Wednesday, 31 December 2008
What makes English difficult?
English Grammar - Parts of Speech
How to achieve fluency in English?
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Experimenting ICT in English Language and Literature
We live in an era of information explosion. Once there was famine of information, today we are drowned in the deluge of information. Gale of change is blowing in the pedagogy of Teaching English Language and Literature (TELL). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a catalyst agent. ICT has initiated new possibilities into the classroom. The marriage between education and Internet technology has made a deep impact on perspectives about teaching and learning. The role of the teacher, the nature and context of learning, as well as the function and relative importance of course content have all been challenged and redefined. Technophobic teachers have no place in this new world order.
This paper aims at sharing practical experiments with ICT in Teaching English Language and Literature. It deals with pragmatic aspects of using ICT with the student community of Business Management and Humanities. The extensive use of web 2.0 components, internet, blogs, e-groups, SMSs, emails, socializing portals, e-dictionaries, e-ncyclopedia, ppt presentations, webcasting, audio-video etc as teaching tools were experimented in the classroom. The student community was motivated to make use of cyber cafes and GPRS mobiles to interact with the teacher.
The paper deals with very pertinent questions:
• How far is ICT useful to student community?
• What is the role of ICT in teaching English language and literature?
• What kind of methods can be used to overcome students' problems?
• Can it empower student community? Can it improve their proficiency of learning?
How to cite this article:
Academic Writing Skills 2
Academic Writing Skills 1
Saturday, 23 August 2008
Olympics should have no place for hypocrisy
Olympics is the mother of all games and sporting events. Since the time of Greeks, sportsman spirit and sportsmanship are indelible part of Olympics. Sports and games are played not for winning or losing. It is played with a view to develop a conduct considered fitting for the sportsperson, including observance of the rules of fair play, respect for others, and graciousness in losing. It is intended to make human beings more humble and honest; as a result to make the world best place to live for one and all.
Such a magnanimous event (Beijing Olympics 2008) should not open the way it has, at Beijing - China. It is not a big issue that the girl with best voice but imperfect teeth is replaced by the one looking beautiful. What is more important is the dishonesty. China has cheated not only 91,000 people sitting in the Bird's Nest, but the whole world, through live telecast of that song. China should have disclosed the fact and due respect should have been given to the girl who really sang the song. It is not a fair play. China failed to give respect to her own citizens. How would China face that little girl's questions when she grows to understand injustice done to her? It is the best (or worst?) example of China's hypocrisy. The dragon has different teeth to show and to chew!
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Spellings in English Language: To Spell or Not to Spell Correctly.
How to cite this article:
Barad, D. P. "Spellings in English Language: To Spell or Not to Spell Correctly." VOICES 210 (2009): 11.
Language grows. It has accreting quality. It flows like river. It goes on changing its shape and flow in harmony with its levee. Change is the only permanent feature of language. Language which does not change with flux of time, gives up the ghost.
Images of the cover page and write up:
|IATEFL - VOICES front page|
|Write-up in VOICES-210|
Response to this write up:
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Marks Vs Merit
It is well observed that students who can't write a few sentence on their favorite film star secures more than 80% marks in board examination. This reflects to the dire situation in which our education system is. Marks do not guarantee intelligence. Our edu-examination system is like eating too much and then vomiting it. Those students who get good percentage are better in stuffing their memory with cramming and then vomiting over the answer books. The better the vomit, the better the marks! It would be better if we introduce continuous assessment system where in daily performance of the students in all the walks of education, including sports, NCC/NSS, Cultural events etc is also considered seriously for merit. We never give any weightage to extra-curricular activities in the mark-sheet of student, neither is it considered as merit for admission in higher education. We are making grave mistake by missing the mark. Our educationist must realize that marks does not contribute to overall development of personality, it is extra-curricular activities which contribute to it.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
India’s need of the hour: Young Educated Politician
Education enlightens. It helps to look beyond horizons. It gives vision to look at the things in newer ways. Fortunate are citizens of Rajkot and Bhavnagar to get well-educated Mayors to serve them. It is a happy sign that highly educated young people are devoting for community service through politics. Young nation like India wants younger generation with good higher education to serve her. And Yes… Isn't it the impact of Lead India campaign that generationext is coming forth to lead & reign Youngistan?
