Saturday 23 November 2013

Remedy for the Challenge of Continuous Assessment in Large Classes

This is the presentation for the National Symposium at Charotar University of Science and Technology CHARUSAT (Gujarat - India) organised by Indukaka Ipcowala Institute of Management (I2IM) on Technology in ELT Challenges and Remedies on 23 November, 2013.

It discusses importance of ICT in testing and evaluation / assessment. It refers to Ken Robinson and Sugata Mitra as well as applications like Moodle, Hotpotatotes, ProProfs, Zoho Quiz, Testmoz etc and then narrows down on Google Docs / forms for online testing and Flubaroo script for auto grading. In live demo, it demonstrates benefits of Google Forms and Flubaroo for online testing and continuous assessment.

Monday 11 November 2013

Self-learning from Videos of Personal Presentations and Students' learning experience

The collage of stamp size photographs of students making presentations with a handy-cam in the centre represents the innovative practice of 'Presentations used for 'self-appraisal' and 'self-improvement'. The DVD of all presentations is given to students and are asked to view with their family, friends and relatives. We have experienced drastic change in students' command over language, body language, pitch, tone, expressions and presentation skills as they move from sem 1 to sem 4. (Oct 2013)

The experience shared by the pass out students will be available soon on this blog.

Saturday 9 November 2013

UGC NET, SET (SLET): Reading Resources: Books, Websites, Blogs

Reading resource and Information about CBSE - NET (UGC) and SET (CBSE-UGC) (English)

For official announcements of rules, exams, results etc, rely only on this website: and for Gujarat State:
Download NET 2018 notification (This link will be updated very soon)
Download Information Booklet NET 2018 (This link will be updated very soon)

(Practice Online - Previous years' UGC NET Question papers)

Click here to download Syllabus

Paper 1 - Syllabus

Paper 2 - English Syllabus

1. Histories of English Literature
  • A History of English Literature - Arthur Compton-Rickett
  • English Literature - William J. Long
  • The History of English Literature - Edward Albert
  • A Short Oxford History of English Literature. Andrew Sanders
  • Indian Writing in English - K R S Iyengar
2. Companion Series by Oxford (

5. The New Critical Idiom - a series by Routledge(

7. List of Books Useful for NET / SET Preparation
(Caution: These books are not reviewed and so do not guarantee about its quality. These books are available and can be useful for startup on preparation for NET / SET examination.)

1.     NET / GSET (English). Pub: University Granth Nirman Board, Gujarat State Patnagar Yojno Bhavan,Behind Gujarat College Compound, Old Shardamandir Cross Road, Ellisbridge, Ahmedabad – 380006 Fax:26569074 - Phone: 26424268. Rs. 375/- Order online

2.     An Objective Approach to English Literature for NET, JRF, SLET and Pre-Ph.D. Registration Test - Ivan K. Masih,K. K. Narayan,Pandey Om Prakash,Rahmat Jahan,Neeraj Kumar. Publisher: Atlantic, New Delhi. Price: 394/- Buy online

3.     Popular Master Guide: UGC NET/SLET – English Literature – H.S.Bhatia. Published by R. Gupta’s: Ramesh Pub house, New Delhi. Price: 390/-. 011-23261567/23275224.

4.     Cosmos Bookhives’s UGC NET/SLET – Paper II – English Literature – Dr. B K Sawlashwa. Price: 400 Rs.; 0124-4001086/1087/88.

