Updated: Nov 13
Real Problem Faced by School Leader
What are effective strategies to inculcate and enhance the critical skill of spoken communication (in English) among the upper primary and Secondary/Senior- Secondary level school children?
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Suggested Solutions to Real Problems Faced by School Leaders
Screening cartoons and animated films in English.
Letting students speak, read and recite in English while recording the audio of the same for reflective learning.
Neelam Mehta Bali
An audio recording of the lines spoken by children give confidence and develop their spoken English skills. Teachers compelling children to speak in English and constantly monitoring them can help their soft skill blossom.
Teachers should be a role model for students to follow.If students are using native language, the teacher’s response should be in English, this will help students to gradually adapt to the environment.
Use "MAP" (Motivate/Activate /Participate)
Encourage free Discussion
Focus on fluency, not accuracy, tolerate grammar mistakes and correct them later
Anchoring classroom activities
English corners for spending time (interval /lunch break etc)
Provide /teach and expand daily life conversation vocabulary
Use magical words to encourage the students
The main concerns that schools need to introspect are that students are afraid of making grammar mistakes and they lack knowledge of appropriate words for expressing their ideas.
If the teachers speak in English, no matter what, the change in the school environment will become self-evident. If students feel they can get away with their native tongue, they will not push themselves to learn a new language.
The school needs to create a warm environment of encouragement. Communication while delivering a corrective measure to the student needs to be deliberated. Sometimes, the intention to help can make things worse. The communication should convey the consideration of students’ effort while providing the right answer. Students should feel comfortable while making the mistakes, this can reveal the grey area in their learning process.
When students are having fluency practice (for instance, free conversation), which is totally different from pronunciation or grammar practice, never correct them, unless something really serious happens. Letting them talk will make them feel that they can communicate despite their mistakes. Praising them and showing satisfaction for openly speaking can boost their learning process.
The problems behind the incompetence of English speaking environments are:
Across India, most students study in English-medium schools where Hindi is taught.as the compulsory second language and they also grab the native language which their family and society around them use.Due to this, a child gets confused with words and sentence formation. It's hard to pursue three different languages at the same time.
The inability of a teacher to speak proper English.
The crucial age for learning a language, i.e. 1.5-3 years of a child’s life, is spent at home.
These are some solutions:
We regularly remind the parents not to use local or incoherent language.
We made a mandatory rule for the staff to choose a language of their choice, either Hindi or English. They were also warned that if they use a single word of the other language they will be fined. 90% of our teacher opted for the English and after 15 days all shifted to English except 3 teachers.
For the 3rd problem, the Government should allow schools to open crèche.
I recommend before introducing subjects like Computer, EVS, SST we should make students English Language skills strong with only three subjects Hindi, Maths and English. We can always add knowledge of Science, Computer and GK in English workbooks.After students acquire mastery over the language, we can add these subjects separately in the curriculum.
About the Author
Dr. Atul Nischal is the Founder of the International Council for School Leadership (ICSL) and serves as the Program Director of ReSET, the 3 week online certificate program for educators.
ICSL is a not-for-profit organization on a mission to inspire, empower, and enable school leaders and educators. You can support us by becoming a member, participating in our programs (Friday@5, ReSET), and spreading the word amongst all educators in your network. Your support is very critical for our mission.