Language Learning Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Language Learning Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Introduction

As we all know language learning is a skill and it is acquired by regular practice. We learn a language for specific purposes like, to express our feelings, ideas, conveying messages, having conversations on various topics.

Apart from the above, in the teaching-learning process of a language, we as teachers should be aware of why we are teaching language to our students. We must know the clear objectives of language learning and its outcomes.

Here is a list of language learning objectives as mentioned in the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005.

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Language Learning Objectives and Learning Outcomes


To develop the competence of children to understand what they hear

Learners should be skilled at listening and understanding in a non-linear fashion by making connections and drawing inferences. Listening here means not just decoding of the spoken language, learners listening with comprehension. Listening to make meaning out of what one listens to. 

Teachers! Remember, all learning is meaning-making and negotiating with language. Using language for purposes. The conventional thinking that listening is a passive skill/competency is now contested because when we listen to another person or audio, we are active. Learners in school should develop, as a result of teaching-learning in the classroom the capabilities to listen with understanding.


To develop the ability to read with comprehension

Learners should be able to construct meaning by drawing inferences and relating the text with their previous knowledge. They must also develop the confidence of reading the text with a critical eye and posing questions while reading. 

Learners have their experiences in their contexts and they bring a world on their own. When the new knowledge i.e. ideas, texts (stories, songs, and others) is familiarised to learners they should be able to connect with their life experiences or their previous ideas. This enables them to acquire/learn the new knowledge, construct their knowledge. A classroom should provide such experiences so that they undertake such processes that support them learning a language as well as the content.


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To develop effortless expression

Learners should be able to employ their communicative skills in a variety of situations and they must be able to engage in a discussion in a logical, analytical, and creative manner. Language is a skill that learners acquire/attain over a period of time and by use. 

We all know that we can learn to swim by reading about swimming and about manuals on how to swim. We need to get into water to learn to swim because it is a skill that comes through using it or doing it. Language is learned by using it for purposes. 

We learn many skills/aspects by doing it. We call it ‘learning to do things by doing it.’ An interesting example is a way children learn video games or any other game. Learners need to use language for communicative purposes in order to attain basic proficiency in the language.


To develop the skill of coherent writing

Learners should develop the confidence to express their thoughts effortlessly and in an organized manner. They should be able to use writing for a variety of purposes and in a variety of situations ranging from informal to very formal. This is possible only if the learners’ writings are seen as a process and not as a product. 

Children tend to improve their own output when they are given sufficient freedom and time to edit what they have written. Language teachers are encouraged to look at errors as stages in the process of learning.  Please refer to the process approach to writing in the later section of this course.


To develop control over different registers

Learners need to develop the ability to understand and use language for different purposes and domains of knowledge and work. Register-based language viz. Language in science, social science, art, culture, travel, etc.  

We all know that when we read or write science experiments and concepts it is conveyed in a certain way. Science is proven truth with evidences and can be tested or proved in any situation with certain conditions. This requires a language (we could say plan and unambiguous language) to make clear to reader/users so that the scientific fact/truth/idea is conveyed without distraction or misinterpretation. 

You may refer to science textbooks and the experiments and note how the language is used to describe a phenomenon or an experiment.


To develop children's creativity

In a language classroom, a student should get ample space to develop her imagination and creativity. Classroom ethos and teacher-student relationship build confidence in the latter to use her creativity in text transactions and activities uninhibitedly.  

Language is also an instrument for our creative thought. Literature - stories, novels, poetry, drama, and philosophical texts provide and kindle the imagination and we develop into creative writers and thinkers. Language is an instrument in the creative endeavor of people. How can our language classroom promote this? Engage and expose learners to a variety of texts and narratives so that they notice and use them in their creative writing and other purposes.


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To develop sensitivity (gender, environment, etc.)

Language classrooms and texts used by teachers and learners have a lot of scopes to make students sensitive towards their surroundings, their neighbors, and their nation. 

Most human actions and thinking are conveyed through language, besides other means of communication viz. Gesture, symbols, etc. Language can be an instrument for discrimination of many forms and biased notions and actions. 

We know how language can be gendered to downplay or celebrate one particular sex say female or male or transgender and so on. The same way as a certain way of language use could be discriminatory against a particular community or ethnicity. Teachers and the classroom language sue should ensure that learners are made sensitive to such insensitive use of language.  

This could be done in classroom activities by enabling learners to indulge in negotiations and interrogate the biased and archetypical practices.



Credits: NCF, 2005

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