AROHI: Teaching Support Staff English

Arohi was created 2 years ago. It is an afterschool club where the MBIS students take initiative to help the support staff learn English. This club started in hopes to bridge the communication gap between our students and the support staff, who are so important in our lives but we take granted for every second. Hence, we wanted to give back and do something meaningful for them. There are many instances when a few students from our school want to ask the support staff for something and both parties are not able to communicate, and it can get frustrating. Therefore, for almost the past year a few current DP2 students and a few MYP students have worked hard to help the support staff learn a bit of English.

For most of the DP2 students, this was our CAS project. We planned lessons, collected resources, and initiated classes once a week on a regular basis. It was amazing to see the support staff so enthusiastic to learn a new language that this inspired us. As DP2 students we were extremely busy this year, but we were committed to come to Arohi because it honestly felt so good to see the progress that the support staff were making and how it made them so much more confident to be a part of our international school community.

We of course faced many challenges. None of us had taught before so this was something really new and we were, with the support staff, also learning a lot on the entire journey. There were instances when we would talk to them in Hindi, stutter, and they would complete our sentences. I think this relationship that we built is so important and it helped them learn much better and faster. Most of the support staff when they first joined did not know the alphabet, and now they are able to create simple sentences enough to have a good conversation.

Now that the DP2 students are graduating, we do not wish for this amazing afterschool club to stop. Hence, we have been training a few MYP students and they are going to take over for us for the next couple of years. It is truly amazing what a little bit of effort every week can do to help other people and our community. We hope that the support staff enjoy learning English and will continue in future years.

Demonstration of a DP CAS Project: A creative engagement of students in the IB Diploma Programme is the experiential Creativity, Activity, and/or Service learning project. This authentic project-based-learning experience is one that best shows the stages of investigation, collaboration, preparation, action and demonstration.

By Malaika Mehta (DP2)