Sunday, 9th September 18 from 11 am to 1 noon at Anand Dighe Vidyalaya, Shahapur.

Attendees: 91 VSM students, 25 students of Anand Dighe Vidyalaya and 15 KPs

5Dr. Meenal Paranjape, who was the Chief Guest for VSM English Day program held in Thane on 29th April ‘18 conducted a special workshop for VSM students at Shahapur on Sunday, 9 th September 2018. This workshop focused on an absolutely brilliant way to explain how to go about learning English or any new language.

7Dr. Paranjape has developed a special program to teach English to Marathi medium students which has been adapted by 20 schools in Maharashtra. She has taken special courses in Teaching English as foreign or second language at Leeds and Cambridge, UK. She coaches students who appear for English Language Higher Level exams and she is also an Examiner for speaking module in English proficiency tests conducted by University of Cambridge in India.

The workshop called Receptive and Productive skills explained how language learning involves four skills – Reading, listening, speaking and writing.

8In very simple way she explained convincingly how we naturally learn our mother tongue by first only listening, to our parents and family members, for many years in our childhood. The alphabets or the grammar is not really taught until the child is more than 3 years old. Unlike this natural way, we in India start to learn English by writing the alphabets first in school.

Then all were explained how the language learning process should progress from Listening and  reading,  called the  Receptive skills and only then to proceed to speaking and writing called as Productive skills.

9The students were then given many examples as to how to develop these receptive skills, very aptly called the downloaded info and the very simple cost effective ways to obtain the resources for reading like Advertisements in old newspapers and articles in old issues of Readers Digest, free online libraries like Project Gutenberg, etc. Similarly, good and free resources for developing listening skills like BBC and AIR news bulletins, Podcasts, etc. were mentioned with the way to use them effectively by forming Speakers’ Club.

6The best part was the simple ways or tricks that the students can use to be able to write on any topic or subject by following the Pointers for the Picture talk and The Compass Point Thinking by use of NEWS technique (N- Need to know, S-Sure I know, W- worries me, E- Enthusiastic, excited about, express yourself) as also the Mind Map technique by creating a list of all points as they occur to you and then putting them in the appropriate order.

Her approach was to clearly explain that if we follow the process and practice regularly, preferably by treating this as a group project, one and all can surely learn the language to be able to communicate decently – be it written or spoken.