P Bhaskaran Nair
The process of learning, with its pangs and pains, its anguish and anxiety had been left neglected for centuries in a tradition of product oriented education. The entire focus of discussions and deliberations had been on teaching—of course, how to enhance the quality of teaching. However, of late, educationists have started paying attention to learner’s characteristics, potentials, and the processes of learning. Learner characteristics got noticed first in theory and research by the second half of the last century, followed by learner potentials, thanks to the intervention of humanistic philosophy in education. Learner engagement or involvement still was not seriously researched because our focus still was on reforming teaching. Learner participation, how it could be maintained and measured in tangible terms, how it could be observed in assessment, and how it could be incorporated into the body or texture of teaching especially in transactional modes like lecturing –these issues remained less discussed. This paper enquires into some of these pedagogic issues which are deep-rooted in the learner’s socio-psycho-economic background. Remaining within the periphery of teaching English as a second language, this paper tries to offer some suggestions, too.
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