1. Quick Stats
2. The 'Leap'
i. Run up
1. Quick Stats
BhashaLab conducted an English upskilling course for 262 teachers from local government schools in the Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai regions from 4th June 2021 - 12th August 2021. The course was sponsored by DMart - Avenue Supermarts Ltd CSR.
The participating teachers, ranging from 21 to 60 years of age, were divided into eight teams, each comprising 30-35 teachers. Six teams consisted of teachers with a Marathi background, while the other two teams consisted of teachers with a Hindi background. Among the participants, there were 244 females and 18 males.
Over the course of two and a half months, each team attended 20 sessions, totaling 160 sessions delivered, with each session lasting 75 minutes. The teachers' commitment was evident as they submitted 4778 out of the expected 4978 assignments, which were then assessed based on predetermined criteria.
2. THE LEAP
i. Run up
Before the course began, BhashaLab engaged in thorough preparation to ensure the success of the program. An interaction with the D Mart CSR team helped set clear expectations. Further, two teachers were interviewed, revealing their apprehension and hesitation in attempting to converse in English. To gauge the teachers' grammar proficiency, a Grammar Diagnostic Test was administered. The teachers scored an average of 14.48 out of 25.
With a deeper understanding of the target audience, BhashaLab established two primary objectives for the course. Firstly, it aimed to help teachers address their fear of speaking in English. Secondly, the course aimed to strengthen teachers' grammar basics, providing them with a solid foundation.
ii. Take off
Course Development and Gamification:
To achieve the objectives, BhashaLab designed the course to immerse teachers in numerous situations where English conversation was expected. Basic grammar topics were incorporated to ensure a holistic learning experience. Additionally, a leaderboard was introduced to foster healthy competition among teams, motivating them to complete assignments.
The BHAG Challenge:
To boost confidence levels, BhashaLab devised a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) challenge. Teachers were expected to perform an English Skit during the course finale, encouraging them to surprise themselves and believe in their abilities.
Engaging Pedagogies and Situational English:
Throughout the course, BhashaLab employed various pedagogical techniques to enhance learning. A flipped classroom approach was adopted, providing pre-session notes and videos for self-study. Teachers also utilized Feynman's technique, where they explained the concepts they understood, reinforcing their understanding. Role-plays played a significant role, with numerous in-class and assignment-based role-play activities.
Immersion in Situational English:
The teachers were fully immersed in a range of real-life situations where they had to converse in English. For instance, they were tasked with addressing students who had skipped their class or politely correcting the Principal's mispronunciation. These practical scenarios pushed the teachers to apply their newfound skills, gradually building their confidence.
Achieving Objectives and Teacher Feedback:
By the end of the course, teachers exhibited significant growth in their confidence levels. On average, teachers showed a two-point improvement across the 19 assignments they submitted. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with most teachers expressing greater comfort while conversing in English with students, colleagues, the Principal, or even unknown individuals. The course was rated an impressive 4.8 out of 5, indicating its effectiveness in equipping teachers to explore additional English resources.
Observations and Steps Ahead:
BhashaLab observed that the course helped teachers overcome their inhibitions and attempt English conversations in situations they would have previously avoided. However, the teachers' vocabulary still required improvement. BhashaLab acknowledged the need to build on the confidence generated by the basic course and equip teachers with a more extensive English vocabulary, empowering them to construct advanced sentences independently.
Here is a small clip of the teachers performing their Big Hairy Audacious Goal - An English skit. We think they were fantastic. Kudos to their efforts!