A primary school teacher shares her story of how she has generated interest in English with a large group of primary pupils.

In this video, Indumati from Bihar, India, talks about how she has managed to generate interest in learning English in a context where English is not a compulsory subject.

With only a blackboard and a class of 200 primary learners, Indumati explains how she takes a short simple text and exploits it in a fun, engaging and interactive way. Using only gestures and ‘slap the board’, Indumati has managed to engage and motivate a large group of learners who had no reason to learn English.

Reflection and discussion

One of the purposes of these resources is to help you with your own teacher development in related contexts. The questions in task 1 and task 2 are designed for you to think about and discuss with colleagues, either informally or as part of your formal professional development.

How can using gestures and facial expressions support understanding in the classroom? How do you use gestures in your classroom?


I teach English language in a school (PMS) in a town near Lahore. It's a fact that there are inadequate facilities in most of the elementary and high schools in my country. But I think still we have ways to make the pupils interested in English language.
Of course, the size of the classes is too big in my school. There are average 45 students in each class. I often conduct different game activities in pairs and small groups from grade six to ten. Students in these classes take part energetically in activities. I wonder that they wait for the 'English language period' anxiously. It was really difficult in start for me, but once you are able to bring them on track, it becomes easy to teach. Although result are not satisfactory at this stage but I believe most of the students will be able to acquire sufficient knowledge and proficiency in English language in near future.

I teach in cameroon found in central Africa more precisely in the capital Yaoundé in a small Secondary school called GHS Nkolnda. Actually English language I teach English as a foreign language in my school and due to the fact the students use French as their second language, it is quiet difficult to pass across lessons without creativity and imagination. I therefore use facial expressions and gestures as much as i can during lessons to ease their guessing and learning aptitudes. For instance: to express dis contempt i twist my face while reproaching using the simplest vocabulary possible. So too they can guess when they have rightly answered a question through my positive gestures. This technique helps me a GREAT deal in my classroom though i limit my usage to the essential so that they do not get more used to gesture than speaking.

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