Bringing English to Classrooms : An English language training in Dhading

Bringing English to Classrooms (BETC), was a one-year English language training program consisting of a series of trainings to be given to teachers of community schools. The very first training started in 18 April 2016 and completed on 8 May 2016 in Achane Higher Secondary School, Khaharey, Dhading. The 17-day training (6 hours each day) package was developed and implemented for English, Math and Science teachers of Primary Grades from Achane H.S.S, Jan Jyoti P.S, Chakreswori L.S.S, Daurali P.S, Jaljale P.S and Yuba P.S. Altogether eighteen primary level teachers from BETC project schools participated in the training and was facilitated by three trainers from Rato Bangala Foundation (RBF).
The crux of the training was to equip teachers with basic English language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), language aspects (grammar and vocabulary) and teaching techniques as well as classroom language primarily for teaching English, math and science in primary grades. The nature of the designed activities intended to help participant teachers to be exposed to English and thus garner confidence to start using it as a medium of communication amongst them and in an actual ongoing classroom with the support of Nepali language ( a lingua franca in that community). The main idea was to use English as a medium of instruction but at the same time use Nepali whenever communication breakdown occurs or certain concept is not clear to the students.

The planning generated by teachers at the end of the first phase training had shown a commitment from their side to implement their learning in classrooms. Further, all teacher participants actively participated in various activities, e.g. story based activities including story writing project, group dramas and many more. They were able to perform with confidence which was an achievement in itself. Moreover, mini-lessons planned by the teachers during the training, was also conducted on the training venue by using English as a medium of instruction, thus indicating that the teachers were no longer hesitant to use English. This heralds an optimistic attitude of the teachers to give continuity to their efforts.