|Posted on February 11, 2010 at 1:59 PM|
(Step towards mass-learners' development)
It has been quoted for many years that majority of the students of Bangladesh are unwilling to learn English. Experts identify the cause behind this unwillingness –shyness, fear and unfavourable environment.Very few steps are taken to solve this problem. GOs and NGOs have started to train the teachers in English. They encouraged co-curricular activities – Debate, Quiz test etcetera. But these are especially for some focused groups not for the mass learners. The usual announcement for these kinds of activities is like – ‘Those who are interested tojoin in a debate competition submit your name to the concern office on or before….’
Ha! Those who are..!! So, what is about the mass learners!! Selucus! No concern yet is there. Seminars and symposiums are going on with the elites and focused ones ending with lip-smacking lunch and dinners. Published in medias and chatted over on these for hours keeping the mass in dark.
‘‘EnglishWeek’’ is a new initiative of Post-primary basic And Continuing Education (PACE) program of BRAC to ensure mass learners’involvement.The objectives of English Week are – to remove students’shyness inspeaking English, to enhance students’ skills in speaking andbasicwriting, to make students interested in English language basedculturalactivities not confronting with own culture, to promote a groupofStudents’ Trainers from the students, and to ease the burden oftheteachers to manage large classes and teaching. The week wascelebratedby the students of Kalkini Sayed Abul Hosain Academy,Kalkini,Madaripur, from January 16 to January 21, 2010 (Saturday toThursday).The celebration by the students was spontaneous.
The week was divided into two phases. The first halve of the week was for the students of classes IX and X; and the second halve of the week was for the students of classes VI, VII and VIII. In the first halve of the week the students were shared on four contents – about self,aboutfamily, about school and about the history of Language MovementandLiberation war of Bangladesh. The students of classes IX and X received one day TOT (Training of Trainer) in the last day of the first halve. In that TOT course, they learnt the basics of facilitation.They practiced on forming pairs and groups with the participants.They learnt the techniques of involving participants actively in a class. Students learnt the norms of elicitation and monitoring. At the end of the TOT 100 Students’ Trainers (20 core trainers and 80co-trainers) 20 ‘Performers’ (for a short play) were promoted from the students of classes IX and X. In the last halve of the week the Students’ Trainers conducted sessions with the students of classes VI,VII and VIII in 20groups (each group remains 16 -18 students). It is noted that, the number of students of the school is 499 – in classes 9-10 there are 142students (attendance - 139), and in classes 6-8 there are 357 students (attendance - 320).
Students showed their performance in all aspects. These rural students used the week speaking in English always. Even they showed their creativity making flip-boards with bamboo. The Students’ Trainers used these flip-boards for conducting sessions with their fellow learners of classes VI to VIII. They made 20 flip-boards for the very 20 groups.
On the last day of the week, the performers staged a short play – ‘‘EkushOEkattar’’ written in English by Musadderul Hoque based on the historyofLanguage Movement and Liberation War of Bangladesh. Doing two days rehearsal they staged this difficult one short play efficientlyinfront of the audience specially the students of classes 6-8. After the show the Students’ Trainers analyzed the history in English withtheirrespective groups. The history was adopted from ‘Banglapedia’ by Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, ‘Bangladesher Muktijuddher Itihash’by Dr. Mohammed Hannan, www.omorekush.com; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh_ liberation_war . The choruses are translated from Jagoroner Gaan.
It is remarkable that, without the cooperation of the Chair, the Headmaster and the teachers of that school the week would not be launched. If all the SMC chairs of Bangladesh would be like Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, all the Headmasters would be like Mr. Hemayet Hosen,allthe English teachers would be like Md. Hemayet Hossain and Mr.TarunKumar; we would get a different country. We the seven Teachers’ Trainers from brac – PACE were amazed watching thecooperative, collaborative and learning friendly environment of theschool.
The students are enthusiastic enough. Their English teacher Md. Hemayet and Mr. Tarun Kumar made them the follower of Learning Toolkits (4R &3I) – Readiness, Reflective, Resourcefuland Resilient; Imaginative,Intuition, and Intelligence. They are always ready to do anything fortheir learning. When their English Teachers asked them about the expenditure for the week, they stepped forward willingly and managed TK. 4500 within three days and school authority managed the rest of the expenditure. When we asked them you need blackcostume for the short play, they made and collected within two days. At the end of the week, when we asked the Students’ Trainers how they may continue their learning English, they spontaneously replied to arrange a review day in a month.
In fine, if this week would be celebrated by the entire primary, junior and secondary schools of Bangladesh, mass learners’ involvement and development might have been ensured. All the education institutes would sacrifice a working week for this ‘English Week’ to enhance learners’ skills in English language.Materials (Handout and Trainers’ Note) areprepared by English Team of brac – PACE. The concern people of education institutes may change the materials in demand of their learners or, they may collect them from brac.
Teachers’ Trainer, English Team, brac – PACE
Cell phone: 01741-206199
email: [email protected]