Tuesday, July 28, 2015

EC Exercise for High School Students

Image result for IDEAS AND iNVENTION1. Asked the students to give a presentation on an idea/invention which had a great impact on the society.   After the presentation, the audience had a chance to ask questions.

2. Asked the students to enact an interesting/entertaining scene from a person’s “school college job” life using their imagination/information from friends, books, media, movies etc.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

An Open Letter to all schools/educational institutions/policy makers in Education and HRD

Subject : EC(English Communication) - It's a Child's Right.


Today we have better schools than we had in the past, good syllabus, large number of dedicated teachers, immensely supportive parents, an English friendly society and a very passionate student community. Still why is it that we don't see good English speakers or communicators emerging in our society? What is the reason for this lack of confidence in English communication among our students ? 
One reason for the "POOR ENGLISH COMMUNICATION SKILLS AMONG STUDENTS" could be that we don't teach our students the "Logic of English sentences " ie., just like in Mathematics we have a mathematical logic like 1+2=3, similarly in case of English communication also there are some very basic rules which need to be discussed and learnt. 

A very commonly repeated mistake seen in our classrooms is a sentence like "Are you like music?" instead of the right sentence "Do you like music?". Similarly "Do your friend watch TV?"

This may be mainly because we don't TELL our students in a very clear and focused manner the RULES FOR MAKING SENTENCES IN ENGLISH. Without knowing these rules it is simply not possible to learn the art of English communication. Even a game like football or cricket or chess can be practiced and enjoyed universally only when the players are clear about all the rules. So I think if we start imparting English Communication training to students by starting with the rules of EC we will witness a change in the English Communication Skills of our school and college students which can result in a positive and healthy change in our social, economic, employment and education scenario.

Why don't we think along these lines:
English: It's a language of Power, a Motivational Tool and also a Life Skill.
English Communication: It's a child's right, a mind's delight and also a tool to fight.

 Let the discussion continue..

In our educational institutions, are we really teaching and helping students to communicate easily and effectively in English? If the answer is yes, then after completing their education how many of them can:
1. ask questions to their teachers in English on any topic of public/academic/vocational interest?

2. answer questions about their own "self" ie., Personal, Educational, Family and Career aspects?
3. make polite requests to get help from strangers in buses,trains or a foreign place?
4. take part in a group discussion and help in shaping the group opinion/perception on the given issue?
5. disagree with someone in a pleasant, peaceful and positive manner?
6. talk to tourists and guide them to a tourist destination in a warm and hospitable way?
7. make a good speech which is direct, less formal thus inspiring and heartfelt?
A shockingly small number of students who can do all these tasks fairly well would reveal to us that the English teaching and learning scenario in India is not what we can be proud of. It's not bright(or right) at all to any person who is concerned and committed about our students' EC skills.
And what is the reason for such a "not so bright (or right)" scenario?
One of the limitations of our English teaching is: The age old educational practice of upholding the supremacy of traditional grammar and literature in the name of English education in India when the most pressing need of the hour is - imparting "employable, empowering and enlightening" modern English Communication skills ie., Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading skills in English which form the major testing areas in exams and interviews for educational and career enrichment like CAT, IAS, Banking Exams, IELTS,TOEFL,etc. 
Besides, studying English is not glorifying text books,exams,writers or any type of accent and etiquettes. It is thinking, learning and speaking in English and also listening actively to a lot of English conversations of different types of people. 
And by the way which country in the whole world has the highest number of youngest English Communication aspirants (in the age group 15-30)...........it is Bharath or India.
So we need to think and move fast to cater to the needs of such a huge number of very young English learners who can make a great difference to their lives and society by a life -skill based, emotionally and intellectually engaging English education in India.
The bottom line is to make our "English education" an education in English language skills which can be very much used in the real life for employment,empowerment and enlightenment. There was a time when we worked for the English. Now let the English language work for us, in helping us to lead a better LIFE by Living our dreamsInking our thoughtsFinding our sky and finallyEarthing our pride

Jai Hind
Vinod Kaliyath
(The writer is an English Communication trainer. His email is cyberjosh123@yahoo.com)
Click here for the Wake Up Call

Friday, July 24, 2015


How should English be taught in our schools and colleges? 

