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Make English more accessible, more fun

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The science of fun, the wonders of the sea past and present, and the ‘right idea’ are some of the lessons taught to selected students at two schools here as part of a unique initiative aimed at provide a foundation of English language skills. The program aims to build the capacities of the children and enable them to take advantage of educational and employment opportunities in the future.

Twenty-five students from each of the two schools, belonging to disadvantaged families, were selected for the microschooling program of access to English managed by the Office of Education and Cultural Affairs of the American Embassy.

After being taught in online mode for more than a year, students in the 13-18 age group will soon join the after-school physics classes and intensive sessions.

The US Embassy’s regional English language manager, Ruth Goode, accompanied by specialist Rachna Sharma, visited schools here last week ahead of the launch of physical classes. Ms. Goode interacted with the students and obtained their feedback, while informing them of the possibility of studying in the United States under the exchange programs.

Confidence booster

Gargi Mathur, Mohammed Sharik, Arjun Aswal and Upasna Goyar – students in grades IX to XII at Mahatma Gandhi Government English Secondary School, Adarsh ​​Nagar – told visitors to the US Embassy that the apprenticeship program had boosted their self-confidence and helped shape their personality. .

The other educational institution in the capital of Rajasthan that has joined the program is Vimukti Girls’ School, which provides free education to girls from low-income families living in urban slums.

The students, who had the first face-to-face interaction with Ms. Goode and Ms. Sharma, were thrilled to learn about the US Embassy English courses in India, Bhutan and Afghanistan.

Possibility of expansion

Lalit Parihar, coordinator of the New Delhi-based Learning Links Foundation, which implements the program, said The Hindu that the foundation had approached Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan authorities in the state to explore the possibility of launching the initiative in other cities in the state.

“A recent achievement by a student from Shimla who went to the United States for higher education will serve as an inspiration to the children of Rajasthan,” he said.

Principal of the Mahatma Gandhi School, Sarwat Bano, said the program has helped students immensely following the state government’s decision to open English language schools in large numbers.

Ms Bano said such a project was the “need of the hour” given the language barriers faced by students in public schools, most of whom come from poor backgrounds.

Flagship Access Program teacher in Jaipur, Anitha Rajamohan, said physical lessons would take place after regular school hours with the adoption of a communicative approach to teaching English. “Online courses have already instilled a spirit of participatory learning in children. They have improved tremendously and have the potential to win scholarships to study in the United States,” she said.

Students will also be selected to attend the South Asian Gatherings, where they will be exposed to the educational atmosphere of India’s neighboring countries. The Global Microscholarship Program is operational in no less than 90 countries, where assistance is provided for the development of curricula, textbooks and methodology for teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

The learning materials provided to Jaipur students emphasized content creation by writing unified paragraphs, developing vocabulary with discussions of hobbies, interests and people, using visuals to support the comprehension, identifying the sequence of events, asking questions and understanding the cause and effect of natural phenomena.