A Formative Evaluation of English Nali-Kali (ENK) Implementation in Bellary District


The evaluation of English Nali Kali is a collaborative study done by the Azim Premji Foundation in collaboration with the DIET and MRPs of Bellary District at the request of the Education department. It was conducted as a formative evaluation to identify gaps in ENK implementation that can be used to improve the effectiveness of the program.

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A Formative Evaluation of English Nali-Kali (ENK) Implementation in Bellary District

Many of the results of the evaluation have fed into the current training strategy and will also form the basis of further curriculum revision.

The Study

The sample: The evaluation was conducted in 24 schools in 8 blocks of Bellary district and studied -24 teachers and 144 students who had been exposed to ENK for 3 months. The schools included ENK classes in KPS schools, ENK classes in English medium schools and ENK classes in best NK classes.

Evaluation questions: The evaluation attempted to answer the following questions:
  • How do children perform in various competencies in the LSRW skills of ENK?
  • What are the experiences and challenges of teacher practices in ENK?
  • What have teachers gained from ENK? How has it influenced their views on how children learn and on professional development through their content knowledge and teaching?
A Formative Evaluation of English Nali-Kali (ENK) Implementation in Bellary District
Bellary Study

Evaluation method: the evaluation used the following methods:
  • The study used a mixed methodology. A questionnaire was used to interview teachers to find out the extent of the gap in implementing ENK and to get teacher’s views on a few aspects of ENK. An objective test was used for assessing performance.

Areas Evaluated

Areas Items Questions
L&S 15 Items a) Reciting rhymes b) Following instructions c) Conducting conversations
d) Story comprehension and e) Understanding of singular plural and Masculine & Feminine pronouns
Reading 20 Items Sounding out the letterforms b) Small and Capital letter matching) c) Identify letter sounds with visual cues d) Identify Sight Words e) Read Words f) Form Three letter three words g) Read Sentences
Writing 21 Items Write letter forms – airbrush b) Write with space between letters. c)Write words with Cues d) Write words without cues
Teacher Opinion __ Teachers Experiences in implementing ENK program b) Challenges in implementation c) Role of the orientation program in implementing ENK and ways to improve it d) Support from HT, SDMC, other teachers and Parents for implementing ENK e) Changes in teacher’s view on learning of children, her pedagogical and content knowledge. f) Suggestions for improvement of ENK program

The Results

Listening and Speaking Skills:

  • 72% of children could respond correctly to the items on rhymes instructions and conversations.
  • Only 41% of Children could answer grammar questions correctly. Children in 14 schools, found Grammar to be a stumbling block in achieving English proficiency. Their understanding of the concepts of singular and plural as also pronouns and possessive nouns leaves a lot of scope for improvement.
  • Quite a few of the teachers also had problems with grammar at the conceptual level. They could not differentiate between the content of the card and the grammatical concept is taught.
  • Only 23% of students answered story comprehension correctly in complete sentences. However, many could answer with single words or give partially correct answers.

Reading Skills

  • The study tested recognition of letterforms, identifying capital and small letters, recognising sounds with the help of cues, recognize sight words, read words, form three-letter words, and read sentences.
  • 81% of children can recognize letterforms.
  • 91% could identify capital and small letters.
  • Only 50% could recognize sight words.
  • Only 40-50% could read 3 letter words.
  • Only 23% could read sentences.

Writing Skills

  • 93% t students can write the letterforms through airbrushing.
  • 69% can write with space between letterforms.,
  • 68% can write words beginning with an alphabet.
  • 51% can write words with cues.

Challenges in Teaching English

Teachers mentioned a variety of challenges in implementing the ENK that cause a gap in implementation and lower its effectiveness. Challenges include:

Challenge of Time:  Teachers felt that a total of 80 minutes was not enough for activities. (Some felt L&S needed more time others felt R&W needed more attention). This is due to it being a new subject, some of the teachers not being used to NK classroom management processes and children being exposed to a new language.

Scope of Curriculum: The one-month time frame for covering one theme and one milestone both in Listening & Speaking and in Reading & Writing was seen as being ambitious.

Student Strength and Classroom Space: This is another challenge in effective implementation of ENK that must be seen in the context of the strength of the class. Any class with a strength of more than 30 children makes space and classroom management difficult along with a shortage of cards and inadequate time for individual students.
Student Absenteeism: This is a challenge especially when children are absent from whole-group activities.

Missing Cards and Other Resources:  Cards and flashcards for letters are sometimes missing, and this has to be prepared.

The Two Workbook System: (the first is on activities for listening and speaking and the second is reading and writing) where children have to move between two workbooks creates confusion and wastes time.

Multigrade Teaching Strategy: It is a challenge for many of the ENK teachers who are not traditional Nali-Kali teachers.

The ENK Program is Prescriptive: The program is prescriptive and curtails the freedom of teachers. It is better that teachers have freedom in including other rhymes, stories and language games and use time creatively according to the needs of children as long as they do not deviate from the text.

Teacher’s Learning and Reflections

Many teachers have come to believe that all children can learn English. They report that children engage enthusiastically in learning English and stay in the school even after school hours expressing an eagerness to learn. Because Kannada is used to teach English, students use English more than they were using earlier. Teacher’s confidence in teaching English has increased with a deepening of knowledge of how to teach it.

They have learnt a new approach (the phonetics approach) to reading, increased their English vocabulary, pronunciation and spoken English. They understand the meaning of seamless integration from the way the ENK integrates LSRW and integrates co-curricular and extracurricular activities and how the home language of children can be used to scaffold second language teaching.

The implication of study on training

1. Training will be a continuous process. 
2. video and audio support will be provided on a regular basis. 
3. More detailed instructions on how to conduct the reading process in the cards
4. Allow greater flexibility for classroom processes.

Strategies for Present Training 

1. Greater focus on reading and writing in the training. 
2. Special session on teaching grammar and storytelling in L&S training section 
3. Greater focus on teaching word formation and sight words in R&W 
4. More detailed instructions on how to conduct the reading process during the training.

Credits: Samagra Shikshana Karnataka and UNICEF{alertInfo}
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