Unit 5: Teaching of Regional Language

5.1.  Role and importance of teaching regional language in daily life.

5.2.  Approaches and techniques of teaching regional Language based on the prescribed curriculum of elementary classes.

5.3.  Study skills and reference skills

5.4.  Language games in teaching language especially with vocabulary and grammar, appropriate use of TLM and technology

5.5.  Facilitating learning regional Language for children with ASD, SLD and ID







5.1         Role and importance of teaching regional language in daily life


Recently, the Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) emphasised that early initiation of learning a mother tongue is important for a child’s creative thinking.

Regional language is a term used to refer to a language that is spoken by a sizeable number of people but is not the de facto language of communication in the rest of the country. 

·      A language is considered regional when it is mostly spoken by people who reside largely in one particular area of a state or country.

·      Article 343(1) of the Indian Constitution states that the official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagiri Script.

Need for Regional Language

Remove Dilemma:

§  To remove the dilemma regarding giving preference to English language rather than any vernacular language and let the child think naturally in their own mother tongue.

Colonial Mindset:

§  There was a need to change our attitudes, so that when someone asked a question in a class in a regional language, they should not feel inferior.


§  Subject-Specific Improvement: Several studies in India and other Asian countries suggest a positive impact on learning outcomes for students using a regional medium rather than the English medium.

§  Performance in science and math, in particular, has been found to be better among students studying in their native language compared to English.

§  Higher Rates of Participation: Studying in the native language results in higher attendance, motivation and increased confidence for speaking up among students and improved parental involvement and support in studies due to familiarity with the mother tongue.

§  Poor grasp of English has been tied by many educationists to dropout rates at the premier engineering education institutions as well as poor performance of some students.

§  Additional Benefits for the Less-Advantaged: This is especially relevant for students who are first-generation learners (the first one in their entire generation to go to school and receive an education) or the ones coming from rural areas, who may feel intimidated by unfamiliar concepts in an alien language.


Regional Language be Promoted in Education

Either regional languages would be adopted by educational institutions as a medium of instruction, or they would be used as a learning tool for English-medium students who might not be fluent in the language.

§  Technology: In the future, real-time translations in classrooms would be possible thanks to artificial intelligence-based technology.

§  National Education Policy: The National Education Policy 2022 places a strong emphasis on strengthening the mother tongue, which should be used as a language up to at least the fifth or eighth grade.

§  Additionally, it exhorts academic institutions to create study materials in local languages.


Education is something that has the unique juxtaposition of having an industrial scale in structure, while at the same time being highly personal by nature. This causes cognitive dissonance among learners, especially in students who might not be comfortable with the medium of education being English. Regional language can fill this gap with the teacher explaining the subject in the language so that the student can understand the basic concept behind the subject and reproduce it in the exam in their own words.



5.2         Approaches and techniques of teaching regional Language based on the prescribed curriculum of elementary classes.



In a scenario where the entire world is rapidly globalizing, what significance does regional language have? Shouldn’t we be focusing on teaching students and making them fluent in global languages like English and Spanish? This is quite a compelling question, but the answer to it requires careful pragmatic analysis of the spread and reach of those languages in the inner workings of a country and how much effort needs to be put into retraining the majority of the working population in that language - which not only requires an additional blog but a lot of linguistic and cultural research put into studying this subject, which is not the subject of this blog.

This is presented not as a counterargument to the claim mentioned above, but rather as an alternative approach to its opposite paradigm - what’s the advantage of learning regional languages?

§  Helps People Connect With The Language’s Culture

§  Easier Communication for Education

§  Knowing an Extra Language


While most of us are familiar with the language teaching methods used in education, there is a huge variety of language learning methods available and some of them are better suited to certain learners than others.

The Direct Method

In this method, the teaching is done entirely in the language being learned. The learner is not allowed to use his or her original language. Grammar rules are avoided and there is an emphasis on good pronunciation. 


In this method, learning is largely by translation to and from the target language. Grammar rules are to be memorized and long lists of vocabulary learned by heart. There is little or no emphasis placed on developing oral ability. This method is most commonly used in secondary education.


The theory behind this method is that learning a language means acquiring habits. There is much practice of dialogues in every situation. New language is first heard and extensively drilled before being seen in its written form. 

The Structural Approach

This method sees language as a complex of grammatical rules which are to be learned one at a time in a set order. So for example the verb “to be” is introduced and practiced before the present continuous tense which uses “to be” as an auxiliary. This method of learning is common in language learning apps.

