Downtown

Lions Club empowers students with English training

Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam (IMAGE Used for representational purpose only)   | Photo Credit: B_JOTHI RAMALINGAM



“I like reading books on Cindrella,” says S. Swetha in halting English. She is answering a question about the books she enjoys reading. Anyone meeting Swetha for the first time would quietly conclude that the girl needs to work on her English.

For teachers working with Swetha though, that sentence signifies a triumph. Not long ago, this Class V student would hardy make an effort to speak in English, let alone try to read books.

Now, she reads English books aloud — and discusses what she has read, in English.

Swetha is one of the 70 students of Class V from Dr. B.M. Sundaravadanan Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Shenoy Nagar, who have been part of a weekly English language programme organised by members of Lions Club of Ennore – Thiruvottiyur.

This month, the Club will wind up this weekly English programme for the batch and will start a new programme for a fresh batch in the coming academic year.

As part of its literacy drive, the Club started this initiative in 2012 for mothers of class V students.

“It continued for more than a year where underprivileged housewives were taught the basics of reading and writing Tamil and English,” says Leela Raghavan, past president of the Club who started the initiative.

However, domestic constraints of these housewives slowly put stop to these weekly Sunday classes. The programme was taken to students of class V since January 2014.

Leela and five other members of the Club takes turns to teach spoken English, grammar and pronunciation to these children every Saturday.

Members and teachers say the programme was helpful as a majority of the children in the school are first generation learners and they wanted to augment the lesson taught in school.

“Even if it is Saturday, parents were happy to send their children to school,” said Jayalakshmi Krishnan, joint secretary and retired faculty of Meenakshi College for Women.

School headmistress V. Gowribai has requested the members to continue taking these classes till these students complete their Class X.

“We also want to motivate more mothers to come to the classroom,” says Gowribai. The Club wants to continue conducting such English programmes for more Class V students, and is looking for more volunteers to make this happen.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 6:08:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/Lions-Club-empowers-students-with-English-training/article14176275.ece

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