Two decades ago in Sri Lanka, English was spoken fluently predominantly by affluent families. Even most English teachers had themselves studied in the vernacular, and found it difficult to communicate in English. They were among the first generation of students denied an English education with a global outlook, and the inability to communicate fluently in English proved a handicap at several levels. As these teachers struggled to educate later generations of Sri Lanka’s students, English proficiency fell across the education and higher education systems. Many state university graduates—the best-performing students in the country—found it difficult to obtain employment due to the lack of English communication skills. This situation needed a radical solution that would equip the country with a much-needed human resource: that of competent English teachers.
This was the backdrop against which we decided to attempt to fill the vacuum created by the lack of proper teaching of the English language, by reaching out not only to children but also to a generation of adults, especially underserved women, with a view to making them employable and prospective English teachers. Thus, it was with the objective of teaching English as a tool of effective communication that we decided to take a stand and establish ‘She Thrives’.
In our methods of teaching, we encourage contact between students and the teaching faculty, active learning and respect diverse talents and cater to them at individual levels. We are also mindful of the manifold ways in which engagement in speech and drama activities provides stimulation and therapeutic benefits that address the mental and psychological needs of women and children. In a still conservative social context such as is found in Sri Lanka, teaching is one of the few professions that women are actively encouraged to adopt. This facilitates economic independence for women as well as providing them with an outlet for social interaction.
The Academy encourages constant meetings among teachers, including workshops and seminars, where participants are made aware of how to use the acting space and theatrical expression as a safe medium to explore pressing social and personal issues that they face in their own lives. Thus, the participants are made to realize the curative aspects of engaging in creative work. The progress of training and learning is monitored by constant visits to centres located in towns in the North, South and East of the country.
Through classroom teaching and public performances which strengthened their self-confidence, we have improved the communication skills of many children and adults over the years. They sat examinations and obtained certificates—teachers qualifying under a dedicated curriculum leading to teachers’ certificates which marked the completion of a journey to enrich their knowledge, gain experiences and obtain qualifications.
Through our language courses, we equip people with the skills necessary to exploit this vital communicative tool, whether it is for work, academic purposes or personal development. Our training programs include a range of subjects and topics based on current trends and demands in the job market and other spheres.
Upon conclusion of each academic year, the candidates at Grade, Certificate and Diploma level who excel at the Practical and Written Examinations in the different subjects are awarded special certificates and trophies at a Prize Giving. A memorable occasion and a rewarding experience for participants of our courses, where the joy and satisfaction of a whole year’s hard work culminates and is witnessed.
We ensure continuous development by interacting and implementing modern methods of teaching by attending seminars and workshops conducted by professionals in the field. Workshops, seminars and teacher/examiner dialogues and other interactive programs occur regularly across the country. Comprehensive handouts related to the various subjects in the syllabus are specially compiled for the benefit of participants.
Our services over the last twenty years have expanded to include Teacher Training programs on the Teaching of English to Young Learners, Intermediate Learners, Teaching English as a Second Language and Diploma courses in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Given below are the results obtained from 2000 to 2019. For names and relevant details of Teachers’ Certificate and Diploma holders refer CALSDA Website – www.calsda.org (‘Examinations’ section).
The progression of work of participants can be noted by the repetition of names as they proceed from Primary to Advanced levels of the Certificate and Diploma Examinations in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
TEACHER’S CERTIFICATES AND DIPLOMAS OBTAINED FROM CALSDA FROM 2000 TO 2019:
NAMES AND OTHER RELEVANT DETAILS ON THE (EXAMINATION SECTION)
- LICENTIATE DIPLOMA IN THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH TO SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES
- ASSOCIATE DIPLOMA IN THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH TO SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES
- TEACHING OF ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
- TEACHING OF ENGLISH TO INTERMEDIATE LEARNERS
- TEACHING OF ENGLISH TO YOUNG LEARNERS
- LICENTIATE DIPLOMA IN INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE & PRESENTATION SKILLS
- LICENTIATE DIPLOMA – PUBLIC SPEAKING
- ASSOCIATE DIPLOMA – PUBLIC SPEAKING
- LICENTIATE DIPLOMA – SPEECH & DRAMA – TEACHER
- ASSOCIATE DIPLOMA – SPEECH & DRAMA – TEACHER
- ASSOCIATE DIPLOMA – SPEECH & DRAMA – RECITAL
- SPEECH & DRAMA FOR PRIMARY TEACHING
- SPEECH & DRAMA FOR ADVANCED TEACHING
- DIPLOMA IN ENGLISH
Annual evaluations of the students’ and teachers’ progress as well as assessments of teaching curricular help the Academy stay updated on where improvements are necessary and ensure the development and effectiveness of the syllabi.