VC stoops to conquer favour of CM
This is with reference to the news about Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat University touching feet of Chief Minister Narendra Modi during one public gathering. It is really sad to see the guardians of education stoop so down to win political favors. It is said that education leads to empowerment & it makes one nirbhay(fearless). What sort of fearlessness would such vice-chancellors give to the students? It is nice to read that in past, there were several vice-chancellors who defiantly stood against the then governments. Today's vice-chancellors, professors and teachers are totally lost in their moral strength and ethical ground. No doubt, the ethical standards of such societies are dwindling down. The dream of Ravindranath Tagore to see his country awake, where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, is still nothing but a dream.
Responsibility of Media and Police in Democracy
Arushi-Hemraj murder case is one of the worst examples of irresponsible behavior of media and police. There is an outcry, since time immemorial against the way police and media behaves. Both have tremendous responsibilities on their shoulders. They are strongest pillars of democracy. It is time that they should understand that with great power comes great responsibility. This case, let us hope, will open their eyes and in future they will behave with responsibility and accountability.
Thursday, 3 July 2008
WikiEducator: Platform for managing e-Learning Resourses
The name "Wiki" was chosen by Ward Cunningham -- the creator of the first Wiki. It is a shortened form of "wiki-wiki", the Hawaiian word for 'quick'.
A wiki is a web site that is generally editable by anyone with a computer, a web browser, and an internet connection. Wikis use a quick and easy syntax to allow users to apply formatting to text and create links between pages. This simple formatting syntax means that authors no longer need to learn the complexities of HTML to create content on the web.
The main strength of a wiki is that it gives people the ability to work collaboratively on the same document. The only software you need is an Internet browser. Consequently, wikis are used for a variety of purposes. If you make a mistake, it's easy to revert back to an earlier version of the document.
Wiki is in Ward's original description:
The simplest online database that could possibly work.
Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly.
Wiki is unusual among group communication mechanisms in that it allows the organization of contributions to be edited in addition to the content itself.
Like many simple concepts, "open editing" has some profound and subtle effects on Wiki usage. Allowing everyday users to create and edit any page in a Web site is exciting in that it encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by nontechnical users.
WikiEducator is a similar kind of platform for teachers, researchers and any-who-and-what related to teaching, learning, research and education.
WikiEducator is a community resource supported by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) for the development of free educational content.COL is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.
WikiEducator's purpose, in thier own words, is to build an evolving community intended for the collaborative planning of education projects linked with the development of free content;
colloborative development of free content on Wikieducator for e-learning;
colloborative work on building open education resources (OERs) on how to create OERs.
The WikiEducator is a community which believes in:
- The social inclusion and participation of all people in our networked society (Access to ICTs is a fundamental right of knowledge citizens - not an excuse for using old technologies).
- In the freedoms of all educators to teach with the technologies and contents of their choice, hence our commitment to Free/Libre and Open Source technology tools and free content.
- That educational content is unique - and by working together we can improve the technologies we use as well as the reusability of digital learning resources.
- A forward-looking disposition working together to find appropriate and sustainable solutions for e-learning futures.
WikiEducator is a dynamic and exciting community of educators who believe passionately that learning materials should be free and open to all. Listen to Desmond Tutu on freedom in education and check out the exciting roles in our community.
If you think you believe in similar sort of values, Please join WikiEducator in developing free and open educational content for the world!
Get started today and register now for free wiki training.
Friday, 30 May 2008
A Collective Sin of Our Time: Need to teach Humanities.
