Teachers in charge of Grade 1 classes will be required to undergo special training in spoken English this month. Education Ministry Secretary M N Ranasinghe has instructed all Provincial Directors of Education, in writing, to direct Grade 1 class teachers, and teachers assigned to teach English for Grade 1 to attend the training specially designed to promote spoken and listening skills among children and teachers. Training of Primary class teachers in spoken English will be completed by March. According to the Ministry, Grade 1 classes for this year in Government schools will commence on March 28.
The Secretary stated that there would be no writing or reading as well as no assessment of English language skills for students. The focus will be only on speaking and listening skills through activities within and outside the classroom. Principals are requested to supervise and provide necessary facilities to promote speaking in English within the school environment. The Education Ministry jointly with the National Institute of Education has commenced this programme to encourage spoken English among first and second graders.
The programme has been introduced to expose both Grade 1 students and Primary class teachers to speak in English in the classroom, to improve listening skills, to build confidence, and make it a language fun to learn from the beginning. The Ministry said this would create a strong foundation for students who will be required to study English as a compulsory subject from Grade 3. -NFL