English Classes Conducted in 2010 at Smyrna Mission School
English classes for school students and sponsor students started in January 2010. They were conducted every weekday afternoon. Students come for classes after their normal school hours are over. Classes were conducted at Smyrna Mission School. These classes were for students from grade 6 to Advanced Level classes.
Mrs. Anusuya Philips was the teacher in the beginning and she left in May and Mrs.Jayshri and I (Ruth) started teaching the classes. Mrs.Jayshri was teaching from grade 6-8 and I was teaching grade 9 up.
From my experience, students were very shy when I first started. They were not willing to answer in the class or ask any questions for the fear of what others might think and it was a challenge to get them to feel comfortable with each other. We instructed in English and when necessary, explained in their mother language. It worked quite well.
They learned basic grammar, reading and writing and to speak in English. Many believe that in order to speak in English, one must learn everything (theory) first and then start to speak. But in our classes students were encouraged to speak whatever they already knew and it worked out quite well. Role plays and dramas helped them to enjoy the lessons and put what they learned in the classroom into practical use.
In school curriculums English was a forgotten subject in the past but now becoming a main subject. The Sri Lankan government also has taken measures to promote English as an important subject which will help Sri Lankan students to be global citizens. So there is a great demand for English classes and we are happy we were able to reach a number of students who were unable to attend English classes that are quite expensive.
Though there were quite a lot of students present in the beginning, only about 38 stuck till the end and got a certificate. Though education opportunities are made available, only those who are serious about their studies would continue and make use of what is available to them and it was the same with these classes.
Students in the advanced classes got good results for the English subject in their A/L exam and one girl went on to do a higher diploma in English and Computers. For others the classes have helped them to grasp a language that has been foreign for a very long time. They have learned to adopt what is foreign into their own lives and realized the value of English as a bridge to a technologically advanced and globally connected future with ample opportunities.
So we sincerely thank you for your part in making their dreams a reality and we hope that you would consider helping us in the future also knowing that your investment in these young lives will never be wasted. May God richly bless you.