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Ekya / January 19, 2024 Posted by : administrator

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers.
-Socrates

Debating is a skill that extends beyond its traditional association with competitive debate clubs or specific academic disciplines. It has a pervasive presence in various streams of academics and can benefit students across a wide range of subjects. The benefits of debating are critical thinking, being research and information-focused, empathizing with multiple viewpoints rather than being dogmatic, problem-solving skills, communication skills that include listening other than elocution, the art of articulation and engagement, collaborative teamwork, and finally a holistic development of the children.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about debating is the ability it creates in children to think critically. It encourages them to think; and analyze issues from different perspectives, arguments, and evidence. This skill is applicable and very handy in every academic field, from humanities and social sciences to natural sciences and mathematics. Whether it is analyzing literature, interpreting data, or evaluating theories, the ability to dissect and critically evaluate information is crucial

Regular practice of this skill takes a seed in the minds of the students. Subsequently, it becomes an important habit that is slowly and organically manifested. This habit is none other than being research and information-focused. Debating requires its participants to gather relevant information, conduct research, and evaluate the credibility and validity of sources. These research and information literacy skills are automatically transferred to various academic disciplines, assisting them in conducting effective literature reviews, sourcing scholarly articles, and distinguishing reliable information from misinformation, a valuable skill in today’s world of fake news.

When one researches a debating topic, an underlying instruction is to research from both sides i.e., from the pro side as well con. It encourages them to understand and empathize with different viewpoints, even if they disagree with them. This skill fosters open-mindedness, cultural sensitivity, and the ability to engage in constructive dialogue. It is valuable in today’s academic settings that require interdisciplinary collaboration or dealing with diverse perspectives and cultural contexts.

The ability to research from different angles of a problem kindles a habit organically and that habit is the ability to analyze complex problems, evaluate different solutions, and make informed decisions. These problem-solving skills are applicable across academic disciplines, from mathematics and computer science to social sciences and business studies.

The whole idea of debating depends on your ability to communicate all the information that you have gathered in a persuasive argument and convey your ideas convincingly. This skill is beneficial in academic writing, where students need to present well-structured arguments, support their claims with evidence, and engage with existing literature to make a persuasive case.

Today with social media and all the different forms of communication it is important to be able to articulate your ideas in a way that someone would want to listen within the available time. For this, your thoughts need to be organized, and you should be able to express them persuasively. To put across a proposal, we need to know what the other person wants, since everyone is busy putting their thoughts out in a public forum, then who is listening? Debating requires active listening to opponents’ arguments, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and formulating effective responses. These listening and engagement skills are transferable to academic environments, allowing students to actively participate in class discussions, engage with course material, and understand different perspectives. These skills are not just vital in academic settings, such as delivering presentations, participating in class discussions, writing research papers, or collaborating with peers on group projects but also being heard in their social groups (of any form). 

Debating often involves teamwork, where we collaborate with our peers to develop arguments, conduct research, and present our cases effectively. This cultivates leadership skills, collaborative work dynamics, and the ability to work collectively toward a common goal—skills that are beneficial in multiple forums (viz., academic group projects, extracurricular activities, and even everyday life). Debating involves presenting ideas, engaging in discussions, and potentially facing challenges or opposition. Those who debate develop a certain level of social and emotional maturity to handle these aspects. They are capable of handling disagreements respectfully, accepting constructive feedback, and managing any potential frustration or disappointment.

One thing that we all know and agree upon is that debating hones students’ communication skills. What we always miss is that it just doesn’t do that. We as adults think that it is only for outspoken, outgoing, enterprising people. What we miss is that it provides the holistic development that we are looking for in our children, where they can think independently. One doesn’t become a master debater overnight (just like any other skill). One needs to persevere and believe in the method. This belief needs to begin in our schools where it should be made part of our curriculum. Every child will benefit from it in some way or the other. Starting at an appropriate age allows children to gradually develop their debating skills and confidence over time. It also provides a foundation for them to continue honing these skills as they progress through their academic and professional journeys. However, it is important to note that children can engage in informal discussions and activities that promote critical thinking, respectful communication, and the exploration of different perspectives from an earlier age. These activities can lay the groundwork for formal debating when they are developmentally ready.

