To be passionate about learning one must not limit oneself to the textbook or a syllabus. Sadly, very often we all fall prey to the above. To develop passion towards a language one has to be exposed to the richness of the language when young. At Sherwood as English teachers we are constantly scouting for techniques that will make learning fun. We believe if we are able to ignite a spark in our students to explore English as a language, we have assisted them to embark on a journey for life.
Following are a few activities that we conduct to achieve the above goal.
A book review: This activity is aimed at encouraging students to read books other than their textbook. Various forms of this activity are introduced to students as young as six years of age. It helps our students to comprehend, to articulate their thoughts and also helps them to develop visualization skills and creativity.
Introduction of an author or poet and his work to the students every month: This is an effort to put a face to the unknown to enable students to know that authors and poets are people like us. A simple anecdote from the life of an author or a poet often creates a ripple in a child’s mind to explore further about him and his work.
Audio Video learning: This technique has always been used extensively at Sherwood High to enhance students’ listening and comprehension skills.
Poetry recitation: Singing a poem is a very effective way to help students combine music and poetry. This technique assists students to understand the poem, its context and also creates an interest in Poetry.
Role play: Enacting extracts from chapters in Literature is always a fun filled activity. It provides students with an opportunity to get into a character, thereby enhancing their depth of understanding the lesson. As teachers it also provides us the opportunity to teach voice modulation.
Public speaking: In order to develop public speaking skills, we often conduct a ‘Pick and speak’ session where students are given a topic on the spot and are asked to speak on it in class. This activity helps students to become confident speakers and also overcome stage fright.
Tongue Twisters: It is a fun way that allows us to assist our students to pronounce words correctly.
A new word a day: We introduce a new word in class every day, explain the meaning of it and state a few examples of how it is used in sentences. We request students to use the word as many times during the day as possible.
The above is a mere glimpse of our constant quest to explore ways to assist our students to approach English as a language creatively. We believe textbooks provide a guideline and the application of the above techniques expands the horizon for learning. It is for this reason that both we teachers and our students look forward to school every single day.
– Ms.Pooja Shyam, HOD-ENGLISH
ENGLISH GRADES VI to IX
We know that children will access stories, poems and other texts only if their mind is completely engaged. Immersing the children in a range of creative activities before reading the text means to prepare them well for the exciting journey ahead. Through painting, music composition, a film project, in role drama or sculpture, the students learn and comprehend many concepts clearly and easily. They get a chance to not only share vocabulary, but also ideas and concepts that gives their reading and writing skills a much needed boost and adds fresh meaning and purpose to learning the language.
Children begin to understand grammar concepts, and start to apply them in their own writing, when they start to absorb the rules that are required. Punctuation rules and techniques are drawn from shared texts; texts which the children have already been immersed in and have a good understanding of. Exploring these, and embedding them creatively through quizzes, crosswords and riddles is how the learning takes place. Peer and self-assessment plays an important role in this as it raises the competitive spirit in the students.
– Ms.Vishaka, HOD-ENGLISH