ASPIRE Training India – Part 1

This week we had four days of training split between Genki English and Jolly Phonics. The teachers were all hand picked from private schools in low income areas and they were amazing! Right from the start I did a mini warm up and even the school owners and head teachers were joining in!

I guess having a programme like ASPIRE behind you makes a huge difference. They needed zero motivation talk and got the Genki English rules (“I can do it!” and “Try again!”) instantly.

Then I ran through a fewย themes and they were great.

The needs assessment pulled up the usual classroom problems, hopefully all of which we can solve!

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The real test comes though when we put them in groups, get them to read theย lesson plans and see if they can do it themselves. In most countries teachers never read the lesson plan, they sit there staring at the page and go “Ugh?” when asked to do the lesson.

Here was the total opposite, they read the first lesson plan and every one of them could actually do the lesson. I’ve never seen that before!

So it was pretty much plain sailing from then on with them getting into groups and doing really well with the lessons.

As usual for teachers who do solely rote learning then we did have a few problems to fix:

1) They didn’t teach the new language, they just said it a few times expecting the kids to magically memorise it.
2) They didn’t get the L+1 idea and instead were jabbering away in high level English the kids could never understand.
3) They weren’t giving the kids enough thinking time in the beginning to recall the English.

But most of these we could cure by getting them to teach us Hindi (where they also figured out how easy the songs make teaching grammar) and by me jabbering away in Japanese or French to teach one new word!

I also did lots of “bad lessons” to get them to criticise me and they again did brilliantly, picking up me up on just about everything.

Overall they were great, some of the best teachers I’ve ever taught. And then I got invited back to teach the government school teachers next week – let’s see how they do!

P.S. It was also quite fun going back to the old school way of doing GE withย flashcards and a clothes line! Proper videos coming soon!

P.P.S. ย It’s the last day to enter the comment competition this month!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

4 Responses to “ASPIRE Training India – Part 1”

  1. Amri

    It sounds like you are having a wonderful time with wonderful people. I’m glad that you are enjoying your trip to India and I’m happy for the teachers there that they get the chance to learn Genki from you so they can make teaching more fun in their country. It is great to work with such motivated and open minded people. Something some people could learn from them …
    Another thing that hit me was to see with which means they are getting along and tying to find solutions instead of just complaining about their situation. My last meeting in school was mainly about a teacher wanting 500 things for the classroom the school couldn’t afford and almost crying for not getting their will. Let’s face it, we are just spoiled. Some students don’t even have a pen to write with. And instead of complaining or whining, we should be like the teachers in schools that don’t have a high budget and think of other ways.

  2. Rachel

    Hi, Richard!

    If you are coming to South Korea in the next year, I would love to attend a workshop of yours. I loved watching your clips on youtube and learned a lot just from that one hour! I can just imagine getting to experience an entire day with a room full of other teachers and of course, you!

    Please consider coming to Seoul or Busan and I will spread the word around. If you don’t have South Korea in your travel plans, perhaps I’ll be able to attend your next workshop in Japan! :]

    Thanks for being a great genki motivator!


  3. richard

    Hi Rachel!

    No plans as such for another workshop in South Korea just yet, but I’m just a short hop away so if you got a group of teachers together I’m sure we could organise something!

  4. Lines

    Also the room looks very poor, I think it’s great to have the opportunity of teaching in all that wonderful places. And your materials and way of teaching is so good that students don’t need fashionable computers o CD players.
    I think that the most important fact for good teachers are the students and your pictures and songs are enough to have fun teaching.
    Thank you.

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