A Project on
‘Enhancing English Speaking skills’
by Anuja Das
To persuade children to speak in English in
To encourage diffident students (first
generational learners, learning disabled
students etc.)to attempt speaking in English,
however wrong it might be grammatically.
To build on the children’s vocabulary
To improve the academic performance across
subjects Math, Science, S.St, since English is
the base language used in all.
The point system was first implemented in 2010 by Ms.
It was then limited to the classes being taught by her
Quantitative and qualitative results amongst students
encouraged other teachers to take it up, too.
It was popularized by the students themselves as the
reward system was much appreciated.
Training the students to use the point system was easy
Though monitors were appointed, it was discovered that
by the end of an academic session, students would not
need monitoring, often disappointing the monitors.
Though the pilot project was done for grades 4 and 5, it
has been carried forward to the middle school by the
students themselves and they proudly proclaim that ‘no
one in the class speaks Hindi now.’
The teacher appoints two ‘English’ monitors-
one for the boys and one for the girls
Against each name, three W’s are written.
These constitute three warnings that each
student is allowed.
The monitors are assisted by other vigilantes
in the class to keep account.
The monitors strike out a ‘W’ against that
student’s name each time somebody speaks
in Hindi in a non-Hindi period
The monitors let the students know each time
his/her warning (W) has been cut
Once the three warnings are cut, they
announce that the three warnings are over.
Thereafter no warnings are given, the
monitors add points against names using
tally marks each time somebody speaks in
The teacher keeps checking the tally once every day.
The students who get the least points (the ones who
speak English most of the times) are appreciated in
front of the class and are given responsibilities like
checking assignments, collecting notebooks for the
The student getting the least points are appointed
new monitors. Students who do not get points or get
the minimum points repeatedly are rewarded with a
A student getting 5 such stickers is given a token
prize by the teacher.
Monitors are appointed once a week, thus enabling
most students to get a chance to be vigilantes for at
least 5 days.
Students getting maximum points are
reminded of the point system and given a
chance to pull up their socks.
If a student does not show improvement in
performance, he/she is asked to do some
additional reading or creative writing, not as
a penalty but as a motivation to try and do
better. This is checked personally by the
The ‘game’ is effective as soon as the students enter the
school premises i.e from 7:50 am
Students are allowed to converse only in English, within
the class as well as on the field, in the swimming pool and
in the dining area.
Students are allowed to speak in Hindi with the Hindi
teacher and with each other only in the Hindi period.
They are also allowed to speak in Hindi with the
housekeeping help, the nannies and the people who serve
the meals in the dining room.
Use of abusive language despite three warnings leads to
penalty in the form of missing a favourite activity.
Students have to maintain the decorum of the point
system until they are within the school premises i.e 3:00
Students became more confident in using the
language and began using it at Lunch/recess
and even P.E periods.
Students built up their vocabulary bank
gradually and began showing interest in
reading so as to improve their vocabulary
Students began correcting each other’s
sentence structures while speaking leading to
better grammar concepts, both in oral as well
as written work.
When the programme was first implemented,
students would easily slip into Hindi/slang if the
English teacher was not present. Asking the
monitors to keep a strict vigil helped.
Student monitors would themselves slip into
Hindi after having ‘won’ the reward of becoming
the monitor. Student feedback on the monitor
would often be taken.
Vacations or long holidays would undo the
progress made earlier and repeated reminders
would be required to get the students back on
the right track.
First generational learners would sometimes
fear being ridiculed (embarrassment if they
spoke wrong English and were
scoffed/laughed at). They were given a lot of
positive strokes and confidence building
conversations with the teacher.
Although the programme was largely
successful in the classrooms where it was
being followed, students were heard using
abusive language with each other. These
students would then be awarded 5 extra tally
marks and penalized in some way (missing a
favourite activity, checking the notebooks of
other students etc)
The success stories that came out of this
project that was conducted on 4 classes has led
me to believe that it can be done on a wider
scale, applied to all the classrooms.
Teachers could be informed and trained about
the point system so that the dissemination of
such could lead to a happier, homogenous
group of students.
Consistency is the key to the success of this
programme. Looking forward to seeing it being
implemented in more classrooms and
eventually, more schools.