Memories of my English Classes

Rajib Chandra Kotal

I am a student of class X. I feel that we have not been taught English properly. Our English classes started from Class III. Our teacher used to write on the board and we used to read out aloud. That is how we began learning A B C D. From class V we gradually started learning words and sentences. Our teachers used to come and speak out some words. And all of us repeated those words in chorus. That is exactly how all our classes were held. Now, when I am in class X, I feel that I have neither learnt the tense, nor learnt to construct a sentence properly. Our pronunciations are also faulty. Sir used to scold us loudly for all our mistakes. Sometimes he read aloud from our books, sometimes he gave us “Do as directed” exercises on the blackboard. When our notebooks were corrected, lots of mistakes were spotted. The next day, day after day, the same routine was followed. That is how we have been ‘learning’ English and will continue to learn English.

If instead we got to discuss our daily life experiences in our English classes, say, discussions from Bengali to English or from English to Bengali; or if Sir encouraged us to speak with our friends in English, then perhaps our English learning would have borne better results. We still do not know the correct pronunciation of the English words. So we are always fearful of speaking in English. We cannot even write fluently. If in our childhood we were encouraged to read small storybooks in English, we would perhaps have learnt better English. Our teachers’ love and encouragement can go a long way in giving us proper training in English.

The author is a student of Class 10 in The Oriental Seminary, Kolkata.

Translated from Bengali by Subha Das Mollick

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