The Colombo Academy of Language Skills and Dramatic Art, established in the year 2000, has ushered in new dimensions in the field of English Language Skills and evolved a full curriculum for training children, teenagers, adults and professionals. It is a caring and creative examining body committed to high standards. Within a period of twenty years of progressive operations, the Colombo Academy of Language Skills and Dramatic Art, better known as “CALSDA,” has grown rapidly in stature and rank, and firmly established itself as a leading examining body in Sri Lanka. The current syllabus has begun a revolution and has opened many exciting creative doors to students and teachers bringing opportunities for collaboration within the sphere of Drama, Speech and allied subjects.
These syllabi have been compiled in consultation with a number of experts in the field who are attuned to the value of the spoken word in modern life. They have been designed to suit and meet the needs of those who wish to acquire better communication skills. This has led to the building of a framework of examinations which is both modern and relevant to today’s student. In addition to a wide range of graded examination opportunities, CALSDA also offers a full portfolio of Teachers’ Certificates and Diplomas.
While maintaining a demanding standard at each grade, these examinations hold unlimited scope and flexibility in terms of material and performance approaches. In this task, CALSDA is singularly aided by having one of the largest, most experienced, and qualified panel of examiners in the island. Examination procedure and standardisation is established through the consensus of leading specialists in the field, so that candidates are assured of an assessment and written evaluation by superlatively qualified, experienced examiners who seek primarily to encourage candidates with a positive attitude.
CALSDA, with its atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement, provides each candidate with an enjoyable, enriching and invaluable examination experience. A POSSE AD ESSE –‘From Possibility to Reality’ – in keeping with the motto of CALSDA, the Academy endeavours to give each individual the opportunity to develop his or her skills to the fullest potential and harness the vastness of the English Language.
Our vision is to enrich peoples’ lives by providing examination syllabi in subjects associated with Oral and Written Communication in English and the Performing Arts and to be the country’s leading Examination body.
To bridge the gap between the ‘educated unemployed’ and the prospective employer by increasing confidence and activating existing knowledge and developing the ability to understand, speak, read and write the language, using authentic English in a wide variety of situations making a paradigm shift in their manner of communication.
- To provide syllabi for Examinations in Oral and Written Communication in English and the Performing Arts and to ensure that these reflect the needs of candidates and to keep these syllabi under constant review in response to changing patterns of training and comments from examiners, teachers and candidates.
- To organize efficient and fair examinations and release results promptly while safeguarding essential checking procedures.
- To recruit, train and maintain a panel of examiners, qualified and experienced in communication and performance skills and conduct examinations in Speech, Drama, Public Speaking, Spoken and Written English, Personal and Professional English and grant certificates of competence.
- To organize a comprehensive network of dynamic area representatives and facilitating centers through which the aims of the Academy’s examinations can be advertised and to which the public can direct queries, requests and applications.
- To foster and encourage a closer bond of friendship and understanding among teachers of English, Speech and Drama and conduct regular teacher training programmes, workshops and seminars.
- To communicate with teachers regularly, and respond to their reasonable needs and expectations, assisting those who need guidance and support in establishing their teaching career.
- To conduct specialized English courses for the development of Personal and Professional Communication Skills and to provide the Government, Professional and Educational bodies and other persons or organizations the opportunity of conferring with and ascertaining the views of the Academy in matters relating to Oral Communication and Dramatic Art.
CALSDA was privileged to have at its helm two tireless and dynamic directors, Mrs. Varuni Jayasekara and Mrs. Zulfika Musafer who with their intuitive warmth of comradeship and meticulous attention to professionalism have steered the academy to what it is today. CALSDA was honoured to have as its Patron a pioneer in the field of Speech and Drama, Mrs. Daphne Lord, who had more than 58 years of teaching experience, having contributed her services to numerous generations of Sri Lankans. Her advice and guidance to the progress of the Academy was immeasurable. With this perfect combination of expertise CALSDA was established in the year 2000 as an examining body in Sri Lanka for Speech, Drama and allied subjects.
The Executive Director
Ms. Varuni JayasekaraFTCL (Sp/Dr), LTCL (Sp/Dr), LTCL (Eff/Sp), LTCL (TESOL), FVCM (Bible Reading), LGSM (Verse Speaking), ALCM (Sp/Dr), Gold Medal LAM (Acting), ALAM (Recital), FSTSD (UK)
Ms. Varuni Jayasekara is the Executive Director of the Colombo Academy of Language Skills and Dramatic Art. She has over forty years of experience as a teacher of Speech and Drama and allied subjects and is the founder Principal of the Varuni Jayasekara Academy of Speech, Drama and Communication and the Academy of English for Specific Purposes. She has been a Member of the Advisory Panel of the Trinity College of London, Sri Lanka Centre - from 1989 to 2018. She is also the Regional Representative of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama (STSD) UK. She is the first and only candidate in Sri Lanka who was awarded a trophy in 1992 by the Sri Lanka Centre of the Trinity College of London, for having completed the highest diplomas of the College, in Speech and Drama, Effective Speaking and the Teaching of English as a Second Language. Under her training and guidance 14 candidates have obtained Fellowship Diplomas, 54 their Licentiate and 233 their Associate Diplomas in Subjects ranging from Speech and Drama, Public Speaking, Acting and Musical Theatre from prestigious London Colleges. In addition she is also involved in the conducting of specialised English courses for the development of Personal and Professional Communication Skills for Government, Professional and Educational bodies.
The Director of Examinations
Ms. Zulfika Musafer LTCL (TESOL), ATCL (Sp/Dr-TD), AIWMS (Sp/Dr), Cert. in Speaking (GSMD), MSTSD (UK)
Ms. Zulfika Musafer is the Director of Examinations of the Colombo Academy of Language Skills and Dramatic Art. She is the founder Executive Director of the Centre for English Language Skills, and Principal of the Zulfika Musafer School of English. She pursued her teaching profession, training students for both local and London examinations in Speech, Drama and Communication while executing her duties as an officer at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. During the latter part of her banking career, she was appointed to the Staff Training College of the Central Bank. This challenging experience of enhancing communication skills among Bank employees brought about new dimensions in her teaching career. The long felt need among Sri Lankan adults to acquire fluency in English for personal and career development prompted her to compile a range of language skills development programmes and venture on the establishment of ‘CELS’ – Centre for English Language Skills, providing opportunities for individuals and organizations in the corporate sector to benefit from its portfolio of courses. Her areas of expertise include conducting customized communication skills development programmes and Teacher Training courses, engaging in progressive ‘Training the Trainer’ activities and developing teacher support material.
Mr. Philip ThruppLGSM, LLAM (Hons), NDD, Cert. GSMD, FRSA, Hon FIEMS, FSTSD
Examiner in Drama and Speech Subjects
Mr. Philip John Thrupp trained at the Exeter College of Art and the Hartly Hodder Studio, finally graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the London Academy of Music and Drama with LGSM and LLAM Teachers diplomas with honours. He has taught Speech and Drama to pupils of all ages and Public Speaking to adults. In 1975 he was appointed International Examinations Co-ordinator to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and worked extensively on their overseas centres. After ten years as a tutor of Voice and Speech at Wesley College Bristol he was appointed examiner for the Trinity College International Board. His workshop "Playing Restoration Comedy" has been presented worldwide. He has recently been awarded a Fellowship of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama.