Students of class VI-VIII in select government schools will be beneficiaries
Though students studying in Tamil-medium schools study English, many often find it difficult to have a conversation or even write a letter in the language. In an attempt to help these students bridge the divide, a worksheet will soon be introduced as a reinforcement exercise to help students improve their communicative English, according to a Sarva Siksha Abhiyan official. This will be in addition to the existing activities prescribed in the Samacheer Kalvi textbooks
Students of classes VI, VII and VIII in the targeted government schools across the State will be the beneficiaries, the official added. The worksheet would cover speaking, listening, reading and writing skills through simple exercises and will be prepared based on the English lessons in the textbook, with each chapter having an exercise sheet.
“We want students to overcome their inhibitions and be able to converse in English. For instance, we have underlined sentences and words in the lessons which students can use in day-to-day conversation. Though the emphasis would be on spoken English, we are formulating exercises where students will be encouraged to use these expressions and write letters and essays,” said the official. An exercise on journal writing, for instance, would along with a topic, also carry pointers about what students can include in the essay and how it can be structured. “The students would have witnessed several festivals in and around their neighbourhoods and villages. But when asked to describe what happened in English, they are unable to do so. So we will give them suggestions such as, ‘What did you wear’, ‘When did it happen’, to include in the write-up,” the official added.
The State SSA is in the process of preparing the worksheets in co-ordination with the District Institute of Education and Training and resource persons and it is expected to reach select schools in another fifteen days on an experimental basis. “A worksheet is being prepared for one chapter per class initially, and after gathering feedback from the schools, further steps would be taken accordingly,” the official said. Assessment for these exercises would be done separately and competitions would be held based on them. “Since we are integrating it with the school syllabus, it will not burden the teacher either,” said the official.
The initiative targets around 6,750 schools with special emphasis on SC, ST, minorities and girls. “The nitty-gritty about the implementation and assessment are yet to be finalised, since it is in its preliminary stages. A lot depends on the kind of feedback we get from the districts,” the official added. The effectiveness, however, largely depends on how the teachers will be able to facilitate it, how the assessment would be done and to what extent students themselves are able engage in the exercise.