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Designed transitional courses to fill home-school language gap lead to better language development of rural students, suggests research study
"Educators and pedagogues had been advocating the initial education in mother tongues if it happens to be a standard or organising transitional course to switch over to the school language if the script is the same. My intervention research on 10-hour transitional course with rural Rajasthan girls has converted advocacy into action and got significantly positive results. The transitional course with padding strategy and designed learning tasks in the form of worksheets made it possible since the local dialect and Hindi has the Devnagari script," said Jaipur based researcher Dr Lalit Kishore whose paper has been accepted for a conference to be held in Punjab in the last week of April.

The abstract of the paper, "Revitalizing Language Education of Rural Girls of Rajasthan in Small Habitations through Designed Learning Tasks Respecting Their Home Language" for the intervention carried out in Pehchanshala of CULP-NGO in rural Rajasthan, has been accepted for the conference at Lovely Professional University in Phagwara of Punjab on 28-29 April.

According to the abstract, the research was undertaken to begin language learning by non-starter and dropout girls of small habitations of rural Rajasthan by fixing transitional vocabulary building of 15 words through dialect based rhyming and padding strategy for Hindi synonyms. Use of recitation, flashcards and worksheets was done for 10 hour course spread over 15 days. The challenge was to fill the school and home language gap, i.e., between Dundari and Hindi.

Thereafter, the textbook was introduced and the experimental group of 25 students in the age group of 9 to 11 years with vertical grouping of Pehchanshalas reacted positively. The comments of the teacher who was trained to use the intervention and learning material were the culture-linked relevance, learning satisfaction, respect for linguistic diversity and integration with the textbook with sound foundation.

The outcomes of the intervention was perceived enhance competence and improvement of classroom practice; the presence of learning material for systematisation of classroom process of whole group learning followed by small group learning and individual practice, and teacher acquiring the role of learner-teacher, informs the abstract.

"The implications of the research study are for the teacher educators and curriculum planners to train teachers to develop short transitional courses for cultural linkage of initial language learning and fill the gap between the home and school languages before introducing the textbook written tn the standard language", said the researcher as concluding remark.

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