5.     Trueman’s Specific Series UGC NET/SLET – English Literature – B P. Panigrahi. Pub by Dainik Pub Company. Price 475 Rs. 011-23278083, 011-30122482

6.     Upkar’s UGC – English Lit. – paper II – B B Jain. Price 80 Rs., 0562-4031570/2530966

Publisher: Jawahar Publishers & Distributors Rs. 327/-

8.     Objective type questions on literature in English for UGC NET  (Paperback) by Bhim S. Dahiya. Rs. 250. Publisher: CEE BEE Publisher (2011) Purchase online

(Bookmark this blog/Note - more links to come... :)

Friday 8 November 2013

Resources for Research in ELT - English Language Teaching

The embedded Facebook Note does not display immediately. It takes some time and required faster internet connection. So, the content of the Note is copy - pasted here:

Resources for Research in ELT - English Language Teaching

Dear Friends,
These days, the teachers & research scholars are more interested in Research in ELT. Here is the list of some important resources for those who are interested in English Language Teaching & Research.
I found these videos quite interesting. The entire workshop by Prof Simon Borg is in four parts. You will find all four parts embedded here under: Doing Good Quality ELT Research - Prof Simon Borg (3rd ELT Malta Conference ReSIG Supported Pre-conference Event)

I request readers to contribute thier best resouces for ELT by posting comments under this Note.
Cautionary: This is 'not' the best and the final list of 'Top 10' ELT resources.

ELT Journal is a quarterly publication for all those involved in the field of teaching English as a second or foreign language. The Journal links the everyday concerns of practitioners with insights gained from related academic disciplines such as applied linguistics, education, psychology, and sociology.

The Asian EFL Journal is published monthly and presents information, theories, research, methods and materials related to language acquisition and language learning. An academic Second Language Acquisition Research Journal.The Asian EFL Journal is one of the world's leading refereed and indexed journals for second language research.

The TeachingEnglish website
TeachingEnglish is produced by the British Council with content and editorial support from the British Broadcasting Corporation. Both organisations receive funding from the UK government for their work in promoting English, supporting English language teaching (ELT) and providing information and access to ELT products, services and expertise from the UK. All teaching material on the site is free to access.

This resource aims:
  • to promote quality online English courses that offer personal tuition 
  • to provide an organised database of links to quality learning resources for students 
  • to provide a database of links to quality web resources for teachers and researchers 
  • to provide a database for consultancy services in academic English online

    A very good resource with links of ELT related journals.

    If you are an English student or a teacher, this site can help you develop your skills and experience through English courses, teacher training courses, exams, online courses, information resources and networks.

    Published every three months,Horizons is the free journal of David’s English Teaching World. Available to download in PDF format, Horizons is a true reflection of what’s happening in the world of English teaching today.

    A blog worth following for those who are interested in technology and ELT.

    Visit this site to get updates on latest books published by Cambridge University Press in India.

    Generally related to ELT and language learning, but also to the wider world of education as well.
    Curated by Richard Whiteside

  • Research Articles:

  1. Research Engagement in English Language Teaching. Simon Borg
Despite the substantial amount of work which has been conducted into teachers’ research engagement in mainstream education, this topic has been awarded scant attention in the field of English language teaching. This paper presents the results of a survey representing the first stage of multi-method investigation of research engagement in ELT. Moderate levels of reading and doing research were reported by the sample studied here, and this level of research engagement is analysed in relation to two key factors also examined in the survey: teacher’s conceptions of research and their perceptions of the institutional research culture.

Ph.D. Research Writing - 'ONLY' in English Language: UGC, New Delhi, India

How to teach poetry? : An Enigma!

(One of th M.Phil students Alpesh Parmar posted message on FB asking to share something on 'how to teach poetry?'... this note is written extempore for him... which may be helpful to others as well... I request all the readers of this note to contribute something by sharing your experince of teaching poetry by commenting on this note)

Dear Friends,
Teaching poetry is not everyone's cup of tea. There is no fun in the world as great as teaching it to those who love it... there is nothing as boring as teaching poetry to those who hate it. It is so because (to quote Yuri Lotman) - ‘A poem is both a system of rules, and a system of their violation’.