Today, society is always in an argumentative mode, and thanks to our news channels naming loud, unabashed, unapologetic screaming as the debate we the public have forgotten the definition of it altogether.  Hence, It’s important to foster a positive and enjoyable experience, allowing children to develop their communication, critical thinking, and persuasion skills while nurturing their passion for learning and exploring diverse perspectives.

Anasuya Misha
Middle School English Educator
Ekya School JP Nagar

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Ekya / May 08, 2024

15 English Language Mistakes That You Should Avoid

Although English is a funny language, it has become a global language. It is one of the highest-speaking languages in the world. And to effectively communicate in English is crucial in today’s time. For students, parents, and professionals alike, speaking English confidently and correctly is a necessary skill.  However, speaking in English can be tough, especially for beginners. It takes confidence and knowledge to put sentences together and express your ideas in a language that might not feel comfortable yet. Even as you get better, there are still some common errors in the English language that can sneak into your speech. Most of them aren't a big deal, but sometimes they can cause misunderstandings.  As one of the best CBSE Schools in Bangalore, we’ve identified fifteen common English language mistakes and give you tips on how to fix them, so your next conversation can go more smoothly. 

Not Speaking Enough

One common mistake is not speaking English enough. Many students feel shy to speak English at first, but speaking is one of the best ways to improve your command over the language. Imagine a cricket player who only watches others play but never picks up a bat themselves. They would never get better. The same goes for English. So, don't be afraid to use your voice. Talk with friends, ask questions to teachers in English, or even practice speaking to yourself. The more you speak, the better you'll get. 

Translating from Your Native Language

A common error in the English language many students make is trying to directly translate their thoughts from their native language into English. This is a problem because translations are rarely exact and it takes longer for your brain to do the work. Even if your English is basic, don't worry. Use the expressions and phrases you have learned. Practice using new expressions so they become a part of your regular vocabulary.. 

Emphasizing The Wrong Syllable

Another tricky English language error is emphasizing the wrong syllable. It's like singing a song out of tune. For example, "import" is pronounced as "im-PORT" not "IM-port." Another one is "address" which is pronounced as "a-DRESS" not "AD-dress." These little changes in emphasis can change the meaning of words and make it hard for others to understand.  To improve this, listen carefully to your teachers and make note of how they say the word. The best ICSE schools in Bangalore prioritize proper syllable emphasis in spoken and written English, incorporating it into the grammar lessons. Additionally, you can watch English movies, sitcoms, or cartoons to mimic how they emphasize the syllable. 

Pronouncing Sounds That Aren’t There

Pronouncing sounds that aren't there is a common mistake in English. It happens when we add extra sounds to words. For example, saying "aks" instead of "ask". To avoid this, we need to pronounce words correctly and not add any extra or unnecessary sounds.

Overuse of “Will” for Future

This is one of the most common English grammar mistakes. A lot of students rely too much on the word “will” when composing future sentences. While it may seem like the easiest option, using the more versatile structure of "going to + base form" is actually more appropriate in many situations.  "Will" is best suited for promises, spontaneous decisions, predictions, and future actions beyond the speaker's control. However, when discussing plans for the future, it is more accurate to use "going to". For instance, instead of saying "Tomorrow I will go to the bank," it is correct to say "Tomorrow I am going to the bank."

Adding Unnecessary Words and Missing Necessary Words

Another common English Grammar mistakes that students often make are adding unnecessary words or leaving out necessary ones. These errors can make sentences sound confusing or change their meaning completely. For example, saying "I am agree with you" is incorrect because the verb "agree" doesn't need the helping verb "am" before it.  On the other hand, forgetting a necessary word can also lead to problems. For instance, saying "I looking for a bus to the city center" is incorrect because the word "am" is missing. When talking about something happening right now, we use the Present Continuous tense by adding "am," "is," or "are" before the verb, along with the suffix "-ing." So, a correct version of the sentence would be "I am looking for a bus to the city center." Remember, it's important to use the correct words and structure so that your meaning is clear. 

