The School Weekly - 18th May 2015

Summer is at its peak. It is difficult to go out in the scorching sun. During the week the sky was covered with clouds. Days have become hotter with highest temperature recorded at 45°C and lowest temperature at 29°C. Humidity is at 21%. Wind is blowing at 14km/hr.
Mr. Mithilesh Patro’s Point of View
(ED: Editor, MP: Mithilesh Patro)
ED: What was the picture in your mind of the teachers you were going to train before you visited The Fabindia School?
MP: I had a vague picture as to what to expect because I had done a similar intensive course in Jalore. The teachers there were mostly from a Malayam  background whose pronunciation was typical from the area they were from. Therefore, I had a brief picture, as to what to expect in Bali as Ms. Deepika Tandon had already mentioned that I will have teachers from a traditional Rajasthani background for whom English was not considered something as important as compared to Maths and Science. That was the picture that I had in my mind when I came to Bali and to an extent it was quite correct.

ED: When you reached here and taught the teachers and conversed with them, you find it?
MP: I found the teachers as I had expected. Probably it was not important to them that they should be conversant with English. When I was introduced to the teachers I impressed upon them that though they were not fluent they should be comfortable with English and should be able to communicate in English as they are teachers.

Once they started their course they slowly got it into their heads, that yes, English is an important language not the cost of other languages, but in relation to the work that they are doing as educators, as teachers; because they have to have Confidence which gives them the Authority to command and impart knowledge and the Versatility to obtain information from any source . I am glad they have imbibed this and are putting it into practice so I definitely see a change. They are improving by leaps and bounds. Usha came up centre stage gave a presentation; she is a person who usually finger reads. But yet she came and spoke without any notes or aids and was concise and quite clear. I felt humbled by her effort.

ED: After five days of your workshop with the teachers what are the changes that you see?
MP: The teachers are speaking up now and they have no hesitation in taking center stage and presenting their views. They may not be quite grammatically correct, but they are trying hard. I am glad to say that the concept of using big words for the sake of using them has been done away with. They have got this concept of using simple English and correct English.

ED:  One thing I would like to ask you that are Rules of Grammar important to learn and what are your views about it?
MP: Rules are necessary, they are a form of guidelines. We have to have rule books. Unfortunately in India the teaching of English Grammar has become a different subject in itself. Grammar is taught for the sake of rules and four or five examples are given to buttress those rules. There is no course where English conversation and a lesson of listening where you see and hear words being formed from a person’s mouth is taught. We feel that if we have learnt Grammar we have learnt English. That’s quite misleading, we are good exponents of grammar rules, but absolutely atrocious "pronouncers" of the English word.

ED: What do you say about Circle time?
MP:  Circle Time is very necessary. It is a time when it draws the people out of their shells. A lot of teachers who speak in front of their students   go into their shells when public interaction is involved. Circle time is when they come out of their shells breaking their barriers of tradition and difference of cultures and gender, etc. You have to have circle time as it brings them close. Holding hands brings one close. You can’t be a teacher if you can’t influence or get close to other people.

ED: On your observation give us a feedback.
MP: I have seen teachers trying hard. Usha is someone to whom I raise my hats off to. A 50 plus craft teacher, a finger reader trying hard to read with a finger and to keep up with the speed of the other teachers, today gave a speech without the help of any aids. I was a bit worried when I saw Byju, a person of substantial authority, but I see him accepting instructions willingly. Ajay and Raj have also shown a change in them. I was able to convince Raj that as Science is a precise subject and the terminology is in English and so it is important she should learn English.

I have tried to change the mentality of the teachers   to use simple words and simple sentences. It is not imperative that they look into a Thesaurus or Synonyms and use bombastic words. I have emphasized that the use of simple words and sentences leads to correct English.

Thank You Sir for all what we have gained from and hope to gain more in the coming days from your teaching.

Bharti Rao
Summer Training
The teachers’ summer training started on 11th May’15 after the School closed for Summer Vacation. The training started with ‘English Proficiency classes’. This training is to improve pronunciation, converse correctly and speak unhesitatingly. The workshop started with Circle Time and Mr. Mithilesh Patro’s introduction, who will be our mentor during the year.