--By P Venugopal from http://www.news.in.msn.com/
Mumbai: A promising Naval officer murders a young professional in cold blood out of sexual jealousy, the body is cut into easily transportable pieces, his lady love goes out to shop for a bag to carry the body pieces away.Delhi: A reputed dentist hammers his daughter to death to conceal his extra-marital affairs with a professional aide. What did society gain by educating these well-placed individuals at the cost of the public exchequer? Crimes like liquor-induced murders, atrocities on women and dowry harassment are reported commonly among poor and unlettered families. Such crimes are now spreading to highly educated and elite sections. This is a cause for serious concern. Education is not merely acquisition of knowledge and skills. It is supposed to subdue man’s animal instincts and groom him as a decent, cultured human being. If an educated man behaves like a beast, what use education? In the first instance, the Navy man used the skills in man-to-man combat and use of knives imparted as part of his naval training to overpower and murder a youth. In the second case, the dentist used his expertise with clinical instruments to take away two lives. In both the cases, they used their professional skills to perpetrate serious crimes. This should make society sit up and think.According to official statistics, crime rate in urbanised societies is on the rise. Love affairs and sexual causes are the top motives for most murders and culpable homicides. In olden times, moral teaching was an inalienable part of education up to the high school level. Teachers themselves were living examples of the ethical values they taught. They were a source of motivation and inspiration for their wards to lead a worthy life. Great teachers moulded great minds. On the home turf, parents were the role models for children. Most children growing up in modern society are deprived of the positive influence of ideal teachers and enlightened parents. Children are forced to be an instrument to realize the unfulfilled ambition of their parents—-to become a doctor, engineer or civil servant and get rich fast through means fair or foul. Fewer parents explore the real aptitude of their children before they are compelled to follow a particular course of study. The inevitable result is the children not only don’t evince any real interest in studies, but adopt a rebellious and defiant attitude once they grow up and become independent. They don’t mind going to any length to realize their burning ambition. This is the reason why more and more people from the so-called educated strata of society are landing up in jails, spoiling their future and corrupting the society. If this tendency is not nipped in the bud, nation’s future will be in peril. There is no short-cut to it other than inculcating values in children in the formative period. This task cannot be left to the government alone. Teachers, parents and cultural bodies do have an equal responsibility in moulding the future generation. Dr Rajesh Talwar and Lieutenant Jerome Mathew are products of the syndrome `knowledge without character’, which the Father of the Nation described as a `collective sin of our time’.
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Use of ICT by PMC
What an innvative way to use satellite images? The techno-skeptics always feared the misuse of such technoogy by terrorists. PMC has seen the glass half fulled and has changed the entire scene.
Food Grain Crisis: Grain Pain
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Education for All ...
Education for all….
There is a paradox. Either you go for education for all or quality education. Constitution says about fundamental right to education. Committees are against expansion of education infrastructure. The situation in this paradox remains – ‘rich can buy better education and poor are compelled to receive substandard education’.
Well, the best way (perhaps) to crack this paradoxical puzzle is to pour money into it - Money for infrastructure and for salary. It’s still easy to pour money for infrastructure and develop it. More difficult is to pour money for salary. When the sixth pay commission has submitted it report and a committee is set to revise its guidelines, it’s perhaps best time to restructure pay scales of teachers working in government aided schools. Once government aided teachers are paid handsomely, the private players must increase their salary. Once the salary is better off, talented young will be attracted towards working in schools. I would suggest better salary packages for rural schools as compared to that in city schools. We want better teachers to work in rural and semi urban schools. In cities, there are better opportunities to ‘buy’ education, villages don’t have such options.
Like, India's Education system, Legal system of India is also facing crunch for best brains. As best of the best brain opt for medical or engineering, and the left out of standard 12th are in queue for being teachers in schools and colleges, similarly successfully lawyers never give up their practice to don a judge's robe. In the last meeting of the chief justices of high courts of India pay hike was prominent demand of one and all.
Money is not the root of all the evils. Lact of it is. Money is one of the best motivators. It is pay packages of IIM and IIT graduates that insire more and more young and brilliant brians to adopt the profession of management or IT.
If attractive packages are availed to teachers, most of, if not all the problems pertaining to education can be solved in India.