Saying Incorrect Negative Sentences

Students often make mistakes when forming negative sentences. For instance, saying “I no like pizza" instead of "I don't like pizza." In the Present Simple, to create a negative sentence, we need to use "don't" or "doesn't" before the verb.  It's also important to remember that after "he," "she," or "it," we should use "doesn't" and remove the "-s" ending from the verb. For example, instead of saying "He's not wanting to go," the correct phrasing is "He doesn't want to go." 
  • Using the Wrong Word Order in Questions 
Using the incorrect word order in questions is another common English language mistake. For instance, asking "What you are doing now?" instead of the correct form, "What are you doing now?".  Remember word order is crucial in the English language. In questions, following this pattern is necessary: question word (what) + auxiliary verb (are) + subject (you) + verb (doing) + complement, time, place (now).  Top schools in Bangalore, like Ekya Schools, emphasize the importance of students asking questions in English and providing corrections when necessary. 

Not Using Adverbs

Many beginners don’t use adverbs in their speech. Adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. They add more details to a sentence and make it more interesting. For example, instead of saying "he ran fast," we can say "he ran quickly." Adverbs help us paint a clearer picture of what is happening. So don't forget to use adverbs in your speech to make it livelier and more descriptive.

 Missing Comma in a Compound Sentence

Not using commas or pauses in a sentence while talking or writing can lead to confusion. It becomes difficult to distinguish between different thoughts or ideas, making the overall communication less clear. A compound sentence is made up of two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction like "and" or "but."  For example, instead of saying "I went to the store and I bought some apples," we should say "I went to the store, and bought some apples." By using a comma, we can indicate the pause between the two independent clauses. This helps our listeners understand our thoughts and ideas more effectively. So, don't forget to include commas in compound sentences when you're speaking or even writing. 

Faulty sentence structure

Faulty sentence structure is a common English language error that arises when a sentence is not properly constructed. This can make the sentence difficult to read and understand. An example of this error is using too many commas, which can make a sentence disjointed and confusing. Another example is failing to use proper subject-verb agreement, which can make a sentence grammatically incorrect. To avoid this error, it's important to practice constructing sentences with clarity and precision. 

Lack of pronoun

A common error in English is forgetting to use pronouns. Pronouns replace nouns to avoid repetition. For example, instead of saying "John went to the store," just say "He went to the store." Remember to use pronouns like he, she, it, they, we, etc. 

Unnecessary Shift in Verb Tense

It occurs when there is an inconsistent change in verb tense within a sentence, paragraph, or passage. This can confuse the reader and disrupt the flow of the writing. To avoid this error, you should ensure that you maintain a consistent verb tense, making sure that all verbs match in past, present, or future tense. 

nnecessary or Missing Apostrophe 

An unnecessary or Missing Apostrophe is another common error. For example, "it's" is a contraction of "it is" and should not be used to show possession. Instead, "its" without an apostrophe indicates possession. Missing apostrophes result in incorrect pluralization, such as "apple's" instead of "apples".  

Poorly Integrated Quotation

Lastly, poorly Integrated Quotation is a common English grammar mistake. It happens when a quote is not smoothly integrated into a sentence.  For example, "She said, 'I like pizza.' instead of 'She said that she likes pizza.' To fix it, we need to integrate the quote correctly into the sentence. 

It is okay to make mistakes while learning. However, the key is to learn from those mistakes and continuously improve. Learning English may be challenging, but the rewards it brings are immeasurable. By being mindful of grammar mistakes and actively working to avoid them, you can enhance your fluency and communication skills.  So, embrace the learning journey, avoid common English language mistakes, and watch yourself grow more confident and fluent in English.  For exceptional mastery over English , consider Ekya Schools, one the best CBSE schools in Bangalore. Call 080-49609096 for more information about admissions.     

Ekya / May 07, 2024

What Is IGCSE And Is It the Right Choice for My Child?

