LEAD School’s English programme, ELGA, is breaking the traditional norms of teaching the English language by applying a unique level-based technique that teaches English as a skill and not as a subject.
When I heard Harini read out an article that she wrote on the pros and cons of technology, I was pleasantly surprised at her confidence in fluently expressing her thoughts in English. This might not be uncommon in big cities but Harini lives in Gangavathi, a small town in north Karnataka, her parents are uneducated, and she goes to a local school, Vidyaniketan. The only different thing is that her school adopted a new way of teaching English two years ago.
Last week, I observed a class in Vidyani-ketan School. I was overjoyed to see Harini and her classmates showing such proficiency in English. Suri Babu, the owner of Gangavathi School, says, “The people from LEAD School visited us two years ago. Among the many things that they provide, we liked their English programme a lot. They explained how English should be taught as a skill and not as a subject to our students. When I compare my students’ ability to talk in English before and after the implementation of LEAD School’s ELGA programme, I feel very happy seeing the excellent growth in my students. This was made possible by ELGA, LEAD School’s English Language & General Awareness programme that has replaced the traditional English text books we used to have.”
Suri Babu is one of the many school owners who have seen ELGA making a difference in their students and teachers. ELGA was conceptualised and developed by the research team at LEAD School, a leading education company with a mission to provide an excellent education to every child. The ELGA programme is implemented in schools as a part of the LEAD School Integrated System that has a worldclass curriculum, a suite of apps, books, workbooks and implementation support for schools.
ELGA’s unique level-based approach for the development of every child in the school.
The ELGA programme delivers all the NCERT-outlined learning outcomes, but in a way that is different from the traditional way in which English is taught by schools in India. Instead of learning letters A, B, C, students learn phonics — the sound of letters. Instead of memorising stories or articles, students learn strategies to read and understand any written text. Instead of copying answers from the board or from reference books, students think independently and express their own thoughts in English. Instead of mugging up rules of grammar, they learn how to use these rules to write and speak correctly.
At the start of the school year, the students are assessed for and grouped on the basis of their current English ability. This allows teachers to teach at the student’s level and help every child progress. This is different from traditional classes where students sit as per their age, irrespective of whether they understand what’s being taught in the class or not.
“In English medium schools, the English language is the master key to understand all the subjects. When the Math, Science and Social Studies curriculum is in English, how will students understand these subjects if their English skill is not strong? With ELGA, the students build as much skill in one year as they would in two years in traditional systems,” says Smita Deorah, Chief Learning Officer at LEAD School.
More than 2 lakh students in over 500 schools have already enrolled in the LEAD School Integrated System which includes ELGA, Math, Science, Social Studies, co-curriculars and life skills curricula. Student results everywhere have been spectacular, with students growing by 1.8 years in English skills in one year of school. Math and Science scores have grown by an average of 10-15 percent. Teachers cite their own skill and confidence improving, since the LEAD Integrated System provides a simple, technology-assisted way that makes it easy for them to teach excellently in the class. As for Harini, she is preparing for Spotlight — a national-level English competition taking place in Hyderabad on 14th December this year. She has been shortlisted from among thousands of students from schools around the country. Excited, she says, “I’ve never been to Hyderabad. I want to see the Golconda Fort when I go for the nationals.” LEAD School’s ELGA programme is clearly unlocking the potential of children in small towns of India.
Namita Goel Vice President, Strategy (Academics) LEAD School