Reading/Teaching poetry is not as easy as one thinks. It necessisates undertanding of culture (in/for which it is written), history (historiography of metaphors, semantics etc) and above all linguistic competency.
Here is the list of books and websites which may help teachers and students in reading/teaching poetry:
  • Books:
  1. Terry Eagleton: How to read a poem? Blackwell Publisher (2006). TERRY EAGLETON’S book seeks to teach its readers how to read poems through a combination of literary history, theoretical discussion, and leading by example. The book develops a simple and unshowy working definition of poetry (‘a certain memorable or inventive use of language, and a moral insight into human existence’), but at the same time suggests a correspondence between the best poetry and a kind of productive contradiction … (read Jonathan Baines's  full article on
  2. I.A. Richards: Pratical Criticism (1920) From his practical experiments into 'reading poems' at Cambidge University, I A Richards drew 'a list of principle difficulties that may be encountered by any reader in the presence of any poem. This analysis was in part intended to develop educational method to teach poetry in the classroom. (read Robert Shaffer's full article on
  3. Elaine Showalter: Teaching Literature Blackwell Publisher (2003). Drawing on 40 years of international teaching experience, as well as the real life experiences of friends and colleagues in the field,Showalter offers original and provocative reflections on teaching literature in higher education, and addresses practical, theoretical, and methodological issues.
  • Websites:
Whenever students come with such questions which can't be answered, the easy way is to give him 'list' of books - whcih are unattainable... there are at least two benefits of doing this - (i) As teachers, we can create a favourable impression - of knowing names of so many books and we speak on those books with such an air of authority - as if we have written it or 'read' it - (ii) it helps in establishing superiority over student's lack of knowledge. But the best of all is - students will never dare to come agian to ask for anything.
I believe, if teacher 'really' want to 'share' with students, he should give books instead of lists - or atleast photocopies of important pages. I find easy way in sharing weblinks. Click and go...

Well, these weblinks are not as goos as the books listed above but it will serve the purpose of two-minute-maggie to hungry child - just as maggie does not give nutritions but helps in satisfying hunger - similarly, these weblinks are not 'nutritious' but it surely will cater the needs of hungry mind - i would be glad if it makes you more hungry to read the books.
  4. (read chapter 4 on Teaching Poetry from Elaine Shawalter's book 'Teaching Literature')

Literary Theory and Criticism in the Digital Age

A Pride of Asiatic Lions (Gir Lions) and a Gir Cow with her Calf

Research Ideas in English Language Teaching

Monday 23 September 2013

Worksheet: Film Screening - Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party

Worksheet: Film Screening 

Film Screening: ‘The Birthday Party - a British drama film (1968)- directed by 
William Friedkin (The Birthday Party) -  based on an unpublished screenplay by 2005 Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter, which he adapted from his own play The Birthday Party (Pinter, The Birthday Party).

Online Quiz on 'The Birthday Party'

Pre-Viewing Tasks:

  • ·         Harold Pinter – the man and his works (Pinter, The Birthday Party)
  • ·         Comedy of Menace: Whose plays are known so? Who termed it? What are its peculiar characteristics? How is it different from Absurd Theatre?
  • ·         Explain ‘Pinteresque’ – Pinter pause and use of ‘Silence’ in the play: a particular atmosphere and environment in drama.
  • ·         ‘The Birthday Party’ – an allegory of ‘artist in exile and other interpretations
  • ·         ‘The Birthday Party’ as a Political Play with reference to Harold Pinter’s Noble Speech: ‘Art, Truth & Politics[1]’. (Pinter, Art, Truth & Politics: Excerpts from the 2005 Nobel Lecture)

While – Viewing Tasks:

  • ·         Harriet Deer and Irving Deer’s article[2] on Pinter's "The Birthday Party": The Film and the Play. (Deer and Deer)
  • ·         A comparison of the film and play versions of ‘The Birthday Party’ affords us a rare opportunity to gain insight into how a reconception of a play into film may affect the dramatic experience it communicates. Mark the way Pinter treats the texture of the play.
  • ·         Observe how Pinter gives us the texture-the sounds and sights of a world without structure, which is the heart and soul of the play also.
  • ·         How many times the ‘knocking at the door’ happens in the play? Is it creating menacing effect while viewing the movie?
  • ·         How are ‘silences’ and ‘pauses’ used in the movie to give effect of lurking danger – how it helps in building the texture of comedy of menace.
  • ·         Comment upon the use of things like mirror, toy drum, newspapers, breakfast, chairs, window-hatch etc in the movie. What sort of symbolic reading can you give to these objects?
  • ·         How effective are scenes like ‘Interrogation scene’ (Act 1), ‘Birthday Party scene’ (Act 2) and ‘Faltering Goldberg & Petey’s timid resistance scene’ (Act 3) captured in the movie?
  • Post-Viewing Tasks:
  • ·         Why are two scenes of Lulu omitted from the movie?
  • ·         Is movie successful in giving us the effect of menace? Where you able to feel it while reading the text?
  • ·         Do you feel the effect of lurking danger while viewing the movie? Where you able to feel the same while reading the text
  • What do you read in 'newspaper' in the movie? Petey is reading newspaper to Meg, it torn into pieces by McCain, pieces are hidden by Petey in last scene.
  • Camera is positioned over the head of McCain when he is playing Blind Man's Buff and is positioned at the top with a view of room like a cage (trap) when Stanley is playing it. What interpretations can you give to these positioning of camera? 
  • "Pinter restored theater to its basic elements: an enclosed space and unpredictable dialogue, where people are at the mercy of one another and pretense crumbles." (Pinter, Art, Truth & Politics: Excerpts from the 2005 Nobel Lecture). Does this happen in the movie?
  • ·         How does viewing movie help in better understanding of the play ‘The Birthday Party’ with its typical characteristics (like painteresque, pause, silence, menace, lurking danger)?
  • ·         With which of the following observations you agree:

o   “It probably wasn't possible to make a satisfactory film of "The Birthday Party."
o    “It's impossible to imagine a better film of Pinter's play than this sensitive, disturbing version directed by William Friedkin”[3]. (Ebert)

  • ·        If you were director or screenplay writer, what sort of difference would you make in the making of movie?
  • ·         Who would be your choice of actors to play the role of characters?
  •      Do you see any similarities among Kafka's Joseph K. (in 'The Trial'), Orwell's Winston Smith (in 'Nineteen Eighty-Four') and Pinter's Victor (in 'One for the Road')?  

The famous interrogation scene from the movie 'The Birthday Party':

The film version of the play can be viewed here:

Want to listen amazing video-speech by Harold Pinter on the occasion of his being awarded Nobel Prize in 2005? 



Ebert, Roger. Movie Review: The Birthday Party. Ed. Roger Ebert. 23 Sept. 2013 <>.
Pinter, Harold. "Art, Truth & Politics: Excerpts from the 2005 Nobel Lecture." World Literature Today May-Jun 2006: 21-27.
—. The Birthday Party. New Delhi: Faber And Faber (penguin India), 1960, 1991.
The Birthday Party. By Harold Pinter. Dir. William Friedkin. Perf. Robert Shaw, et al. Prods. Max Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky. Continental Motion Pictures Corporation, 1968.
The film can be viewed online here:

[1] Art Truth &Politics: Excerpts from the 2005 Nobel Lecture Author(s): Harold Pinter. Source: World Literature Today, Vol. 80, No. 3 (May - Jun., 2006), pp. 21-27Published by: Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma. Stable URL:
[2] Pinter's "The Birthday Party": The Film and the Play. Author(s): Harriet Deer and Irving Deer. Source: South Atlantic Bulletin, Vol. 45, No. 2 (May, 1980), pp. 26-30Published by: South Atlantic Modern Language Association. Stable URL:

Sunday 1 September 2013

Story Writing Skill: English Language Writing Styles

This was the writing task given to the students to work in a group. They were asked to develop a story from the given image. It was famous Panchtantra fable - The Lion and the Rat. The story written was to be submitted in 'Comments' section below the blog post.
You will find three comments below the blog and all three have different writing style. It ranges from simplistic writing in matter-of-fact style to highly literary style of giving an effect of emotions to environment. I hope you will enjoy reading the difference in three styles of writing.