IPL: a sect in the Religion of Cricket
This phenomenon will surely lead to hooliganism. Regionalism is already on sprawl in India due to political colors. This form of cricket will add fuel to the fire. Culturally divided nation like India, whose unity lies in its diversity, may experience further divides because of new form of cricket. Cricket is considered as one of the unifying catalyst in the diversity of India. Unanimously, all agreed that Cricket is a religion where all other religions dissolve. IPL will create more sects in this religious spirit associated with the game of cricket.
Friday, 18 April 2008
Obscenity and nudity in The Times of India news daily
For some times, I have observed that 'The Times of India' is giving more space to nudity and obscene photographs and news stories. It all begin with small pics of some glamour dolls in ‘News Digest’ (first page) or in graffiti (last page). Then it was Page 2 ‘cinema gossips’ where every other day a nude picture of Holly/Bollywood diva is posted.
Now, it’s even in the main news item that TOI doesn't miss a chance to print obscene, indecent, and lewd pictures. Quite ironically, tt all began under a beautiful name of ‘Save the Girl Child’ and see where has TOI gone. Is it necessary to print naked female figures to save the girls and women? Every now and then TOI bring sensual story in the name of ‘save the girl child’. Their representation of the story which is illustrated with similar kind of picture is so lascivious, voyeuristic and libidinous that at times it raises serious suspicions in the mind of readers. What is the intention of TOI in ‘Save the Girl Child’ campaign? Is it really to save girls and women or to give worst schemes and designs to woo, seduce and molest more girls and women?
What happened in Patan or is happening with females in society is a matter of a grave concern. But is it proper to give such a prurient coverage of entire episode? Worst were the photographs TOI printed with these stories.
Similarly, in the coverage of love affairs of political leaders of France and Russia, is not TOI crossing the boundaries of decency and decorum? If your answer is no, have a look at the nude pictures of their love ladies posted in TOI. After ogling over the pictures, if you don’t agree with me, ogle again with your parents and children.
The Times of India has the largest circulation in India. It is most read English daily in India. It’s not because of chauvinist approach to sexism. It is because of respect and reverence this news paper has in the eyes of readers. Is not TOI falling in high opinion and esteem of readers? Is not the value and worth of TOI decreasing because of such news items and photographs? If TOI is viewing to increase viewer ship by such mean attempt, I would say that those who are viewed as target readers for such content are surely not reading TOI. There ia a lot of such stuffs available in market ( and almost free on web), which is far ‘better’ than what TOI offers.
Source: http://www.naavi.org/cl_editorial_10/edit_feb_13_2010_savita_3.htmIt is in this connection that we need to take note that TOI has been a purveyor of a new culture on soft porn in India preint media. I spotted one online petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-reading-times-of-india-the-pornographic-paper.html which had been floated some time back on this issue. I also spotted a interesting blog enttry at http://dilipbarad.blogspot.com/2008/04/obscenity-and-nudity-in-times-of-india.html also highlighting the same.The blogger Dilip Barad lamented“…Now, it’s in main news item that TOI don’t miss a chance to print obscene, indecent, and lewd pictures. It all began under a beautiful name of ‘Save the Girl Child’ and see where has TOI gone. Is it necessary to print naked female figures to save the girls and women? Every now and then TOI bring sensual story in the name of ‘save the girl child’. Their representation of the story which is illustrated with similar kind of picture is so lascivious, voyeuristic and libidinous that at times it raises serious suspicions in the mind of reader. What is the intention of TOI in ‘Save the Girl Child’ campaign? Is it really to save girls and women or to give worst schemes and designs to woo, seduce and molest more girls and women..”.How can TOI get away with this sort of journalism? Is there no Press Council which can take action? Or is Press Council powerless?
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
IAS officer praised for work on higher education
Its rarest of the rarest happening in academic arena. None has ever seen or heard of education commissioner being commemorated with laurels, that too by the intellectual elite of the state. It’s true that even the highly motivated require motivation and such praiseworthy event motivates other too. Hats off to Times of India for giving good space to such better news in higher education of Gujarat. Otherwise, we are witnessing that higher education of Gujarat is in the news for all the worst kind of things.
