Worskhops that help you learn to speak English can make you more confident.

A boisterous game of carrom, played with great enthusiasm in Prajna, FIT Home, was suddenly disrupted as two young women entered the open area of the home. There are 30 girls at the Home, all orphans. These two kids who live at the Home are also a part of the Home, Prajna Group of Institutions in Marnamikatta.

Welcoming them

The girls, aged between eight and 16, hastily put away the carom board and packed up the coins. They crowded around the two young women, greeting them, “Greeshma akka, Ranjini akka! Olage banni (come inside)!”

The young women had come to the home to teach the girls how to speak English.

They are a part of “Make a Difference (MAD)”, a Kochi-based NGO that is present in 12 cities. Greeshma Rai, Ranjini and Kavya said that they taught the girls English using workbooks from the Cambridge University Press. Speaking English and passing the required exams, which are recognised by BPOs, can help them in get a job in the future, said Greeshma Rai, President, “MAD”.

Thinking ahead

Kavya Shetty, Operations Head, MAD, said the English classes begin with starter workshops and then go through various levels till level four. “Some of the girls are quick and talented. They complete the workbook before we explain to them what has to be done. Some are very slow and need more attention,” she said.

Bibiyana, a teenager, said she likes talking in English and likes meeting the “akkas”. Bhawani, also a teenager, smiled and said she can now reply in English to those who speak to her. “I can also discuss in English,” she said.

They all said that they could understand English because the ladies who ran the home spoke to them in English.

To perk up the class, Ranjini, English Project Head, “MAD”, who is a medical student, once brought a stethoscope and told them to listen to their heartbeat. She says that it takes “very little” to inspire the students to speak in English. For instance, once they knew she was studying medicine, the girls asked her many questions about the medical field. She told them that she would reply only if they asked her in English. They certainly made an attempt and they asked me, “What is malaria?” and “akka”, you operation see?”

Though “MAD” volunteers have just started the course for the students at Prajna Home, they have been teaching English in two other homes in Mangalore.

Keywords: spoke English