As a subject because it is hard to understand how you can manage a class as a teacher without books, chapters, class-work(mainly writing notes), coercing the students to learn the answers by-heart(mugging/ cramming/ learning by rote), enticing them to score good marks in exams by memorizing the whole text and afterwards feeling good about themselves and also about the teacher/school/college/institution.

As a skill because that's what the students need in their life after school and in the world outside school. Once your academic needs are met ie., you get the certificates with the right grades/marks,  skills alone matter. The essays, the dramas, the poems, the articles which you mugged up in school/college life are like files on a computer meant to be deleted. What is retained is the software, the ability to do a thing, the critical skill to face and excel in a life situation.



Monday, July 20, 2015

EC Mentoring

I have been working as an EC mentor to these schools in Kozhikode at present:
1. Vengeri AUP School
2. Cholappurath AUP School

In 2014-15
1. Govt. Upper Primary(UP) School, Kinalur for classes 3,4 and 5,6.
2. Govt. Achvattom School, Mankavu for classes 5

Source of inspiration: PM 's interaction with students on the eve of Teacher's day on Sept.4.


Thursday, July 16, 2015


Image result for activa 3g
Riding a two wheeler needs:

1. Balancing the vehicle with your legs: For this an experience of riding a bicycle will be of help.

2. Know-how of the controls: The controls in a gearless scooter(Activa 3G) are : 1. On/Off  Switch 2. Key hole 3. Accelerator 4. Brakes (Front-Right Hand Side and Rear/Combo-Left Hand Side) 5. Indicator Switch while moving left/right 6.Night Lights(Dim/Bright): A good demonstration will help you to understand how these work. While starting press the combo brake(Left hand Side) first and then press the start switch.

3. Practice: Practice on clear roads first and busy roads later.


Brake 1: Combo...For stopping suddenly/more forcefully.
Brake 2: Rear....For slowing down and stopping slowly.
Accelerator: For increasing the speed, for keeping the speed steady, for slowing down. You can also increase/decrease the speed slowly/fast/steadily.

Use the two mirrors while you are crossing the road, stopping etc. 
Horn wisely and prudently. 
Use raincoats/jackets while riding in rains. 

Monday, July 13, 2015


Image result for car drivingDriving a car needs an idea of four things essentially. They are
1. Using the controls: Power(Ignition) On/Off, Gears(Including reverse gear), Accelerator(Giving gas to go fast), Brake, Clutch, Indicator switch, Windshield wiper, Seat belt, Seat adjustment(moving forward/backward) and hand brake. A good demonstration will help you understand how they work/function.
2. Steering: You should have the confidence, the comfort level and a few rounds of experience of being in control of the steering wheel. This needs enough practice under the guidance of an experienced driver.
3. Keep it straight: After turning left/right, make the steering wheel straight ie., in the original position so that the front wheels are straight and the car can move forward without any tilt to any side. 
4. Direction of movement: You should know how to reverse the car. In reverse gear, in order to move the car towards left, rotate the steering wheel to the left and in order to move the car towards right, rotate the steering wheel to the right.
In a manual car, the things most used are the steering wheel and the gear-clutch combination. Whenever the car approaches a crowded place you need to press the brake to slow the car and then press the clutch and put the right gear in action. It can be first or second. When it is first gear you can move the car very slowly like an old man walking or even stop the car wherever required. When you need to start again since it is in first gear, the gear change is not needed. 

