When it comes to describing a classroom, there may be a variation among the teachers. Some contend that any number more than twenty is big and for a few, the number can be as much as 120, in a country like India, with its streaming millions. The teacher, handling an Engineering Class finds the classroom bristling on all sides and in some rare instances, he may not find a place for himself, with the students occupying every inch of the classroom., with attention being diverted frequently from the main academic activity. The class which is being held, hence, becomes unmanageable. The strength of the class is big and in consequence, new strategies are necessitated, to make the class useful to the maximum extent.
The teachers of an Engineering College have the greater task of communicating with students who are older. The students are very much dissimilar and their family backgrounds vary greatly. Some of the students come from places with a rural backdrop and their acquaintance with the English language is very low. They desire to communicate in English, but, they face problems of a psychological nature. Their English, when used, amounts to smattering. Their halting English makes them a shying lot and they may withdraw more and more into their respective shells.
There are also students, admitted from a genuine English medium background. They have an ability to comprehend material, explained in English and they can offer written responses in English, with much more comfort.
To sum up in a nutshell, all students have the necessity of improving their levels of oral communication. They pursue a professional qualification and their endeavors end in a span of four years. Their soft skills should show a pronounced improvement and they should establish their eligibility for a job, which in the present standards is, lucrative.
Communication skills become an inevitable portion of the class room activity and the teacher, naturally, plays the fulcrum role. He is the main motivator and in case, he is lethargic, his lack of interest becomes infectious. Most students admitted are already shy and a passive instructor may become a liability and the students may obtain their qualification without adding to their inherent employability skills. Interaction among students and with the teacher is basically needed in the class for communication skills. But, the desired target is not reached, many a time, because of the normal size of a classroom in an Engineering College. There are more and more oral drills and Presentation Activities and the discomfiture of the teacher is very much evident in a class which goes out of proportions. There is no one-to-one relationship between the teacher and the student.
It is natural that the teacher will alter his strategies, in a large class room. The Repetition Exercises done in the classroom can be devised more adroitly, with the teacher playing the supervisory and assertive role. There are exercises in Presentation, but, they may also be just like rehearsing individually, bereft of discussions in live.
Those who are at the helm of affairs at an Engineering College may have to think of compensatory measures for imparting soft skills which are otherwise hindered, because of the largeness of the classes. Plans should be drawn for more and more extra-curricular activities. Debating clubs should become a part of the daily activities .By arranging various kinds of Presentation Activities, language can be given a play. The bigness of the class room need not prevent the Professor from activating the communication skills of the Professional students. Soft skills should be an important component of the student activities. Ways and means can always be derived to maintain the mental agility of the student.
About Author / Additional Info:
The Author works as the Chief Academic Adviser at Khammam Institute of Technology and Sciences,Ponnekal,Khammam(R)