Visit this 'Blog 4 Teaching & Learning: Story Writing' to give your comments.
The content of this blog with comments are copy-pasted here:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Story Writing

Develop below given points into a story:
Write your story in the 'comments box'. To write in the 'coment box', clik on 'comments' at the end of this blog. Wait for the new page to open. Write in the given space and publish your comment. Use your google account for log in and identification. Publish one post named as 'Feedback on Story Writing'. Teacher's comments on your story will be published in the 'comments' of your blog.

Lion sleeping beneath a tree - rat came to play - climbed over the body of the lion - unknown to dangers, rat started playing with whiskers of the lion - lion wake up - angrily roared - rat trembled - lion ready to savour the rat - the rat begged to be pardoned - promised to help him in the hours of need - arrogance of lion smugged at rat - left alive - lion trapped by hunter in the net - roared for help - rat came with fellow friends - lion saved - friends forever.
The moral of the story is:
1. Friend in need in friend indeed.
2. Never trust mousy friends.
3. One never knows how one can be helpful to others.


  1. Once a lion was sleeping beneath a tree suddenly a rat came to play there. It climbed over the body of the lion. It was
    unknown to the dangers and it started playing with whiskers of the lion. Soon the lion woke up and roared angrily. The rat
    started trembling. The lion was ready to svour the rat. The rat begged the lion to pardon and promised to help him in the
    hours of need. At that time, the arogant lion smugged at the rat and left it alive. After some days the lion was trapped
    by hunter in the net. The lion began to roar for help. soon the rat came with fellow friends and saved the life of lion.
    And then they were friends forever.

    The moral of the story is:

    - One never knows how one can be helpful to others.
  2. Once upon a time,in a thick and dreadful forest,a lion was sleeping beneath the tree.Suddenly, a cheerful rat came to play for a while.
    There he saw a lion.Unknown to the dangers of lion,he climbed over the body of the lion and started playing with his whiskers.
    suddenly,the lion woke up and roared in anger.The rat was trembling in fear.Watching a trembling rat,the lion pitied him.The rat was ashamed
    for his deed and begged to be pardoned.He also promissed the lion that he will help him in his critacal times.
    The lion,in a mood of disgust smugged at rat ang left him alive.Then one day a group of hunters trapped the lion in a net.
    A poor lion roared for help.As soon as the rat came to know about the trapping of lion,he came with a few friends and cut the
    net.In this way he saved the lion.After that incident,they remained friends forever.

    1.A friend in need is a friend indeed.
    2.Never underestimate anyone in your life because you never know how one can be helpful to others.
    3.friendship is like water,no shape,no place,no
    taste.But it is still essential for living.
  3. The arrogant Lion was sleeping beneath a barren tree and his arrogance,too,was,adding even bitter barrenness to the nature by making it dismal and gloomy.In such atmospheare small,innocent infant Rat came in a jovial mood.Being in jovial mood infant started playing with the lion by climbing over the body of the lion without knowing the danger in it.In his pleasing mood the rat continued to play with whiskers of the lion.On such pleasing atmospheare where tree forgot to blossom,wind forgot to blow,they got their charm and sense of being a part of nature.But before such happened the lion woke up and roared angrily.Everything became barren as it was before.The rat got trembled.In his fury the lion was ready to savour the rat.The rat,innocent and small creature succumbed and begged to be pardoned.This small creature assured him to help in the hours of need in the best possible way he 'CAN'.
    But,how can a small creature help 'A KING'?.The king smugged the rat and gave him a chance to live.
    The flow of time never remains the same.After few days The king was trapped by hunters in the net.It was so called pity of him.He craved and roared for help.The rat,being a being of blood and flesh,without thinking anything came with fellow friends and anyhow managed to save the King by cutting the stings of tne net.Only afterwards the lion understood the value of friendship and became the friends forever.