Sunday, 24 June 2018
Saturday, 23 June 2018
As I entered the multipurpose hall of Bhavan's school, all the curtains had been drawn and the windows were closed. I immediately requested the teachers to draw the curtains and open the windows. The transformation was palpable. The fresh air invigorated the participants. We were on the third floor and the hall offered spectacular views of the lush green countryside in the monsoon. I drove home the point that the energy you create in a space is very important. It affects one's performance as a teacher.
I asked the teachers to recap what they had learnt in the earlier session I had with them in May 2018 on LSRW skills. They remembered how we sang, Simon and Garfunkel's 'Sound of Silence' which I had played for them on the guitar. The song adeptly touched on listening, and speaking and how an absence of both kills society. They recalled how they had to read from newspaper reports and summarize the ideas to the group.
This time I brought along several ELT books for the teachers to examine. The books included Adrian Doff's Meaning into Words, Cambridge Business English, Murphy's Intermediate English Grammar, Phrasal Verbs, and Vocabulary in Use. I also threw in Keki Daruwalla's book of poems titled Fire Sermon. The poem by the Queen of Persia to the marauding King caught my eye. The pithy poem would serve nicely for a listening exercise. Yet ELT materials could and should not be used indiscriminately. Teachers have to weed out culturally inappropriate usages.
A look at the Bhavan's ELT library showed that the ELT text books were not being referred to. The librarian helpfully brought a raft of these to the hall for me to urge the teachers to peruse them.
Samosas and steaming cups of chai signalled the break. It gave me a window to change tack and speak about skill development. I offered a survey of all the kinds of writing teachers can do. This included letters to the editor, short articles and poems, reports, interviews and book reviews. To provide examples I shared some of my articles written as far back as 1987 when I was in college. More recent articles like 'Nishte Zai Go' and 'Undra Mhojea Mama' drew chuckles for their local content. I brandished my book of poems A Peace of India: Poems in Transit. It felt nice when the librarian approached me to buy one for the school library.
With 15 minutes to go I encouraged the teachers to do some free writing. To help them along I suggested 10 topics. They racked their brains and surprised themselves with their original sallies in verse. One even composed a poem on how it is a joy to study LSRW. Another spoke of how blessed we all are. A third was inspired by the cup of tea and the joy it gives her when shared with family. The Hindi teacher came up with a fine poem on the dog (whose barking punctuated the session at times). She hailed its services sans salary. The sports teacher was inspired to do a poem on the workshop and how effectively it was conducted.
The Principal Ms.Valsan graced the group with her presence. Teachers were invited to offer a feedback on the course. One said that we took LSRW to level 2. They also observed how the workshop was very well-attended by the teachers. The session gave many diffident teachers the confidence to come up and share their work. The vote of thanks was spontaneous and appreciative.
A WhatsApp forward on how jargon in English is misconstrued kept the audience in splits.
Pix taken at workshop on 'Resources for English Language Teaching' conducted by Dr. Brian Mendonca for the Teacher Enrichment Programme at Bhavan's school, Zuarinagar, Goa on 22 June 2018. The Principal Ms. Elizabeth Valsan is seated to Brian's right.
A for ALCOHOL
The words above appear on a pamphlet of Jeevan Dhara which Gene D’Silva, the founder, pressed into my hands at his home in Mazgaon, Mumbai.
Tuesday, 5 June 2018
Pix taken by the author on Morjim beach, Goa on 5th June 2018. Published in Gomantak Times Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on Sunday, 10 June 2018.
Published in Gomantak Times Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on Sunday 3 June 2018. Pix of thalis at Durvankur taken in Pune on 29 May 2018. Bottom pix taken by author at Sharief, Pune on 28 May 2018.
Thursday, 31 May 2018
Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Dr. Brian Mendonca moderating a panel discussion on Goa titled, 'The Woes of Paradise' in the studio at AIR, Panaji on 15 May 2018. The panelists seated from left to right are Hartman de Souza, journalist; Tallulah D'Silva, architect; and Ralph De Souza, entrepreneur. Cynthia Rego, Programme Executive, AIR, Panaji is seen standing.
The presentation by AIR, Panaji was conceptualized by Naveen K. Gupta, PEX, AIR, Delhi to commemorate World Day for Biodiversity on 22 May 2018. It was broadcast on that day by AIR, Delhi, on the National Programme of talks at 9.30 p.m. on the Mhadei channel and FM local stations. Pix courtesy AIR, Panaji.