How to Learn Remedial English (Aims, Necessity, Measures)

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How to Learn Remedial English

(Aims, Necessity, Measures)

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       Meaning of Remedial English-Educationists and language specialists believe that the teachers of English under training will need help not only in the methodology of teaching and lesson planning but also in the command of English language itself through the programmed of Remedial English.

       Remedial English means coverage of remedial work in English language. This coverage can be presented within the format of weekly or biweekly meetings throughout the year. Those pupil teachers who display an interest in teaching and a desire to improve their English should be given the opportunity and time to do so with the English lecturer before or after the college hours or during the tutorials.

       In the words of P.L. Billows, “Remedial “teaching is morale building and an interest building enterprise for the students”. This type of teaching provides strengthening of correct language habit after the incorrect habit has been broken. Remedial teaching is a continuous process and involves teaching, testing,_ retesting and reteaching.

Aim of remedial teaching

       The aim of remedial teaching in English is to concentrate on and to attempt to correct the most frequent mistakes made by Indian Students. These difficulties may vary according to the circumstances  under  which  the students might  have  learnt  the language and  also according to the mother tongue of the students. But there are quite a. large numbers of mistakes which are common to all Indian students. These common mistakes fall in specific areas. The areas need that extra coverage are spoken English, grammar and usage, spelling, listening, reading, comprehension and composition. Certain specific errors may also be collected by the teacher for remedial work in English.

       We are to consider measures of doing this job efficiently and seriously. This can be done by giving help in the above areas on a continuous basis according to the students needs. A long term plan may also be made available to the students.

Programmed for intensive practice in remedial English

       Aspects of English for remedial practice-It are very necessary to chalk out a programme for intensive practice for the purpose of remedial English in different aspects of English. We take up the following aspects of English for this purpose:

(A) Spoken English

       Remedial programmed in spoken English and pronunciation has to take into consideration the individual difficulties of students. Our schools admit children who come from different social backgrounds. It is important that a certain minimum of remedial programme in spoken English is taken up.

General aim of remedial programme in pronunciation

       (1) to teach a type of pronunciation which will be inter-· nationally intelligible.

       (2) to root out the mis-prommciation of English sounds which are due to the influence of mother tongue.

Specific aims

 (1) to help the students learn those vowels, consonants and consonant clusters which present special difficulties to Indian students.

(2) to help them use proper stress and intonation.

(3) help them use weak and strong forms correctly.

(4) to help them use contracted forms properly .

(A) Remedial programme in pronunciation

      Although, no rigid programme can be dictated for correct English pronunciation, ye t the following common basis can be suggested-

  1. Difficult sounds for Hindi/Punjabi speakers-According to E.M. Anthony, “Difficulties in learning to pronounce the sound of a second language are associated with the contrast between the sound system of native language and the language to be learnt”. Certain sounds which are likely to pose difficulty for Hindi/Punjabi learners are listed below:-

       In drilling these sounds, the teacher should acquaint the students with the anatomy and functioning of the parts of speech and with the E.P.D. scripts so that he can successfully instruct them how to use the mouth and _throat organs to pronounce each word correctly. The terms used below will be intelligible only after this acquaintance is established.

       2. Oral reading-Practice with oral reading and dialogues will be very helpful for improving pronunciation. This practice will surely lesson hesitation in speaking on the part of students. For proper coverage of the above points in pronunciation, the teacher should consult a standard dictionary in English pronunciation. He may also consult, Better English Pronunciation by JDO cornor.

(B) Spelling

       Spelling is an important aspect which needs special attention. Like pronunciation and speech, no rigid programme of remedial teaching of spelling can be fixed. The programme much depends on individual weakness of students and the types of spelling errors they commit.

    A broad outline of this programme may be suggested as follows-

  1. Locating bad spellers-It is important to locate bad spellers. Special care is to be given to them.
  1. Listing spelling errors -Lists of spelling errors should be prepared. The errors should be grouped according to a rational _plan. Proper measures should be taken to deal with spelling errors.
  2. Spelling tests -Certain tests of spelling should be organized Diagnostic tests of spelling developed by Fred. J. Schonell can be very useful in this context. The  teacher  may  construct  his  own  tests also.
  3. Other techniques-The teacher may use various techniques for remedial English through various drills, such as substitution drill, completion drill, conversion drill and repetition drill etc.

       Fred. J. Schonell has rightly remarked abou t it, “It is by combination of visual, auditory, articulator and grapho-motor impressions that the spelling of words is firmly fixed in memory.

Necessity of remedial English and remedial measures

       Remedial English has become a necessary. in English teaching today. This is especially true in the higher classes of a secondary school and the first year in a college.