Every parent wants their child to have the best education, you are no different. However, when finding the right school for your child, you are often presented with a plethora of options. One such option that has grown in popularity in recent years is the IGCSE Schools in Bangalore. It is a globally recognized board and its curriculum is designed to foster holistic growth among students.  As one of the top IGCSE schools in Bangalore, we will explain what IGCSE is and help you decide if IGCSE schools are suitable for your child.

What is IGCSE?

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is an internationally recognized board created by the University of Cambridge in England. It caters to 14–16 year olds (usually grades 9-10) and prepares them for further university studies worldwide. IGCSE courses offer a rich curriculum that tailors to individual strengths and nurtures the skills and competencies of students. Here are some of the benefits of IGCSE schools for your child.

Student-Centric Approach

The IGCSE curriculum is student-centric and fosters creativity. Teachers and students contribute equally to the class, making it an enriching experience. Learning is practical, allowing students to understand concepts better through real-life applications. IGCSE schools encourage students to ask questions, share ideas, and learn collaboratively with their peers. This approach nurtures logical and creative thinking skills in students. 

Preparing for the Universities

One of the major advantages of joining IGCSE schools is that the students here are well-prepared for further studies. This is made possible by the extensive knowledge and benefits that come from a globally standardized education. The students are encouraged to become independent thinkers and learners which is crucial for university studies. IGCSE schools focus on understanding and grasping the concepts rather than just memorizing. These are the traits most universities look for in a student. 

A Community Worldwide

The IGCSE program brings together students from all over the world in a global community. Children learn how to be inclusive and empathetic towards different people and cultures. This helps them develop a broad perspective. The program also allows each child to become a part of a diverse and comprehensive global community.

Inquiry-Based Learning

IGCSE courses foster curiosity in students by emphasizing real-life experiences, exploration, and expression. This encourages children to ask questions and research answers, helping them gain a better understanding of their communities and the world around them.

Rigorous Assessments

Top IGCSE schools in Bangalore such as Ekya Schools offer a rich experience for students with thought-provoking assessments. These include a variety of modes such as oral, written, coursework, and practical assessments. These assessments offer questions of different difficulty levels, enabling students to challenge themselves and discover their strengths and weaknesses. By instilling confidence and boosting morale, the IGCSE curriculum empowers students to plan their future educational journeys. 

Choice of Subjects that Cater to Different Abilities

The IGCSE subjects are designed to meet the needs of different students. With over 70 subjects to choose from, including 30 languages, schools can offer a combination that suits each student. Students must select at least 5 subjects, which include: 
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Humanities and Social Science
  • Languages
  • Creative, Technical, and Vocational Subjects Students also have a wide range of 30 languages to choose from, including their mother tongue.

Recognized by Universities Across the World

The IGCSE is the most recognized examination qualification across the world. Students with these qualifications are accepted into several countries like the US, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. Many universities acknowledge and accept the IGCSE curriculum as part of their entrance criteria. The IGCSE opens up opportunities for further vocational education and serves as a strong foundation for employment. Students with IGCSE backgrounds have the necessary abilities that employers value in potential employees.

In conclusion, choosing the best school for your child can be a daunting task considering the number of options today. However, if you think a strong syllabus and robust curriculum are best for your child, IGCSE schools are the way to go. To find the best IGCSE schools near Bannerghatta Road, look no further than Ekya Schools in JP Nagar. Our goal is to give students a well-rounded education that nurtures critical thinking, and creativity along with academic excellence.Join us and allow your child to delve into the stimulating realm of IGCSE subjects, nurturing their personal growth and development along the way.. We're here to shape future leaders with an inclusive and inspiring learning environment.      

Ekya / May 06, 2024

Common Mistakes When Making A Class Presentation

A successful school presentation demands a lot more than just good content. Presentations are more about expressing and explaining things in a creative manner which involves two important parts- the content in an understandable form and its way of presenting it. The second involves speaking skills, presentation skills, voice modulation, and more. Many aspects of class presentation should be taken into consideration. However, there are a few common mistakes that are often committed during its preparation: 

Not Doing Your Research

Whatever topic you choose to present, you need to have a good knowledge about it. Well, that will only come with good research skills. You can do that by getting help from your teacher, the school library, or the Internet. Research not only helps you with better presentation but will also prepare you to answer the questions asked during the question hour.  