On the first day he gave three keywords CONFIDENCE, VERSATILITY and AUTHORITY. He mentioned the importance of English Language. Why should we use it. The class was divided into five groups with a group leader. Teachers were asked to jot down their expectations from the workshop. In the five days workshop a lot of phonetic drill took place, to help teachers articulate correctly and clearly. One can see some changes in teachers already. Their diction is clearer. Most of the Hindi Language teachers have also started conversing in English by using simple words and sentences. Teachers are enjoying the workshop as it has been made more musical by singing songs. Singing songs is not only helps in pronouncing words but it is also helps to learn English easily. It has also taught teachers how they can make their class more interesting and musical.


  • Mr. Byju Joseph: I am learning how to modify speech habits. I learn meanings of few words every day and correct pronunciation of some words.
  • Ajay Vijaywargi: I am learning to to correct pronunciation of many words and sang a song in public after years.
  • Krishen Gopal Dave: I learned the meaning of some new words and learning to pronunciation by songs.
  • Surendra Singh: I am learning to that we should use simple words to converse. I am learning to vowel sounds.
  • Dinesh Bharti: I am learning to use simple sentences for daily conversation. I am learning to to the correct pronunciation of words. It is very good and helpful for me.
  • Gajendra Mewara: I am learning that conversation must be done by using simple and small sentences. I used tongue twisters to learn to speak fluently.
  • Anuradha Rajpurohit: I am learning to use some new words and pronunciation. I am learning to use Simple Present Tense and tried to make simple sentences by using it.
  • Raj Ranawat: I am learning phonic sounds; how to make sentence and how to talk in simple way.
  • Dilip Singh Inda: I am learning to speak in grammatically correct English . I am learning to speak fluently.
  • Urmila Rathore: I am learning phonetic sounds and correct pronunciation. English songs and enjoying!
  • Prena Rathore: I am learning some new words and pronunciation. English songs.
  • Suresh Negi: I am learning vowels sounds. Uses of is, am, are, was and were.
  • Imran Tak: I am enjoying how use a single word with different parts of speech. I am learning how to  use simple sentences while speaking.
  • Usman Gani: I am learning to make sentences with simple word. I am learning to use some phonetic sounds and words and English songs.
  • Tarun Mishra: in last week I have learnt that when you speak in English language our mouth should open fully; for better teaching we should use simple words in simple ways.
  • Kavita Devda: I am learning to frame questions in past, present and future tense. I am learning to speak clearly and enjoying the English songs.
  • Kusum Sharma: I am learning to make simple conversation simple through small talks and how to break the spellings through sounds. In IT class I learnt few basic steps like making new file/folders, copy, past and editing text.
  • Ayesha Tak: I am learning to use vowels in phonetic sounds. I grow up my confidence level. In IT class I am learning to work on Google drive. I am learning to sing some English songs every day.
  • Kusum Dangi: I am learning to sing some English songs and enjoy singing . I learnt vowels sounds and phonetic sounds.
  • Amit Bhatnagar: I learnt some English songs and tongue twisters, I learnt “small talk”. I learnt parts of speech. I learnt use of tenses. I learnt phonetic sound words.
  • Usha Pawar: I am learning to use some new words and phonetics sounds. My confidence level has grown.
  • Rakhee Bhatnagar: I am learning to use vowel and phonetic sounds; how to use tenses, making conversation with anybody and some lovely English songs.
  • Sharmila Vijaywargi: I am learning to use tenses, pronunciation of different words, phonetic drills and most importantly that I have confidence building in me.
  • Rajeshwari Rathore: I am learning to use vowel sounds, phonetic sounds and Simple Present Tense. My confidence level has grown.
  • Punita Chouhan: I am learning to use some vowel sounds, Simple Present Tense; group conversation with sentences. I like to sing English songs in groups. Tongue twisters are a good tool to improve my spoken English words. Thanks for helping.
  • Kanik Goyal: I was able to improve my Grammar and learn some English songs.
  • Priyanka Mahatma: I am learning to use some English songs and parts of speech.
  • Monika Vaishnav: I am learning to correct my pronunciation. I am learning some lovely English songs.
  • Babulal Deora: I am learning correct pronunciation. I am learning English songs.
  • Bharti Rao: Through this English Proficiency Training and phonetic drill I am able to polish myself and this learning will help me to make my classroom teaching more efficient. Tongue-twisters and English songs helped me to recollect my schooldays. Thanks a lot for all the learning provided to us.

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