Language learning is a central goal of education serving both humanistic and instrumental purposes. It is not just an end in itself, but also means to most other learning in schools. The four courses in Language Education are designed to enable students to understand perspectives and pedagogical approaches that would support language learning in Indian classrooms. The courses share a few common concerns: developing a deep sensitivity to the varied cultural and linguistic contexts in which children develop, learn and use languages; preserving multilinguality; expanding the vision of language education from the purely functional to a more humanistic perspective (that includes literature); and keeping meaning- making and critical thinking at the heart of all language teaching and learning efforts. There are many languages in the Indian context; the courses deliberately focus on principles that would guide the design of language education in any language, rather than on specific content which might vary across languages. The courses focus largely on the elementary stage of education, although generalisable principles and implications for both pre-primary and secondary stages will be discussed.
The first course, Introduction to Language and Literature Education builds perspectives on theoretical issues that frame language education in multilingual India. The course covers a broad span of ideas, including, the nature of language, language in society (power, identity, etc), multilinguality and multilingual education. Students will also be introduced to the complex and varied linguistic, policy and curricular context(s) framing language, literacy and literature teaching and learning in India. The second course, Curriculum and Pedagogy in Language Education will enable students to become informed and skilled language educators. It will develop an understanding of the aims of language education and the curricular practices surrounding it. It will introduce students to theoretically informed pedagogical frameworks and practices that are supportive of robust language education, as well as assessment strategies. The course will focus simultaneously on the early years, as well as the progression in language education up to the end of elementary schooling. The third course, Literature
in Schools will help students to re-imagine the role of literature in elementary classrooms, and its interrelationship with language education. Students will be exposed to multiple systematic theoretical
perspectives about literature, as well as pedagogical approaches for bringing children into a meaningful
lifelong relationship with literature. The final course, Curricular Materials Development in Language and Literature Education develops students’ understanding of educationally grounded perspectives on developing, using and evaluating curricular materials in language education, and gives them a hands-on experience of evaluating/preparing resource materials for the teaching and learning of language and literature at the elementary school level.