Rainbow School, Janak Puri in collaboration with FORTELL conducted a workshop on ‘Developing Speaking Skills’ on December 14, 2013. The resource person for the workshop was Ms.Falguni Chakravarty, a Cambridge ESOL CELTA trainer who has published many course books for ESOL and KET examinations of Cambridge University and also provides in-service teacher training to primary and secondary school teachers.
Ms. Falguni Chakraborty started the workshop with an icebreaker activity that set the tone for the day. She explained the basics of developing speaking skills for students and demonstrated a wide range of classroom activities such as tongue twisters, grammar chants and word stress through syllables. She explained how these activities can help the students in improving their reading skills. She also laid stress on giving students umpteen opportunities to speak and practice the language through prompts. She emphasised that peer learning can help students to overcome their inhibitions. She opined that the students should be allowed to speak and not be corrected while they are speaking, and later their mistakes can be individually corrected. This approach is likely to help the child to overcome hesitation and develop fluency over a period of time. She explained that teaching students to break words into syllables at elementary stage helps them to improve reading and spellings.
She reiterated that drills, grammar chants and recitation are important for students. These exercises develop the interest of students towards language. She explained the role of structured conversation practice for students to teach them to speak within the given time frame. She introduced interesting board games based on grammar to teachers and all participant teachers enjoyed and appreciated these games. She encouraged the teachers to develop new games for their classrooms and give opportunities to children to freely express their views. Everyone including the teachers, the Principal and the Chairman found the workshop stimulating and expressed the desire for more such workshops to develop and enhance language skills of students.
Chetna Bhola is a primary school teacher. She has worked as an ISA co-ordinator, ISA project (British Council), has given children talk shows on radio and is associated with SCERT for framing English Bridge Curriculum for class 4.