum of ideas and linguistic as well as literary practices, showcasing the diversity of ongoing research in the respective areas.
In “Transacting ‘Language Across the Curriculum’: Experiences From Universities in India”, Eisha Kannadi outlines the concept of language across the curriculum (LAC) and the purposes for its inclusion in the syllabus of B.Ed. by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in 2015 through an analysis of the syllabi of B.Ed. from five different universities in India. Rachna Sethi’s paper, “ Teaching Generation Z: Challenges in the Contemporary Classroom” takes into account the generational shift that has taken place in the university/college classroom on account of the invasion of mobile technology, making a case for embracing this technology and harnessing its internet connectivity resource as a tool for creating a modified flipped classroom. An important goal of university education is to prepare students for the professional world. S.K Akram’s paper ‘Teaching Group Discussions for Employability: From Needs Analysis to Course Design’ takes up the much needed area of pedagogic intervention in group discussions to meet the needs of future employability of students at the tertiary level. In her article ‘The Activities Based on a Literary Text for an ESP Classroom’, Divya John demonstrates ways to make a literary text appealing to engineering students by creating activities to evoke critical and creative thinking in students to enhance their listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities.
It is, however, at the primary and secondary level that the seeds of linguistic competence are sown. In their paper, “Bridging the Divide: Collaborative Learning and Translanguaging in Multilingual Classroom”, Samrat Bisai and Smriti Singh present the results of a study conducted in a school in West Bengal to show how translanguaging promotes collaborative learning among students.
The viability of Received Pronunciation of English as a Second language for the native speakers of innumerable Indian languages and dialects, is another area explored in this issue where M. Raja Vishwanathan’ s article ‘Pronounced Ambivalence: R. P. and Native Speaker Norms in the ESL Classroom’ assesses the relevance of Received Pronunciation (R.P.) in ESL in contemporary times through a study involving feedback from the stakeholders, both teachers and students. Exploring the teaching and learning of Vocabulary, Jayanta Kumar Das’ article ‘Issues Involving Vocabulary Learning and Teaching: A Study of the Literature’ delves into the various ways in which vocabulary learning can be imparted based on student requirements and abilities and accordingly teaching techniques can be aligned.
In their paper, “Reading in the Indian Classroom”, Veena Kapur and Megha Dang explore the implications of the implementation of a significant educational policy- Chunauti 2018- an initiative of the Government of Delhi aimed at improving the learning skills of its weakest students.
The research-in-literature section of the current issue offers a varied fare, ranging from feminist literature to Dalit writings to poetry. Rakhi Ghosh’s paper titled, “Doctrine of Quiet Rebellion: Articulated Defiance in Eliza Haywood’s The Female Spectator”, is a study of some remarkable non-fiction and journalistic writing by the eighteenth century novelist and writer, Eliza Haywood, wherein she combines didacticism along with her invective on the injustices that women suffer at the hands of the patriarchy. In their paper, ‘Dalit Canon Formation and the African-American Experience’, K. Sree Ramesh and D. Jyotirmai present a comparative study of the process of canonisation of slave narratives in America and that of Dalit narratives in India. Celebrating the notion of cosmopolitanism that connects people over and above limiting notions like that of the nation and the state, Ishrat Bashir in her article, ‘Cosmopolitan Ethics in the Poetry of Agha Shahid Ali’, undertakes an insightful exercise of revealing what she terms as ‘cosmopolitan empathy’ in the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali.
In addition to the articles, this issue offers book-reviews, activities, and reports of events organized in collaboration with FORTELL, with the highlight of the current issue being the interview of the renowned academic, author, critic and translator, Prof. M. Asaduddin of Jamia Millia Islamia who offers valuable insights into the processes of translation.
Overall, the present issue provides an insightful and expansive view of the field of English language and literature teaching and learning. As a general issue, the wide range of articles have touched upon areas of varied interests and concerns, with the promise of benefitting and adding to the expertise and knowledge of the readers.
Mona Sinha and Manjari Chaturvedi
Mona Sinha is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Maharaja Agrasen College, University of Delhi.
Manjari Chaturvedi is a Doctoral candidate at the Center for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.