the 'put put' way
Trishaws. The very essence of city life, you tend to think.
to Maureen Wickremasinghe, trishaws are not just a part of city
life, they are also a part of rural Sri Lanka for even the poorest
or the most remote village has them.
And it is these
very trishaws that have formed the crux of her books. Books, through
which she hopes to teach little children in all corners of Sri Lanka,
start teaching English to our children with reference to their mother
tongue,"she explains. "When we introduce books which have
been printed in some other country which are obviously written by
foreign authors, most of the children in Sri Lanka cannot relate
teacher of over 49 years and a specialist in child education, Maureen
trained in Australia and having worked for 20 years in England with
children, has a wealth of experience.
I returned from England the last time, I literally brought back
thousands of books," she explains. "But when I tried to
teach the little children in Seeduwa where I conduct classes using
these very books, I found out that it was useless."
books are alien to most of the children here, as they talk of places
and people of those countries,"says Maureen.
when I went on a number of outstation trips with my husband that
I realised that if I focussed on trishaws, most of the children
would be able to relate to the books."
At first she
tried the books out on her students in Seeduwa. "They adapted
to them quickly. I found out that they actually liked these books
as they found them easy to understand," she says.
In these books
Maureen has made use of the 'Look and Say' method.
try to teach all the letter combinations before a child is given
a reader, it will take years. This is because in the English language,
there are always exceptions to the rule."
this has been a method of teaching English for many years, and there
are many readers produced. The child then tends to learn 'whole
words' by recognising this pattern.
the word 'look' has two eyes in the middle and two tall letters
at the beginning and the end," Maureen explains laughing. "It
is the same with words like 'elephant' and 'aeroplane'. They have
distinct patterns of short and tall letters, and this makes it much
easier for the children to remember.
need a gradual build up of vocabulary, which could be used in everyday
language. The children also need repetition-the need to see and
say words several times.
In this series
by Maureen Wickremasinghe, Stage 1 will have four books. The first
, published by David Peiris Motor Co. is called 'The Red Trishaw'
and has illustrations by Sybil Wettasinghe.
There are also
the books about the yellow trishaw, the green trishaw, and the blue
trishaw. There are four drivers. The first trishaw is driven by
a Sinhalese driver,the second by a Tamil, the third by a Muslim
and the fourth by a woman driver, Maureen explains.
books, there are 15 to 16 words. The books are small, easy to handle
and have a few pages so that the child is not bored with the contents.
They are also priced low," explains Maureen, eager that children
should start using them.
the four books, the children will be able to write at least 10 basic
sentences, and have a sight vocabulary of over 50 words, guarantees
The first two
books were launched on October 12, at David Peiris Motor Co. Ltd.
on the ramp
By Yvonne Gulamhusein
"When I was younger, I did some outrageous fashions,
which earned me the tag of "Bad
Boy of Bangalore fashion' but I have now grown to be more serene,"
said Indian designer Manoviraj Khosla who presented a stunning couture
show at the Colombo Hilton last week.
Indian models, all leggy and lissome sashayed down the ramp to present
Khosla's contemporary creations.
show opened with unisex pants and tops in cotton with spectacular
embroidery, a feature being the use of white on white. The touch
of Paris came in the glitter with tops for men's wear, sherwanis
in glittery fabric and churidhar pants.
wear line up for women included a selection of embroidered sarees.
Shirt tops worn with very short pants and sherwanis with brocade
were also a highlight of his elegant collection.
Pix by M.A