Not Making a Proper Introduction

 Whether the presentation is in front of a small group or you are representing your school, a small introduction about yourself along with the topic’s introduction is a must. This not only gives you a great start but also gives the audience an idea of what the presentation is about. To make your introduction a bit more interesting, you can start the presentation with a quote or some statistics to grab attention. 

Lack of preparation for the presentation

Not preparing well before the presentation day may put you in a difficult spot. It is possible that you will present well but you are internally not satisfied with your performance. Well, one of the best ways to prepare is to at least go through the content twice. Practice in front of the mirror or ask your parents to be the audience during the preparations. This way, you will get to know your weak areas and work more on them. You will be fully prepared to capture the attention of the audience with your confidence and speaking skills. 

Confident Body Language

Confidence is the key to a good presentation. It is not something that will develop overnight, we need to work on it. As per a study, poor body language affects your confidence. You need to understand that your language speaks a lot about your personality. With good content and strong body language, confidence reflects automatically. For class presentations, you can practise hand movements and voice modulation. Another important point that should not be ignored is maintaining eye contact with the audience. Before the final presentation day, it is advisable to practice in front of a mirror.

Not Being Engaging

 If you want your audience to understand the presentation well, then keep it engaging. A presentation full of text will make it boring so, to keep a balance between the infographics and text to make it more interesting and engaging. If possible, minutes of video related to your topic. This will keep your audience entertained. Remember whenever on stage  it is your responsibility to keep your audience engaged sensibly without going off-track. 

Inconsistent Slides

 Presenting slides in a good way demands a perfect framework that involves a lot of things and often focusing on one aspect might lead to ignoring others. Here are a few common slide mistakes made during the presentation. 
  1. Overcrowding the slides: It is one of the most common presentation mistakes often committed by students. You need to understand that for presentation “less is more” fits perfectly. Instead of too much text, visuals should be used. Instead of paragraphs, pointers should be used. Using different colours also makes the presentation interesting.
  2. Reading directly from the slides: Reading directly from the slides only projects you as underconfident and unprepared. Although it might seem a little tempting and an easier option, the best is to make small pointers of important topics on which you want to talk.
  3. Complicated data: Data should be presented in a way that the written content becomes more understandable. For this Pie charts or bar graphs in different colours can be used. 
  4. Not maintaining the hierarchy: Arranging the slides haphazardly
  5.  only confuses the students. It will distract them as there will be less clarity regarding the points. 

Going Off-Topic

Many times you might go off-topic to make your point more clear during the presentation. But as a presenter, you need to understand that class presentations and question sessions should be done within a time limit. For this students need to maintain the flow as per the hierarchy and should have an idea about which points need more explanation than the others. This will only come with a few practice sessions before your final day. 

Not being prepared for feedback and questions

 Once you finish your presentation, allow your audience to put their doubts in front of you. This way not only will your audience get a chance to clarify their doubts but you will also learn to tackle difficult questions. Sometimes, if you have no answer or are in doubt about the question, it is ok to accept and consider returning with better research next time.  As a presenter, you need to keep the flow of your presentation in a positive direction and end it on a positive note. It leaves a good impression on the audience. Keeping a way forward slide at the end is a good way to end. You can also present an idea about a drive you want to start in your school related to some global concern. But make sure everything is related to your topic of presentation. Nothing should go off-track.

