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Developing the ESL Curriculum for Ann Foundation

I was looking for an opportunity to give back to the community, and I was lucky to get acquainted with the Ann Foundation.  I started off as an ESL teaching volunteer for the Project at Sowbhagya Illam, Dindigul. However, soon I was given the responsibility of managing the curriculum team and co-ordinating with ESL volunteers. When the project started there was no defined curriculum. Each volunteer made their own lessons, but we felt the need to standardize our curriculum. So, we created lesson plans based on textbooks and started incorporating them into our daily teaching, since Ann felt it could help their regular academics and improve their language skills. However, based on the assessments, we realized that these lessons were not helping improve students’ language skills adequately. We came up with an alternative plan, and started piloting new grammar and speaking lessons. It was encouraging to see improvement, and we observed that the children were more involved in the ESL classes than before.READ MORE

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The Chennai Project

Often referred to as the gateway to South India, Chennai played an important role for India right from the 1st century. And in the 21st century the city still holds its status and has been noted as one of the fastest growing cities in the world (Forbes Magazine). The city is home for several industries and services (especially IT) which is commendable but the flip-side is equally disheartening. In this growing city/metro there is a need to look more closely and reach out to those underprivileged who are willing to pursue but are deprived of the basics like education.

Our next project takes us to a historical town located to the north of Chennai, Tiruvottiyur. It is famous mainly for the magnificent Thyagarajar temple. The town adorns its history gracefully but the present takes a back seat when it comes to education especially with the children from slum areas.READ MORE