Sanvi: From shy beginnings to confident strides

Odisha village girl finds fluency and precision in English at the Winter Camp

Sanvi, a Grade 5 learner from Agapal, Odisha, lives with her father, Narayan Nath, who is a driver, her mother, Sasmita Nath, who is a homemaker, and her two brothers, Somyajit Nath, in Grade 8, and Satyajit Nath, who is one-year-old. Sanvi’s father’s meagre income covers all financial responsibilities of the household, but he harbours big dreams for his children; he wants them to receive an education and secure government jobs.

Sanvi’s parents were aware of the necessity of English language skills for employment, but she had developed a fear of the language. Moreover, her parents couldn’t afford a private tutor. An opportunity came knocking when Pratham’s volunteers visited their doorstep, mobilising children for the English Winter Camp.

Initially hesitant and shy, Sanvi faced challenges with fluency and pronunciation, but with a zeal for learning and guidance from dedicated volunteers, she began practicing tasks each day at the camp. Through community engagement, the English Winter Camp, ‘Fun with English 2.0’, aimed to encourage children to learn English by making it fun and interesting, thereby eliminating their fear of the language.

Sanvi became focused and active in warm-up activities and games, and her parents noticed a change in her spoken English skills. Daily practices of warm-up activities, audio stories, and games brought remarkable improvements in their speaking, reading, and writing skills, and Sanvi’s fear of the English language began to diminish.

As Sanvi stood reciting lines with fluency and precision, her parents felt that this program should run every three months so that children can continue to practice and make further progress in spoken English. “Sanvi knew very little English before attending the camp; now she can form sentences, and her fear towards learning the language has also disappeared," her father says.