Total Physical Response (TPR)

TPR works by having the learner respond to simple commands such as “Stand up”, “Close your book”, “Go to the window and open it.” The method stresses the importance of aural comprehension and the importance of kinesthetic learning. 

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)

The focus of this method is to enable the learner to communicate effectively and appropriately in the various situations she would be likely to find herself in. The content of CLT courses are functions such as inviting, suggesting, complaining, or notions such as the expression of time, quantity, location. Much like The Structural Approach, this method is commonly used in language learning apps.

Task-based language learning

The focus of the teaching is on the completion of a task which in itself is interesting to the learners. Learners use the language they already have to complete the task and there is little correction of errors. The aim here is to highlight the importance of learning the language by making it vital to task completion.

The Natural Approach

This approach, propounded by Professor S. Krashen, stresses the similarities between learning the first and second languages. There is no correction of mistakes. Learning takes place by the students being exposed to language that is comprehensible or made comprehensible to them.


As you can see, regional languages have, are, and always will play an important role in the socio-economic and political situation of a nation as well as the educational advancement of a country’s society. It can really bring together people of a community and help them connect with each other better.

This is not an attempt at glorifying a particular regional language or playing down the importance of national languages but is rather a reminder to connect with one’s roots and understand the cultural relevance and historical significance of something that is simply considered one’s mother tongue - there is a lot more power to knowledge than meets the eye.



5.3         Study skills and reference skills



Note-taking, shortening and transfer the information involving graphic and pictorial material, charts, tables, maps, etc., the library practice is locating the sources of information; make into summaries, etc., these are the ‘survival-kits’ or the ‘tool-kits’ that are necessary for successful and informed living in the competitive world of today.


While referring dictionaries, ‘words’ books and encyclopaedia are important. Dictionaries are the most instructive tool for the learners’ nowadays dictionaries are giving guidance for not only the pronunciation, spelling and meanings but also examples of usage with illustration, difference in the British and American spelling, collocations, exceptions and a whole information are necessary to learn English. Learners must have been taught how to use such dictionaries.

In very simple terms, 'study skills' may be defined as skills which help learners to study more efficiently. When we teach study skills to our learners, we achieve two purposes: (a) Directly- We help the student to increase higher knowledge of the subject matter. b) Indirectly -We improve higher ability to learn other subjects independently and at will. In other words, we enable him/her to 'learn to learn'.

We must be careful to distinguish linguistic skills from study skills. Linguistic skills help learners to 'communicate'; study skills, on the other hand, enable the learners to 'study'; and the process of study involves four operations: perception, comprehension, retention and retrieval. In other words, the student should first perceive what is relevant to higher needs, and select only those areas which are important. S/he cannot study everything available in every book s/he can lay hands on. Once s/he has decided on areas significant to him/her, s/he has to read and understand - or comprehend - the material that d he has selected, for no learning can take place without comprehension. What is not understood is not learnt. Comprehension thus constitutes an important stage in the process of learning. However, mere comprehension does not guarantee mastery of the subject; for human memory is so transient, that, what is understood, may easily be forgotten, hence the learner has to make special efforts to retain what she has learnt. Different students adopt different means towards retention. Very weak students blindly memorize the whole lesson; brighter learners, however, try to remember the basic principles in the form of short notes, which could be paraphrased later. The last stage in the learning process involves the retrieval of what has been learnt. When required, for example, in the examination hall, the learner should be able to retrieve all that she has learnt throughout the year. We shall look at each of these sub-skills of study in greater detail.

The process of meaningful study undergoes mainly four operations/processes:

1.     Perception (perceive what is relevant or significant)

2.     Comprehension (understanding in the short term memory)

3.     Retention (the comprehended material enters long term memory)

4.     Retrieval (getting into use whenever needed)

            In other words the learner should first perceive what is relevant to his/her needs and select only those areas which are important. Next he/she has to read or comprehend the material. Comprehension constitutes an important stage in the process of learning.  Whatever the learner understood may be easily being forgotten hence the learner has to make special efforts to retain what he/she has learnt. As the part of that learners adopt different means towards retention. Very weak students blindly memorize the whole lesson, and brighter learners try to keep short notes which could be paraphrased later.  Retrieval involves retrieving the stock of information and knowledge whatever learnt at the time of need.

