Success Stories 2016

A new dimension in my career

By: Chipatun Nessa, Assistant Teacher, PurboBairag Govt. Primary School, Anowara, Chittagong

I started my journey with EIA in 2012. Before being a part of EIA, I was hardly interested about English. But after having the training, my point of view about English subject has changed. I realised that English is a language which we can use as a tool and gradually develop ourselves. Our school is the only one primary school which has upgraded up to class VIII in Anowaraupazila. I try to use EIA audio materials for all of my students from class-I to class-VIII.

The best practices of EIA have transformed my classroom. I teach grammatical norms through playing various games instead of memorizing hard and fast rules of it. I also apply brain storming, picture dictation and different types of creative activity to teach paragraph. In this way I try to make my classes student-centered. In our traditional classes students used to memorize their lessons for examination. But now-a-days they are learning by doing something new.

We are also introduced with peer support within our teachers. We can plan lessons and can also observe each other’s class and give feedback. Lack of teaching aids is a common problem in most of the primary schools of our country as well as in our school. I believe that if we practice the communicative techniques and use audio materials in our classroom, we will overcome this problem.

 Previously, in the period of English classes we used Bangla language almost all the time. So, there was no difference between English class and other classes. But now, I am using classroom language from the beginning to end of a class. My students are also eager to communicate in English inside and outside the classroom. So they practice English in the school compound in their free time. Really, it makes a nice environment all over the school.

I have observed that by practicing various kinds of games and choral dialogues the weaker students are gradually improving, even they can share their ideas without any hesitation. We know that there are language points in every action song and I use it as ‘warmer’ almost in all lessons. As an English teacher, I feel proud to increase my students’ interest to their lessons.

I would like to share about four of my favorite students‘development, who came first to fourth in the last exam and now are in class VIII. They were introduced with EIA techniques from class V. Their names are Siraj, Shiru, Ajahar and Shahnaj. Of them some don’t have supporting environment to their study, some of their family members work outside to earn their living in a very tender age. But they are more ambitious and planning to study abroad with scholarship.

After completing class V, Shahnaj, one of my students admitted into the nearest high school of ours. Her guardian has a strong desire for that admission. They thought it would be better if their daughter reads in a high school rather than our newly upgraded primary school. But Shahnaj didn’t forget what she learnt in her class. So, after one month, she returned to our school again.

Shahanaj said, “Before participating in different activities, most of the time I felt frightened to sit in the exam. I used memorizing to learn my lessons. If there was nothing common, I couldn’t write anything. But at present, we are doing various types of creative activity in our class. So we can learn easily and write answers in exam very confidently.”

Another favorite student of mine Siraj shared his feelings with me, “While I was in class III and IV, I thought that English is very difficult. But now we play various games. It makes our lessons easy and simple. English has become my preferred subject now.”

To develop speaking skills, word game is very effective. For completing story writing, I try to practice creative writing in my classroom. Ajahad, another student of mine told me, “I couldn’t tell even a sentence in English. Many of my town relatives and friends speak in English. I hardly understand their conversation. But with the help of audio I benefited on pronunciation and vocabulary. Besides this, I get an opportunity and always try to speak in English in my English class.”

Shiru, is one of my best students’, inspires me by sharing, “Previously, I felt bored and don’t get the inspiration to come to school. After getting promotion in class V, I started enjoying my English class. I am attending regularly in my class unless any serious problem. In future I want to be an English teacher like you, madam.” 

I am so inspired by the positive attitude of my students towards learning. I strongly believe that my all students like their English class and I hope they will achieve more in their future.

TapanKanti Chowdhury, the Education Officer of our upazila visited my class last month and commented, “I am surprised that almost every student took part in conversation in English which was quite impossible in our traditional method, just a few years back.”

In my professional life I have participated in many trainings. But EIA training is the unique one which has added a new dimension in my career. I am enjoying my profession more than before.

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English in Action programme is a UK Government
funded programme implemented by the
Government of Bangladesh and managed by
Cambridge Education, a member of Mott MacDonald.