Over the last few years, we at LeapForWord have been working on our flagship program, the Reading program. The program has been fairly successful, with over 8000 kids with zero exposure to English having acquired the ability to read fairly complex words & sentences in a short span of time.
Travelling around villages, seeing kids from Zilla Parishad schools develop English reading skills has given us a lot of joy. But what made the experience even more special was the fact that all these kids were taught by LFW trained local teachers who themselves were not highly educated or comfortable with English. That our programs can be delivered by villagers who otherwise work as farmers was a major part of our delivery model & the successful delivery of our English reading program was therefore, doubly satisfying.
The LFW English language program is modular and takes a student, step by step, from English illiteracy towards proficiency in the language. We have defined a set of rules to learn English. We first train the kid to identify alphabets, then read sentences made up of “4 letter words”, then comprehend simple sentences, then read sentences made up of “complex words” and finally comprehend complex sentences.
While we have been working on getting better results for our Reading program, the challenge has been building students comprehension of the language. The content has been ready for a while and demonstrated success when we taught but when delivered by local teachers, the results were never satisfactory. Till now, that is.
After almost 3 years of continuous iterations, the comprehension module of LFW’s English language program finally bore results that satisfied our standards. The “Elementary Comprehension” module was delivered by 7 local LFW teachers to nearly 200 kids in Shirpur during the summer vacations. This video below, of one of our students from the program, shows why we are so kicked about the whole thing.
Pravin can now comprehend English sentences as well as respond (in his native tongue) to spoken English. It goes without saying that there’s still a long way to go. The next level of LFW’s Reading & Comprehension modules will strengthen his vocabulary & introduce him to even more difficult words & sentences. However, this breakthrough in itself is a very big boost to his confidence levels, and ours.
His teacher, Dilwarsing Pawara, is a LFW Certified Teacher who taught around 200 students during the summer vacations. He has completed his 12th Std. and has been associated with LFW for almost 2 years now. A farmer, and now a teacher too. He struggled with the language once but now enjoys teaching students.
Sangram is another one such example of a student who can now comprehend English sentences and respond to spoken English. This definitely makes him someone who can communicate with someone who speaks English.
Sangram, a Grade-6 Semi English Medium student
His teacher, Rakesh Pawara, has an interesting story too. Rakesh struggled to clear his 12th std. exams as he could not get through English subject. But his training with LFW has helped him cross that hurdle now. He has been with us for almost 2 years now & works as a peon in a College during the day and teaches students in the evening.
When we were shooting these videos, we asked the kids, what is it they think they can do now? Almost everyone said that they can now speak English! Frankly, they cannot, but that they believe they can is a sweet victory for us.
Another year of LFW training and these kids & their batch-mates will all be able to answer in English. A ‘Dilwar’ or a ‘Rakesh’ turning his entire village English literate is a dream we have long harboured. That dream seems much closer to fructifying today. Join us in this journey to transform our country into a English literate country, where no student is left behind, only because he/ she doesn’t know English. It’s a tough challenge & we can use all the help we can get. Know more about our work here & if you want to become a part of this transformation write into us on Facebook or drop a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.