1 English in your local area

Because of the presence of English in India, you and your students may come into contact with English every day, even though you may not be aware of it. When students see and hear English outside the classroom, they have to try and understand the meaning by themselves. By bringing students’ attention to English as it is used in the local area, you can help them to learn authentic English. This will increase their motivation to learn the language, as they will see the advantages of being able to use and understand English for their own purposes.

Activity 1: English in your local area

Over the next few weeks, carry around a small notebook. Make notes of the English that you see and hear in your community. Think about the words and phrases that you recognise and those that you don’t.

  • Are there certain words or phrases that you see or hear frequently? What are they?
  • Are there certain places where you are more likely to see or hear English? Where are these?
  • Why do you think that you see or hear more English being used in these places?

Figure 1 has some examples of everyday English that may give you some ideas.

Figure 1 A series of signs with English text.

You can ask your students to carry out this activity so that they become more aware of the role of English in their locality. Often English is used to make sure information is accessible to speakers of many languages, or to give something an international ‘feel’. You can also use the resources you find in your teaching. In the next case study, you will read about a teacher who uses an advertisement in his English lesson.

What you can learn in this unit

2 Using advertisements