Published: 05th September 2018
This BBMP school teacher makes learning English easy for her students
At this BBMP school in Shivajinagar, learning English was never this easy
Two years ago, most of the children studying at the BBMP Higher Primary School in Shivajinagar were struggling to write words and some even struggled with alphabets. Today, they can not only read and write difficult words but can pronounce them with a proper accent, all thanks to the efforts of their teacher.
Meet Radha Kumari KS, an English teacher at BBMP Higher Primary School at Tasker Town in Shivajinagar where 121 students are studying from Classes 1 to 7. Her teaching methods go out of the textbook so that every single child recognises words and understands the meaning.
A Bachelor's degree holder in Arts (BA) with English Major, followed by a Diploma in Education, Radha studied in Kannada medium till PU II, all through in government schools and colleges at Kolar. Radha just learned English like any of her classmates — to read, write and pass exams. "When I opted for BA with English Major, I was scared. Initially, it was very difficult to understand. But then slowly, I started reading with the help of a dictionary and I started enjoying the language,'' she said.
Radha adores her teacher Deepa who taught her while she was studying DEd. "Deepa would teach us English teaching methodology with a passion. I then decided to take tips from her. This is my seventh year at the BBMP school. I make sure the children like me first. Once they like the teacher, they will start loving the toughest of a subject,'' she added.
Radha uses simple methods. She teaches English words along with Kannada meaning. She also teaches them rhyming words which help children recognise different words with similar pronunciation. When this reporter visited the school, she was teaching the chapter ''How do Bees Make Honey'' from the English textbook to Class 6 students. Instead of just reading and explaining the meaning, Radha had drawings of the bee on the blackboard. She even got her students to make beehives using cardboard and asking them to cut it in hexagonal shapes while another set of children drew honeybees. Children learnt the word hexa (six) and even started explaining how honey is made. Needless to say, they explained in English.
What makes her job all the more challenging is that the children studying here, who are from an economically poor background, speak different languages as their mother tongue — Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil and Urdu. "This is the most challenging when I am teaching them pronunciations,'' she says. "I too had dreams like these children to become a doctor engineer or lawyer, but could not become one. But I have chosen a profession that can lay the foundation to help these children achieve their dreams. I feel so proud to see some of our old students studying engineering and even medical courses,'' she beams.
Twelve-year-old Steven, speaking to TNIE, said his father is a cab driver and mother a domestic help. They reside in Whitefield. He stays at a hostel in Shivajinagar and wants to become a lawyer. A diehard fan of Darshan, Steven wants to travel across the globe when he grows up. "I need to learn English to study law. If I travel to different countries, I need English again. I like the way Radha ma'am teaches us,'' he said.
Mogan Kumar, who speaks Tamil at home, wants to become a software engineer. Both his parents are tailors. "After Radha ma'am's class, I try to converse in English with my friends to improve my language,'' he says. Ganesh, a Class 7 student whose father works as watchman at a shop on Cunningham Road, said, "Radha ma'am makes us feel that English is a easy language. I read story books and newspapers to improve my learning,'' he said.