While stopping completely first apply the brakes to slow down, then change to first gear. Now when you get very near the stopping position press the clutch and at the exact position to stop press the brake pedal completely. The car stops immediately.
While changing gears the speedometer needs to be looked at. For speeds between 0-10 km/hr, I gear is OK. For speeds between 10-20 km/hr, it is II gear. For speed between 30-40, it is III gear. For speed between 40-50 you can go into IV gear. For speed above 50, you can use the V gear.
For U-turn first put the car in first gear and then turn the steering completely and then as you release the clutch press the accelerator  and let the car go forward. When the car has turned in the required manner and you can move ahead turn the steering wheel twice ie., two complete revolutions.
Whenever you are slowing down, going to stop, taking a turn, always check the side and rear mirrors.
Always drive the car along the left side. Whenver you think that there will be a paucity of space slow down and then pass the other vehicle or person. 
Always accelerate only when the road is straight, clear and smooth.
When the car is going uphill give more gas and go in the III gear. If you feel that the power required is high as the path is too steep then change to II or I gear.
While going downhill place your leg on the brake to slowdown whenever required otherwise you may find it hard to control if the speed is high.
While changing the gears press the clutch fully and then move the gear handle. Use the gear lever gently and when you are changing its position visualise the gear positions and do it rightly. 
Use the hand brake while parking. 
Use horn while passing through junctions and during turns. 

So let's begin:

First start the car in Neutral. Now press the clutch and put the car in the first gear. Release the clutch slowly and press the accelerator. Now steer the vehicle on to the road and when the road is straight and clear, accelerate a bit and then go to second gear.
Practice for some time in 2nd gear and change to first gear and then the 2nd. 
Image result for gear map in maruthi altoSteer with confidence. See ahead and also use the rear and two side mirrors. Use horns when needed. When you are in first gear you can stop and go, you can also move the vehicle very slowly like an old man walking. You can go on the narrow roads as well.
Now use the 3rd and 4th gear. But here do note that you will have to go to 1st or 2nd gear anytime. So be mentally prepared by visualising the positions of first and second gear and also how to move your grip first away from the neutral after reaching the neutral and then move up for I and move down for second. When you are 1st geared then go down and go to neutral and then use III/IV gear.
When in 2nd gear tilt your direction of moving the grip (not straight but cross-wise) and then go to neutral first and then III/IV gear by moving the grip to top(III)/bottom(IV).
While using gears, do it slowly, smoothly, steadily, stabily and silently without attracting attention of others. Your mind should be mentally geared when you enter the vehicle and sit inside it.  The map of gear positions should be in your visual memory all the time and your hands should be well in control of your brain with the help of visual memory positions.


1. You are uphill, the car stops and the engine is switched off.

Restart the engine, press the brake and the clutch and put the car into first gear and then slowly release the clutch and when you hear the sound of biting point ie., the engine makes a louder noise, release the brake keeping the clutch at the same point(also called half clutch) and then press the accelerator. The car will move upward.

Do remember: 
1. Your left foot is for half clutch or full clutch.
2. Your right foot is for slowing/stopping(brake pedal) or speeding(accelerator pedal). 
3. Your left hand is for changing gears. 
4. Your both hands are to steer the car in the right direction

Do's and Don'ts while learning to drive:

1. Disengage the hand brakes before the car starts moving.
2. While pressing the clutch to change gears with your left foot, take your right foot off the accelerator ie., left foot moves down(clutch engaged) - right foot moves up( accelerator disengaged) simultaneously.
3. While parking your car always put the proper indicator, then apply brakes to slow down, then press clutch for slow and controlled movement and only at the exact point of stopping apply brakes with full force.
4. While changing gears apply full clutch.
5. While moving on rough roads apply half clutch.
6. To move the car slowly apply half clutch.
7. While changing to first/second gears release the clutch slowly.

While nearing traffic junctions/crowded roads/bends/speed breakers, your left foot should be always placed above the brakes for easy/fast action. Always anticipate the right speed required and change gears accordingly. So brake(soft - hard), then use clutch(full) and then change gears. These are your main tools. Also steer fast when needed. Use horns wisely. Mirrors(side and rear) should be able to give you the right information of the moving traffic. So position them properly.

The art of driving is to flow with the traffic.


Sunday, July 12, 2015