The success of Roshni project can be attributed to a great extent to the discourse oriented pedagogy (DOP) enabled by code switching, which it adopts for instruction.
DOP assumes that language exists not as discreet sounds, words, and sentences but as connected speech (or discourses) and that the only way to acquire language is to produce that discourse. DOP coupled with code switching is supposed to help learners’ proficiency in any language.
Code switching is the phenomenon of a speaker alternating between two or more languages during the course of a single conversation. A multi-lingual facilitator switches between the mother tongue of the learners and the medium of instruction (in this case, Malayalam) thus scientifically addressing the learners’ linguistic barrier.
This inclusive model was developed by the school research team of Government High School, Binanipuram, led by the academic coordinator Jayasree Kulakkunnath in consultation with linguist K.N. Anandan.
Videos, songs, and pictures from the learner’s culture are being used as effective tools of communication. Then in the classrooms, teachers interact with students and get them to construct sentences of their own either in Malayalam or in their mother tongue.
The teacher then says it aloud and codes it into Malayalam, English or Hindi. Then the sentences are written on the board while uttering them syllabically while the student reads it graphically. This helps students develop a phonemic consciousness. “This graphical reading is crucial for making the connection between the sound and the orthographic representation of it,” according to a project proposal of Roshni.