“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”
One might wonder at the very mention of a classroom, of how tedious it was to get up in those sleep-induced mornings and to crawl to the walled classrooms that stunk of furnished benches and crisply ironed clothes…the only relief being friends and the oodles (read lots) of funs which often related to them. From such childhood thoughts to the present day’s vaniya philosophy of ‘ave ema aatlu paiso thodi karachvanu hoy?’, we have surely gave up on classroom education; on the other hand, the want to learn English has always shown an upward trend. The mix of both would, at many times, end up in one surfing through videos on YouTube (ahem ahem) and leafing through volumes of ‘un-understandable’ (pardon the p’un’) English language books. It of course does no good, but to bring one’s self esteem down.
India, is home to an ancient educational system of ‘Gurukuls’, where the earliest forms of residential schoolings took place and were also the prime examples of interactive classrooms, where a child was moulded to be a good, educated human being.
In the same way, English, as a language, needs an environment to serve as a home to the child within. The adaptability to a certain form of knowledge would only gain the needed, matured proportion when it is exposed to a certain atmosphere, like what a classroom presents. Only if we see a language as a way of life, will we thrive to excel in it and give our best. One may try to ride a bicycle, fall, ride again, fall, and may finally master it…but riding a bicycle and making one has its own difference, the latter requiring a major amount of mental preparedness and passion.
On contrary to the popular perception that an English class is a board, a teacher and his/her ramblings, the modern version of the same is much more than that. Interactive sessions, a wide platform to showcase your skills and making your skills become one with the language to create a better, bigger strata is what the English classes are all about today. They are more about “breaking one’s own stereotypes and emerging victorious.” And that’s something we won’t easily get inside the four walls of our own mind, for it needs a trainer and definitely needs a good, patient trainer to show the path of the language in exactly the same manner the student perceives. Moreover, one tends to find a cluster of similar, language-loving people, in the midst of whom, the confidence level will grow by leaps and bounds leading to regular conversations and implementing the lesser known facets of the language such as using idioms and phrases to tickle the funny bone and to be thoughtful at the same time or using proverbs to while away a talk into new extremes.
English is a lot more than what it used to be…it is money, today…a way to launder and loot people, unaware and unsuspecting. While choosing English classes, go for experience rather than discounts and for one’s own passion rather than just for the sake of it.
As Benjamin Franklin rightly quoted, “the only thing more expansive than education is ignorance”, and when it comes to language, one definitely has to get the best…be It the training…or the trainer!
by Bikku Jacob Kuriakose