            There are three types of study skills corresponding to the four operations in the process of study. They are:

1.     Gathering skills (Perception, Comprehension)

2.     Storing skills (Retention)

3.     Retrieval skills (Retrieval)


Gathering skills

            These are also known as reference skills and enable a learner to gather information as quickly as possible. This requires two sub-skills: locating and comprehending information. Information is to be gathered quickly for which the learner has to locate what is needed and then comprehend. Knowledge of what to refer to or the sources available is a pre-requisite. The learner should know how to make use of a dictionary, library catalog or how to get information from a computer etc. once he locates the source by glancing through the ‘contents’ or index he can skim through them and perhaps scan only those sections which are useful for his study. The gathering skills may be summed up as follows:

            Locating information - through reference to dictionaries, library catalogues, tables of content, index etc.

            Comprehending information - through mastering the sub-skills of reading, like skimming, scanning etc.

Storage skills

            What is comprehended is to be stored for ready use. All that we listen to or read will not be stored automatically. It needs an effort from the part of the learner. The relevant information which will have to be used later can be stored on a permanent basis in the brief form. While listening to a lecture talk etc. the listener can involve in ‘note-taking’ and while or after reading, the reader can do ‘note-making’. Later he will have to refer to these notes alone and needn’t go over the original source again.  

Thus storing skills have two major categories: Note-taking and Note- making.

Note-making and Note-taking

            The process/sub-skills involves-

a)     Comprehension of content material (text, lecture)

b)     Identification of main points

c)     Distinguishing main points

d)    Deciding order of priority of points

e)     Identifying the organization of points

f)      Organizing the points into notes (visual display)


            Note-taking involves taking down notes while listening to the teacher, radio or such other sources. It is a very important skill to be developed because this will help a learner at higher levels.

For concentration, one should plan the time, set the goal in mind, create conducive atmosphere and have the right attitude to listening piece. For developing note-taking skill one should need:

§  Attend the class faithfully

§  Make use of abbreviation

§  Be on the lookout for signals of importance

§  Write examples

§  Write connections between ideas

§  Review notes after the class

§  Get down record of each class


            It is a technique to store information for ready retrieval and use. Note-making means making notes while or after reading. The speed, meaningfulness etc of the note is highly individualistic. As the first step, the reader has to comprehend the text, identify the main points, distinguish main points from minor ones, and organize the points.

Retrieval skills

            The skill will be reflected when the student summarizes what he has stored or reports what he has comprehended and stored. Here the student will have to analyze, judge and present the material with clarity, brevity etc.  The length of a summary may vary depending on the purpose for which it is intended. A summary must be coherent, logical piece of discourse in the form of a continuous paragraph. It must be comprehensive and should include the relevant points.


5.4         Language games in teaching language especially with vocabulary and grammar, appropriate use of TLM and technology



Learning a language requires a great deal of effort. Games help students to make and sustain the effort of learning. Games provide language practice in the various skills – speaking, writing, listening and reading. They create a meaningful context for language use. Here I am going to describe a few games to teach and practice vocabulary.

Psychological Aspects Displayed by Language Games

· Learner-centric approach

· Learning by doing

· Learning at one‟s own pace

· Involvement of more than one sense

· All domains of knowledge – cognitive, affective, psycho-motor

· Acceptance of diversified thinking

· Immediate feedback – reinforcement

· Importance of individual participation

· Extended concentration and retention

· Habit formation


As Jacobs states, “Traditionally, games have been used in the language class as warmups at the beginning of class, fill-ins when there is extra time near the end of class, or as an occasional bit of spice stirred into the curriculum to add variety.”

Games give meaningful practice of language. Therefore, they can be exploited as the follow-up activities of the presented teaching material for practicing and reinforcing the required skills or knowledge. They can also be used for revising and recycling the already acquired skills or knowledge.

Qualities / Features of Language Games

Games chosen for the students must be –

· Relevant to the topic as well as for the students

· Having genuine pedagogical value

· Having appropriate difficulty level

· Neither too complicated nor too simple for them

· Interesting and entertaining

· Challenging and rewarding

· Limited to specific time duration

Criteria for Choosing Language Games

Games can be framed or chosen or modified keeping in mind the following points:

· The number of students

· Proficiency level or previous knowledge of the students

· Cultural context or background

· Time allocation

· Learning topic or material

· Classroom settings

Classification of Language Games

It is difficult to classify games into watertight compartments as the categories greatly overlap. Two ways of classifying language games are offered by Hadfield. According to her first classification, the language games are of two types: linguistic games focusing on accuracy and communicative games focusing on successful exchange of information and ideas. The former gives importance to correct language usage and the latter, to communicative goal.


Benefits of Using Games in the Language Learning

Games are used as a technique or method to engage learners in learning a new language with fun and easy. Well selected and premeditated games are helpful as they provide learners a break and simultaneously allow them to practice language skills. The benefits of games from the perceptive feature of learning to more co-operative group dynamics and as a result games are very motivating at the same time challenging.

