With a lack of facilities and low teaching standards, it’s often believed that students from government schools can’t speak fluent English. This perception is not always wrong, with poor or minimum teaching facilities it becomes difficult for students to cope up with a new language. But that is not the case of Cheyyur Government Higher Secondary School near Avinash, Tamil Nadu. Evangeline Priscilla, English teacher of the government school sings poems and lessons to teach and inspire her students. This unique technique to teach her students’ English language has worked in a positive way as more students have developed a keen interest in the language. “It all began when I started my teaching career in a private school in my hometown Yercaud. There I found a few teachers singing poems to the students and it was worked well among the students,” said Priscilla.

Priscilla and her passion for teaching

Priscilla decided to break this notion of ‘government school kids can’t speak fluent English when she joined the school. “After switching to the government service, I thought why shouldn’t  I try singing so that the students could easily understand and memorise the poems,” said Priscilla.

“Sometimes, it becomes difficult for the students to understand the meaning of the poems and catch proper pronunciations. In this context, translating them to vernacular comes handy.”

This innovative teacher not only composes tunes for poems, but she also translates English poems into the Tamil language for the convenience of students. “Sometimes, it becomes difficult for the students to understand the meaning of the poems and catch proper pronunciations. In this context, translating them to vernacular comes handy.  Most of the students easily comprehend them and their scores in English have improved,” said the 47-year-old teacher.

This talented teacher has also composed a Tamil song inspired by the national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’. The school authority asked her to teach the same song to the rest of the school students as well.

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Student’s opinion on their teacher Priscilla

Even though she teaches only a few students from the school, every student in the school knows her and had a positive opinion on her teaching style. Making the process of learning more fun and interesting, she has made her space in the hearts of her students. All the students of the school not only love her but are highly influenced and inspired by her. Praising her one of her students said, “Her classes are never dull and her teaching approach has helped us develop an interest in English. Unlike earlier, we are now not hesitant to communicate in English.”

“Her classes are never dull and her teaching approach has helped us develop an interest in English. Unlike earlier, we are now not hesitant to communicate in English.”

In an interview with Times of India, she said, “I always try to improve the students’ spoken English. I try to teach them five new words every day.”

In 1994 this talented teacher bagged “multi-faceted teacher” award for contribution in the teaching field.

Divya Tripathi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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