Monday, 7 April 2008
Mr. and Mrs. Rameshbhai Mehta- retired Judge, Respected Prof . Purnimaben V. Mehta-Head of the Department, alumni Hetal Mehta and Chetan Trivedi and dear friends,
Before I give my vote of thanks to the chief guest of today’s programme, I would like to share a few ideas with the students who are leaving this department.
Dear Friends, most of you are going to make your career in the field of teaching. You would be teachers in schools, colleges and universities. Please remember, somebody is always watching you, and learning from you – not from your words but from your actions. As a child watches its parents and learns from them – not form their words but form their actions, similarly students watch their teachers and learn from them – not form their words but from their actions. So, friends, don’t forget to build your character along with your career.
Your exams will begin on 5th May, 2008. In these last 30 days of ordeal, you may face innumerable tribulations, trauma and troubles. But remember, it is when things get worst that one must not quit. Quitters are never Winners, and Winners never quit. Remember the lines written on the wall of NDA – Dehradun: “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”
On this day, I remember lines quoted by Shiv Khera in You Can Win:
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger ad faster man,
But sooner or later the ma who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.
Always think that you are Born to Win.
Coming back to the onus of giving vote of thanks, Sir (Mr.Mehta), this is one of the most memorable days for our students. We are grateful that you have spared some valuable moments with us. On behalf of, Bhavnagar University, Department of English and all the students & staff, I am heartily thankful to you for gracing this occasion with your esteemed presence.
Thank you, one and all.
Incredible Puppet Show of Life and Death
What an incredible puppet show by the ‘President of the Immortals’! The Railway track breeds one little life with care and consideration whereas the same track becomes the viewless & voiceless annihilator of so many human lives. It is truth universally acknowledged that there are more things in heaven and earth, than are dreamed of in our philosophies. It is well said by Shakespeare: “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances.”
Tuesday, 5 February 2008
WiFi in Rajkot city (Gujarat - India)
Its belated yet a welcome move by municipal body to implement WiFi facility in Rajkot city. What’s so inspiring about this move is the selection of place. Their giving priority to University area is in real sense a commendable act. At a time, when else in the world, governments look forward to give better infrastructure in IT for business and corporate world, here is an example, noteworthy, provided by Rajkot Municipal Corporation, to give importance to the educational infrastructure development. In the heydays of economical advancement in India, it’s laudable to think about providing a better wifi-internet infrastructure to University students. Isn’t it?
Saturday, 19 January 2008
Virtue Rewarded: India wins Test match against Australia
Kudos to Indian Cricket Team for their bounce back ability! Winners are not know from how high they reach in their achievements, but from how high they can bounce back after falling. Indian cricketers have proved their champion’s spirit. After molestation by grave decisions of umpires, vicious victorious celebration of Australians and rueful coverage of Australian media, it required terrible amount of courage and mental strength to bounce back. And see the way Indians have done it! This victory is symbolic of triumph of virtue over vice.
If Sydney was the graveyard of virtue in ‘gentleman’s game’, Perth is the re-birth of virtue. The nemesis has ultimately rewarded with poetic justice. And what a way to give justice! Symonds, who was given several ‘lucky’ benefits of doubts in Sydney, was given LBW even if ball sneaked bat. Again, Australia is devoid of making a history of seventeenth consecutive test victories, both times by India.
Kumble’s cool composure in interviews outwitted Ricky Ponting’s pointless ramblings. Kumble reflected the culture of decorum and majesty which symbolizes Indian culture. Thus, not only on the ground but even off the ground, nemesis favored India to give its virtuous poetic justice. Today, Indians all over the world are proud of Kumble’s and his boys for making tri-colour flag fly high with dignity and self-respect.
Sunday, 6 January 2008
Sydney Test Cricket Match: Defeat of Honesty and Integrity of Gentleman's Game