These are some advantage of using games in teaching and learning:

1. More Motivation

Playing games in the classroom increase motivation, students become more motivated to learn, pay attention and take participate in the task. Games enable students to become a part of the team and take responsibility for their own learning. They can also be used as a classroom management tool to motivate a class. 

2. Spirit of Competitiveness

Games inspire the student to be more competitive in the classroom. Games are a great way to control the competitiveness of peers. With the spirit of competitiveness, it has been easy to learn a new language. Students talk to each other during their language learning activities.

3. Improve Memory

Learning with a range of language learning specific games can improve your memory. While playing a game, students need to remember important information about a specific topic and also use their working memory to think and act swiftly.

4. Class Cooperation

With learning, games are also increasing cooperation in the classroom. Students’ play language learning games with whole class or teacher or small groups, it teaches them to listen to others, build respect and play fairly. Games are used as a team-building exercise by teachers.

Some Games for Language Learners

For memorizing vocabulary words and mastering your grammar, here is a list of some best language learning games:

1. Language by Lyrics

Memorizing words and phrases in your target language is easier with the help of rhyme and rhythm. With this fun app, you can select songs in the language of your choice, see the translated lyrics and learn to sing along.

2. Star Languages

For more advanced and comprehensive practice, this app allows you to choose from a variety of learning games like crosswords, spelling tests, and hangman. In this game, you can apply your knowledge of vocabulary, spelling, sentence structure and more.

3. Vocabulary Games

There are a huge number of vocabulary games available on the internet. These vocabulary games are a great way to enhance your memory skills. You can choose from a large variety of games comprising Unscramble, Letter Blocks, and Slang Game. You can learn a new language from anywhere at a laptop, a mobile or a tablet.

4. Lingo Arcade

This app is perfect for those learners who like visual learning. It will help you to identify words and sentence structure with more than 3000 visual aids.

5. Scrabble

It is a fantastic way to practice your spelling and vocabulary skills. You can join a friend in this fun learning game. Different lettered tiles are placed on a board to form new words. The app is available in different languages and keeps you motivated while you learn.

6. Drops

With this application, you get an opportunity to test your knowledge of vocabulary by matching words and swiping as you learn. As you increase your speed and accuracy, you will find more new and advanced words.

7. Guessing Games

These games can support language learners practice making yes or no type questions. The students can work or in groups. The teacher provides one student a character, the other students can ask 20 yes/no questions to figure out who the person is.

8. Search Games

These games give the opportunity to practice providing and seeking information in the target language. During these types of games, each student has a chart and with a set of categories. For example, musician, an athlete, vegetarian, multilingual etc. They need to walk around and ask questions until they have a name under each category.

In short, games are proven to be a useful tool in teaching and learning language. Games motivate learners and create a friendly atmosphere, the objective of games is to develop all language skills. As a result, games can inspire, promote interaction of learners, improve their acquisition and increase their achievement. Games are based on specific time limit and have a clear relevance to the material and thus the enjoyment of the learners is increased ultimately through their active involvement with the language. Games are entertaining, lower anxiety levels, educational and give reasons to use the target language to learners.

V. Lukianenko rightly comments, “Games can be a very worthwhile teaching element. A successful game is successful because of the reason that it is based on specific time allocation, it has clear relevance to the material, there is appropriateness to all members of the class, and ultimately, the enjoyment of the learners is increased through their active engagement with the language.”


Assistive technology (AT) is available to help individuals with many types of disabilities — from cognitive problems to physical impairment. This article will focus specifically on AT for individuals with learning disabilities (LD).

The use of technology to enhance learning is an effective approach for many children. Additionally, students with LD often experience greater success when they are allowed to use their abilities (strengths) to work around their disabilities (challenges). AT tools combine the best of both of these practices.



5.5         Facilitating learning regional Language for children with ASD, SLD and ID


In post-colonial India, more children than ever before are accessing an education facilitated by the Indian government’s Education forAll program launched in 2001 and the 2009 Right to Education Act. Recognizing English as the language of opportunity and social mobility, parents are increasingly choosing to send their children to English-medium private schools rather than government schools where the medium of instruction is in the regional or national language, even though they may speak a regional language at home.

As per the new National Education Policy (NEP), the medium of instruction until at least class 5, but preferably till class 8 and beyond, will be the home language, mother tongue, local language and regional language.

