R. S. Sharma points out the drawbacks of EST in India and suggests the changes for improvisation of EST Teaching in India. This research article offers a scope to study the pitfalls and the limitations of EST in India.
Teaching of est in indian conditions by r s sharma
Teaching of EST in Indian Conditions
By R. S. Sharma (Banaras Hindu University)
Paper: ELT1 Unit: 1 Teaching of English in India
Smt. S. B. Gardi Department of English,
Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University
EST (English for Science and Technology)
• Teaching of EST in India suffers from certain
drawbacks: courses and methods are unrelated
to the specific needs of the students; teaching
materials are not based on an analysis of the
scientific sub-register; and the teachers are ill-
equipped. The needs analysis of students
admitted to B.Sc. Or B.Tech. points two major
abilities required: reading and comprehension of
technical texts and writing of technical English.
Spoken English is at low priority.
• Technical English is characterized by technical
vocabulary, foreign plurals, complex noun
phrase, simple present, passive construction
and conditional clause; it employs impersonal
style and relies on economy and conciseness.
Paragraphs are constructed around topics by
means of elaboration, explanation and
description and exemplification; they are
linked by using rope, hook and wedge links.
• The learner’s profile and the features of technical
English taken together will enable us to outline
clearly the materials and methods. The material
must be a genuine piece of technical English and
not adaptation and popular science writing. The
teacher ought to be able to secure learner’s
motivation by presenting the material in a
challenging manner and by arousing the learner’s
intellectual curiosity. This approach involves a
new kind of orientation of the teacher.
• EST has a direct bearing on India’s modernization
• EST learners’ Communicative Competence in
English is not achieved to a considerable extent.
• Learner’s chief concern will be academic for
three or four years, hence the basic needs are to
acquire knowledge from text-books and scientific
• There’s a scarcity of resources in mother tongue
and regional languages.
• In the college or university too, apart from the
formal lecture, oral communication is carried
on in a mixed language compounded of
English and Hindi structures with technical
terminology drawn from English.
• English as a subject (compulsory in many
institutions) is taught in the first year.
• An EST learner requires two major abilities:
1. Reading and comprehension of technical texts
written in English
2. Writing of technical English
• Structure of Technical English and Teaching
Materials should be in a systematized in
manner. Technical writing is essential.
• Technical English (T.E.) is based on technical
• Technical language follows the principles of
economy and conciseness; it therefore avoids
peripherals and rhetorical expression, lying
emphasis on directness rather than figurative
communication, Semantically, the language is
referential and denotative without any
emotive overtones. i.e. Mathematics, Physics,
• A word is needed about material for practice,
exercise, and testing. This will also naturally
be based on the corpus. There are four kinds
of books on T.E. What they may be called the
first generation books are those which did
little more than putting old products into new
• Careful analysis of Indian learner is essential.
• Teachers of EST must have good command over
English and some acquaintance of science is also
required or should be from Science background.
• T.E. is a situational variety of English. In order to
handle it properly in the class, a teacher requires
some knowledge of register and style. Therefore,
expertise in applied linguistics is the third
requirement. Contrastive linguistics and error-
analysis, both of which form part of applied
linguistics, will offer a great deal of advantage to
the EST teacher.
• They will help him in turning the focus on the
salient features and areas where error is
mostly likely. It is well-known that the
knowledge of the mother-tongue interferes
with the learning of a foreign or second
language. This applies to EST also and in this
regard the Indian situation is quite complex
because of a number of regional languages. L1
interface errors, errors made by English-
• The teacher of EST who can plan his work properly and
shrewdly, make the right kind of remarks and ask the
right kind of questions – never attempting to deliver a
“lecture” will pick up a good deal of science in the
course of teaching. The students don’t mind that he
does not know everything of science; they don’t mind
even his occasional blunders and eagerly volunteer
information, turning the classroom situations into a
cooperative activity marked by lively give-and-take.
This is however cannot be used as an excuse for not
acquiring the basic concepts and ideas of science.