An array of low cost teaching aids

R Krupa Bhargavi & Rajesh Kumar Swain

“Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises”, remarked Demosthenes. Indeed the Teaching Aids exhibition is one such event that seems to grow in leaps and bounds every year.

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The year 2007 was truly a red red letter day in the history of teacher training, for a challenge was thrown open by Prof. Jayasree Mohanraj (English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad) to the fourth batch of B.Ed (English) participants. They were asked to prepare teaching aids that were not only simple and easy to make but also explored the different ways of teaching a topic.

Teaching becomes successful and effective when it is associated not just with textbooks or lectures but with auditory or visual supplements. These supplements, called teaching aids are in sense a must for a complete teacher. Such complements further make the teaching and learning process more effective.

What started of as a low key event drew so much admiration as well as feedback that the audience was keen to visit the event the following year as well. The responses from the audience also culminated into two first time milestones. Firstly, the entire event was captured on a video and a DVD was compiled to that effect. It showcased the diverse ways of creating and using the teaching aids for developing integrated skills. Secondly, for the first time a teaching aids book was put together titled “Pedagogic Treasure Trove”. This book is one of a kind and is handy for a teacher. It not only provides information on the various aids that can be used for teaching a particular topic but also on the materials used how to prepare as well as how to use it in the class. This book is a must and is a priced collection for all teachers.

Devices like a computer or an overhead projector are still out of the reach of teachers teaching English in schools located in the remote parts of this sub continent. However, a teacher can refer to this book and prepare a volley of low cost teaching aids. With the said objectives and ideas in mind a two day exhibition was organised by the B.Ed (English) participants this year on 19th and 20th March 2009. A total of 155 exhibits were displayed for two days. There was an array of teaching aids that ranged from models (based on lessons in various textbooks) to word games, puzzles to puppet shows, flash cards and cue cards to the use of language activator. It also focussed on skills development-be it LSRW or even study skills. There were plenty of aids that addressed the needs of the teachers to teach grammar as well. The list is so pluralistic that it seems that hardly anything was left by.

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Around 2000 visitors attended the event and eagerly listened to all the explanation and notes shared by the “authors” (B.Ed participants). The extreme contentedness that one could perceive as the visitors left the place was testimony to its undoubted success.

The authors are B.Ed students at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.