Names: Rajni, Dolly, Mamta and Heemal
Trinity qualification: Teacher training
In 2012, Trinity College London partnered with the Centre Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in India, to deliver training in assessment methods for speaking and listening skills and communicative classroom activities to English teachers in state schools in India.
Dolly, Rajni, Mamta and Heemal were some of the first teachers to be trained. They were part of a group of 400 teachers who were selected from 14,000 state schools all over India to receive training from Trinity College London trainers in communication skills teaching methodology and assessment parameters of speaking and listening.
This was the first-time assessment of speaking and listening skills happened in these state schools and Mamta told us why this shift was so important.
‘Speaking And Listening skills weren’t really taught when I was younger - it was a kind of grey area on the part of teachers.
This led to a gap in Mamta’s learning, which had an impact on her confidence, despite her academic success.
‘I had been accepted into one of the top universities in Delhi, but I lacked confidence in communicating. I would never initiate or lead a conversation. I didn’t want the same for my students’.
It’s important to Mamta to be upfront about her experience with her learners.
‘I take a pride in sharing with my students that anyone of us can have moments like that when you lack confidence. Getting through these moments make us. Every situation is a learning situation.’
The training, which was held over 5 days in different cities across India, came out of a partnership, which had the overall aim of raising the level of spoken English of students in particular years.
The 400 teachers had an important role to play as they were also being trained as trainers who would teach more and more groups of teachers over the coming years – around 38,000 teachers in total.
Rajni told us about how it felt to be responsible for learning and cascading new assessment methods and pedagogy.
‘We were not burdened by the responsibility at all, we were just excited. We were able to pass on what we learned to other teachers and our students so it really enriched us in a great way.’
The teachers and trainers are still feeling the impact of the training all these years later. Dolly tells us about this.
‘You won’t believe how much we transformed professionally after this training, and we’ve grown a lot over eight years since a lot too’
‘I was a teacher when I did the training - now I’m a trainer, a content writer. I am even being trained as an Artificial Intelligence Coach in English. This all came out of the learning and confidence building I got from the training.”
Heemal appreciates the connections she made with the trainers and other teachers.
“The teachers in my group are all still in touch today. We still discuss a lot of issues related to language or teaching.
Heemal explained why she thinks the students were able to develop enough confidence to speak and listen in English in the classroom for the first time.
“It’s about interacting with your own classmate so there was no pressure to prepare for an assessment. You’re speaking about something known to you, so there was no rote learning happening.”
When asked for one big take away from the training, Heemal had this to say:
‘We should only assess what a candidate can do, not what he or she has missed out - I have really followed that since then.’
“You won’t believe how much we transformed professionally after this training, and we’ve grown a lot over eight years since a lot too”