Necessity of remedial English in English teaching today ,

       Remedial English stands for improvement in the standard of English. The students who learn English as a foreign language are considerably weak in it. This is especially true in the higher classes of a secondary school and the first year in a college. It is not uncommon to come across a number of students unable to write a simple sentence of English correctly. The same can be said when it comes to speaking English.

       The horrible and pitiable condition of students in speaking and writing English is because of a number of reasons, some of which are given below :-

  1. Lack of interest –The students are not interested in learning English.
  2. Carelessness of  learners-The learners of  English  are careless.
  3. Inefficient teachers of English-This is the root cause of poor English of Indian students. The teachers of English in India are not perfect, efficient and good at English.

Examples of incorrect English written by Indian learners

  1. Mistakes in sentences.

(i)    Why she was going there?

(ii)   I have been in this place since seven weeks.

  1. Mistakes of spellings.

(i)   Pleasure, pleaser, p1aisure

(ii)   Fashion, Faison, Faishon

(iii) Collage, Collage, College

Remedial measures

  1. Drills-The students should acquire knowledge of the basic sentence patterns. They should speak as well as write a number of sentences of each pattern. They should also study the verb patterns. They should have thorough knowledge of the tenses.

       The teacher may take-up one sentence pattern at a time and give simple repetition drill to the class. This should be followed by substitution, completion, conversion drills.

       The teacher should provide opportunities for oral and written practice.          ·

  1. Chart of incorrect and correct sentences-A chart of incorrect and correct sentences should be prepared. The students should consult it time and again to get rid of mistakes in English.
  2. Regular guidance, careful supervision and frequent tests­ -The teacher of English should guide the students regularly, supervise them carefully and test them frequently to see if they have made some improvement or not.
  3. Improvement of spellings -The learners of English should learn a few words for spellings daily. They may write spellings of some words daily in a note book.
  4. Listening to radio news and eminent scholars of English­- Indian learners of English should listen to the news broadcast by B.B.C. and eminent scholars of English in order to improve their pronunciation.
  5. Tape recorder-It can also help in improving pronunciation.
  6. Study of books-The following books are recommended for the students intending to improve their English-

(1) Forest, Ronald, I Revision English.

(2) Corder, S.Pitt. An Intermediate English Practice Book.

  1. Writing a few lines or sentences on common topics. The students should write a few lines or sentences on one topic daily and get the same corrected by some competent person. This habit should be inculcated right from the beginning. The level of difficulty of the topic will depend upon the standard of the class in which the learner is studying.             ·
  2. Substitution table-After writing one type of specimen sentence the students should be asked to substitute words in the sentence. After completing the table with the help of the students, the students should be given practice in reading and writing.

       Examples of substitution tables have been given earlier. The students should read them again thoroughly.

Countable and Uncountable nouns

       In the traditional grammar, there are four kinds of nouns-proper nouns, common nouns, which are in the category of countable nouns. Collective nouns and abstract nouns fall in the category of uncountable nouns.

       There are certain overlaps in the use of countable and uncountable nouns. Abstract nouns like remark is countable and warmth is uncountable.

        Likewise some nouns like anger, behavior, chaos, chess, dancing, harm, leisure, moonlight, parking, photography, poetry, resistance, serif, safety, shopping, sunshine, violence, weather, etc. are uncountable in English but  countable  in some  other  languages.

      Countable nouns -Some examples of countable nouns are book, box, goat, poem, river, scene, table.

They are found in singular and plural forms.

Uncountable  nouns-Some examples  of  uncountable  nouns are

  1. Nouns for materials such as glass, wood.
  2. Nouns for liquids such as milk, water.
  3. Abstract nouns such as beauty, joy, truth.

Generally, it  is not  possible  to  express  the  singular  of uncountable nouns.

       A suitable countable noun  (shown in italics) can be placed before an uncountable noun (printed in bold type) e.g.

(i) a piece of advice

(ii) a piece of chalks

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       Kothari Commission has made the following recommendations regarding the teaching of English.

       “Let English be made an optional subject. Those who are interested in it may take up its study in V class and continue onward and those who are not interest in its study may not be asked to study it compulsorily. In this way, one group of students will have elementary knowledge of English in the VIII class and those who are really interested in the language will start its study in the V Class. The study of no language is to be compulsory after Metric. Thus, only those students will come upon B.A. or M.A. level in English who are already interested in the subject and are capable of teaching this language to others.” But these recommendations do not hold ground in the changed scenario because the state government has started realizing the importance of English as a result of which English has now started being taught from class I onwards in most of the state government schools in India.

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