Teaching kids at Khel Vikas was a rewarding experience says Ellie Hall
As a recent graduate I was ready for a new adventure and this came in the form of an internship at Pro Sport Development in India. The term "culture shock" is often uttered with a kind of nonchalance. When I arrived in India, I truly understood what it felt like to be shocked by one's environment. It's quite an unnerving feeling. I was far away from anything I was familiar with. I was out of my comfort zone.
However, as soon as I met the children I knew I had made the right decision. My reason for being here was to educate the children and guide them along the road to becoming proficient at English. It was extremely refreshing to see Khel Vikas athletes filled with such enthusiasm to learn that it made my job extremely enjoyable and thoroughly rewarding. My main objective was to increase their confidence encouraging them to speak freely without being self conscious. They knew a fair amount of vocabulary from daily lessons at school. On the other hand, they were lacking the formulas to create full sentences. I tried various techniques to promote this and I found the most successful way was through drama and role-play situations.
Participating in daily role-plays allowed them to appreciate what they were learning could be applied to practical situations. With practice and more practice, they soon felt comfortable and gradually began to create full sentences. They then went onto the complete an end of year English exam and all did exceptionally well.
As well as being the Pro Sport Development English teacher , I was also assigned to coach the girls volleyball team at Gram Vikas School Kankia. At the beginning, communication was a challenge. But with enthusiasm and many diagrams and demonstrations they began to understand. Their English gradually improved as did my diagrams.
An additional role in which I was a part of was the media team. I was responsible for promoting Pro Sport Development as a brand on all of the social media platforms such as facebook, twitter and linkedin. This enabled me to understand more about the business side of the NGO and how important it is to set targets and create structured plans to achieve goals. As part of the media team, we brainstormed and formed ideas that we later put into practice such as being part of a Ketto Campaign that was aimed at giving children shoes to play sport in.
It was a true adventure in which I learnt a lot about myself and what it is like be out of my comfort zone. I hope I have made a small difference to the lives of the Khel Vikas athletes. It has been a truly unique experience and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to grow as a person. I wish to thank all of the staff at Pro Sport Development for being so supportive and a pleasure to work with. I think it is a fantastic project and I hope it continues with the same success.