Grammar Fest at Aga Khan School, Mundra
“English will enable graduates to participate fully on an international stage, while mother-tongue instruction will allow students to access the wisdom of their own cultures.” – His Highness the Aga Khan
What is a ‘Grammar Fest’? At the Aga Khan School, Mundra (AKSM) in rural India, it’s a large-scale exhibition-cum-workshop that gets students engages in grammar. On Grammar Fest day a sometimes monotonous subject comes alive through games, songs, stories and role-play. This year the Fest was attended by students from 15 schools across Mundra, with a total presence of around 1600 students, teachers and other visitors. “Something must be working when so many students are excited about grammar”, commented Dr Natasha Mehta, the Head of Academics for Aga Khan Education service, India.
Alim Khoja, a student in 6th grade was enthusiastic about the day, “Parts of speech were explained using songs; tenses explained by a circus clown; interjections and expressions showcased through dance steps; direct indirect speech demonstrated in role-play; wartime journals served as a base for exploring different writing styles and adjectives were integrated into games. I learnt so much”.
This one-of-a-kind Grammar Fest, celebrated a range of languages integrating English, Hindi, Gujarati and Sanskrit into the programme. Participants could compare the grammatical structures of the different languages and observe patterns and underlying rules. “My favourite activity involved translating Sanskrit verbs into vernacular languages and turning words into verses which we recited”, said Kaniska who has been studying Sanskrit for three years at AKSM. “The sessions were interactive and a lot of fun”.
The workshops at the Fest covered 14 main topics and 84 sub-topics including nouns, conjunctions, interjection, direct and indirect speech, idioms and proverbs and figures of speech. What is even more impressive is that the workshops were conducted by the students of AKSM, who were selected and trained by the language teachers at school based on their interest and aptitude.
The most visited area of the exhibition was the one where students dressed as a favourite author and read from their works to an appreciative audience.
The Grammar Fest at AKSM, stimulated students to see language learning differently and in a positive light, as well as providing a wonderful opportunity to interact with a larger academic community beyond the school.
"Fests like these create an interest about the subject in the student's mind. They help the child learn in an informal way, thus retaining the tricks and information gained at such events for a lifetime" said Mr Giridhar Reddy, Principal – Aga Khan School, Mundra.
Photo captions (top to bottom):
Primary student from Aga Khan School, Mundra conducting workshops at the Grammar Fest
Skits at the Grammar Fest
Role-plays in action at the Grammar Fest