Facilitating learning regional Language for children with ASD

Language deficits represent the core diagnostic characteristics of autism, and some of these individuals never develop functional speech. The language deficits in autism may be due to structural and functional abnormalities in certain language regions (e.g., frontal and temporal), or due to altered connectivity between these brain regions. In particular, a number of anatomical pathways that connect auditory and motor brain regions (e.g., the arcuate fasciculus, the uncinate fasciculus and the extreme capsule) may be altered in individuals with autism. These pathways may also provide targets for experimental treatments to facilitate communication skills in autism.

Autistic children sometimes communicate differently from typically developing children. They might:

Use of language
Autistic children might:

When autistic children use language in these ways, they might be trying to communicate. But it can be hard for other people to understand what children are trying to say.

For example, children with echolalia might learn to talk by repeating phrases they associate with situations or emotional states, learning the meanings of these phrases by finding out how they work. A child might say ‘Do you want a lolly?’ when they actually want one themselves. This is because when they’ve heard that question before, they’ve got a lolly.

Over time, many autistic children can build on these beginnings and learn to use language in more typical ways.

Nonverbal communication
Autistic children might:

Applied Verbal Behavior or VB is the latest style of ABA(Applied Behavior Analysis). It uses B. F. Skinner’s 1957 analysis of Verbal Behavior to teach and reinforce speech, along with other skills. Skinner described categories of speech, or verbal behavior:

A VB program will focus on getting a child to realize that language will get him what he wants, when he wants it. Requesting is often one of the first verbal skills taught; children are taught to use language to communicate, rather than just to label items. Learning how to make requests also should improve behavior. Some parents say VB is a more natural form of ABA.


Facilitating learning regional Language for children with SLD

Learning disability is a general term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual, presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction, and may occur across the life span. However in India, there is lack of standardized tests in regional languages to assess linguistic proficiency, language disorders and specific learning disorders.

Recent bilingual and bi-literacy research has shown the presence of a common neural circuitry in individuals speaking and reading two languages. With this background a bi-literate child when assessed for dyslexia should be done in both L1 and L2 languages to gain critical information and for a comprehensive evaluation. The screening and assessment tests currently available are primarily curriculum-based tools and in few regional languages. The National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) has developed a screening and assessment test DALI to identify reading issues among school children in English, Hindi, Kannada and Marathi languages. The Dyslexia Assessment in Indian Languages (DALI) contains:

1. Screening tools for school teachers: a. Junior Screening Tool (JST) b. Middle Screening Tool (MST) 2. Assessment tests for psychologists and speech-language pathologists: a. Indian Language Assessment Battery (i-LAB)


Facilitating learning regional Language for children with ID

It is necessary for children to develop skills for language expression so that they can easily master the curriculum, but also in order to communicate with the environment, to express their attitudes and needs. Children with intellectual disability (ID) are characterized by many changes in developmental abilities, one of those changes is the different language development.

The majority of individuals with ID are able to develop functional communication skills, though they will often exhibit delays in reaching the milestones of communication development and have some specific difficulties within the different components of language.


§  Individuals with ID will typically utilize simpler syntax & organization of language


§  Concrete vocabulary is an area of relative strength

§  Abstract concepts and figurative language are areas of relative difficulty


§  Pragmatic skills, such as judging an appropriate level of familiarity in a given situation, are also an area of relative difficulty


With the proper support, most individuals with ID will learn how to read and write and will make progress in their literacy skills throughout elementary and secondary school. Thus, it is important to understand the characteristics of their literacy development.


§  Orthographic processing, or the ability to recognize the correct and incorrect use of writing conventions, which includes word spellings

§  Rapid automatized naming, or the ability to automatically label items on a page such as numbers, letters, objects, and colors


§  Foundations of literacy, particularly phonological awareness and letter knowledge

§  This has a domino-like effect on other areas of literacy development, such as

§  vocabulary

§  word decoding

§  word recognition

§  automaticity

§  reading comprehension

§  writing skills

§  Because individuals with ID struggle with phonological awareness, this hampers the ability to decode unknown words. This then impacts their ability to read with automaticity, and if they are unable to read with automaticity, it is difficult for them to have a high level of reading comprehension.


Bilingual Considerations for Children with Intellectual Disabilities

§  Learning an additional language does not impede the overall language development of a child with ID!

§  Bilingual children may exhibit delays in expressive language; this does not mean that they will not reach the same level of expressive language in time

§  As with other bilingual children, the bilingualism of a child with ID should be viewed as a strength

§  Because of the importance of communicating with one’s family and caregivers, the development of the child’s home language should be prioritized whenever possible