Every year, millions of students appear for their Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations in Bangladesh. After taking the SSC exams, students usually have about a two-month long vacation during which they typically spend by either visiting their relatives or staying home, doing absolutely nothing. While a good break can do wonders for a student after the grilling exam phase, this two-month time can also be a most valuable time for a student. The British Council recognises this break as an opportunity to enhance students’ English skills for students who will soon be facing Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams and then the most challenging college-entrance qualification tests. The British Council Teaching Centre offers a broad and flexible range of courses to meet customer needs. The British Council has provided a special class called “English for SSC” for students who have appeared SSC examination this year.
The purpose of the English for SSC course is to improve their language skills, reading, writing, listening, speaking and grammar. Not only can this course act as a refresher, but it also aims to bridge the gaps in language skills that were not addressed before amidst the academic pressure on students. They are also taught how to be an excellent presenter. These classes are centred on learning through engagement, where students can interact and share their ideas and thoughts with other students as well as with the teachers. Students take part in classroom activities full of enthusiasm because the topics and activities are selected based on their interests. Therefore, students develop a language competency at a much faster rate than in classrooms following conservative teaching methods. Kamrunessa Begun, a parent of a student of English for SSC class, observes, " This course is designed in such a way that the teachers reduce students’ inertia and fear of the language, and they feel more confident speaking English.”
Over the duration of the course, students learn how to communicate in different topics, develop their communicative speaking skills and improve fluency. They learn some unique techniques to help them to correct their pronunciation. They also practice pre-listening tasks (e.g. identifying keywords, following instructions, predicting answers etc.) in the classroom that make them better listeners of English. By the end of the course, students learn how to generate ideas, create outlines and systematise paragraphs. They also practice different grammatical structures and determine when and how to apply it in their everyday communication. Moreover, students acquire the skills of creating a concise PowerPoint presentation, which is very helpful in a student’s academic life. They are also given the opportunity to present their research and findings to an audience.