If you are searching the internet with terms like- the best schools in Bengaluru or ICSE schools in Bangalore, CBSE syllabus schools consider Ekya Schools. We are among the leading schools in Bangalore, offering the best quality education. Our Understanding by Design (UbD) framework curriculum is designed in a way that caters not just to the academic requirements of a student but simultaneously builds the overall personality of the student.  We encourage students to actively participate in co-curricular and other group activities like presentations. This helps in building confidence and developing skills like speaking skills, presentation skills, tackling questions, and more. We have expert faculty that prepares our students for holistic development. At Ekya, different school clubs also help students develop different skills such as music, dance, coding, debating, and more.  Hopefully, the above information will be helpful.      
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Unlocking Your Focus: Strategies to Overcome Distractions and Stay Productive

We have all been there: sitting at our desks with a list of tasks to finish while our thoughts drift away. A wavering attention span could most times be a symptom of underlying factors like insufficient sleep, poor eating habits and multiple distractions among others. Ideally, the wise and long-lasting option would be to deal with the causes, rather than the symptom.

Nevertheless, these are three strategies I turn to when I need to focus:

  1. Most often, I tend to get distracted when a complex task looms large. Switching to and completing a relatively simpler chore gives me a sense of accomplishment and motivation to tackle the former.
  2. ‘Nobody knows me better than me’- keeping this idea in mind, I like to create to-do lists tailored to my attention span, allowing myself some wiggle room for inevitable distractions. This is my version of realistic goal-setting!
  3. Ultimately, I am only human and there is only so much I can try. When I find it difficult to maintain attention, I like to shoot a quick arrow prayer to seek divine assistance for the same. With this method, I am almost always able to find a renewed focus to complete my task.

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all when it comes to attention; it is all about finding the method that works the best for us. Start small and remember: small steps are still progress!

Written by: Ashley Anna Tom (Life Skills Educator, Ekya BTM)

Fill a vessel? Or “Kindle a fire”? – What do you do?

One of the core character strengths that help any individual excel in any field is “curiosity.”  When I hear the word “curiosity” as a mindset or attitude,  I remember what Plutarch said  “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

How often are we as either parents or educators guilty of  “filling the vessel” vs “ kindling fire”? I often see parents and educators in a hurry to “fill the vessel”, and to share “the correct answer” to a question posed by a child.  Well Yes! Some questions are to be answered “correctly”, but there are many more which can be left open for exploration.

Dear Parents and Educators,

We are in the 21st century and children can “fill their vessels” through books and internet sources. Then, what is your role in helping them learn?

  1. To clarify misconceptions

  2. To kindle thoughts and ideas that they can explore

Let me share examples based on my work with children.

  1. To clarify misconceptions.

When could we clarify misconceptions? - When we notice that misconceptions if carried forward, could come in the way of correct conceptual understanding. Teacher: Identify the common noun in this sentence. “ Saraswathi likes reading books.” Student:  “Saraswathi”

In such scenarios, the teacher could ask some leading questions to guide the student to the correct answer because there is only one correct answer!

  1. To kindle thoughts and ideas that they can explore

When the topic under discussion is open-ended and can lead to multiple perspectives and contradictory views, we could ask leading questions to kindle thoughts.

I share one of my experiences in an “Early Years” classroom; a group discussion during lunch hour. Syed: I got cucumbers today. Rahul: I got idli and coconut chutney Nisha: I got paratha and pickles. Syed: All these are vegetarian foods Rahul: I know! Apples, oranges, and tomatoes are all vegetarian foods Syed: All foods that we get from plants are vegetarian foods. Nisha: I eat chicken and meat; those are not from plants and so are non-vegetarian foods. Manoj: I like icecreams Syed: Is ice cream a veg food? Manoj: Yes, ice cream is veg

I was quiet all the while but now stepped in to kindle a thought.

Me: Ice cream has milk as an ingredient and milk comes from animals.

That left all of them wondering and they started to think. My job was done. The reason I left it at this was because there is so much to explore in the world of “defining foods”. There are some dictionary definitions of who a vegetarian is. We have some more vocabulary like - vegan, eggetarian etc. New definitions could emerge; old ones could become passe. So, why do we need to “fill their vessels” with definitions of today?

I invite all educators and parents to carefully strike a balance between “filling a vessel” versus “kindling a fire”.

Mathangi Rajasekaran,
Head of School, Ekya NICE Road

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