English as a Second Language Program
Location: Kolkata (Calcutta) India
Project Type: Training in career oriented English as a second language
Youth Served: 500 per year in the first two years of operation.
Project Cost: Approximately $ 65,000 per year at current enrollment levels.
Timeline: Program started in 2012. The second year of the program is currently underway.
Project Description: The project evolved out of our experience in Kolkata in 2011. The Round the World travelers spent one month working with the youth at several of the Children International (C.I.) community centers in Kolkata. Our activity centered around practical English and resulted in a video developed by the youth of C.I., job interview skills and general conversational English.
Children International is a sponsorship organization and so much more. They have deployed and amazing suite of developmental programs for youth to provide them with opportunities to pursue life with more tools than their normal environment would provide. Our experience in Kolkata with English training convinced us that English as a Second Language (ESL) would add substantially to rounding out these developmental offerings. The job market in West Bengal is changing and many job opportunities require some level of English competency. This program fits well with RTW’s core mission of helping create opportunities for youth.
Children International agreed to pilot an ESL program in Kolkata and working closely with their staff the program was deployed in 2012. The results of the first year have been astounding. Aside from empirical improvements in all measures of English competency, the change in the students sense of self identity and confidence is astonishing. When the RTW team returned to Kolkata to review the first half year of the program the changes were perceptible the moment we walked into the centers. The program builds on the fact that English is taught in schools in India but testing results are poor. We build on that base with targeted programs that build employment skills.
The program involves two years of ESL training augmented by clubs and other non curriculum based activities that are intended to keep the use of English fresh in the youths day to day activities.
We will be retuning to India at the end of the current school year, December 2013, for a formal review but the progress reports show continued improvements. We are looking to develop funding that would make this impactful program a permanent part of the developmental programs offered to the youth of Children Inetrnational Kolkata