Very good!

You see, how good English you know;

You are not able to speak here for one minute also.

You will get very good marks,

If you will study this way.

“Go; and sit on your place!


My English teacher ‘Sister Irene’, shouted these words with anger at me.

Why Sister Irene was shouting? What had happened that day? Let us read further to know the answers of these questions.

Up to class VII, I only knew to read, write and understand English, but hesitated to speak it.

However I was in a good English medium school where all the teachers used to teach and communicate in English. Students were asked to communicate only in English during the school premises. In front of the teachers we used to act as if we are speaking in English, but as soon as the teacher left the class, all the students begun to talk in their own mother tongue.

My interaction was limited with the teachers due to my poor English. Generally I used to avoid talking to them, because if they asked something, then I could only answer them in ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

I did not like to participate in school’s extra curriculum activities like essay writing, speech competition, debate competition etc. I used to wonder that how they had learned such good English when I used to see my seniors delivering a speech on stage in fluent English.

Time passed and I came in class VIII and as usual half a year passed.

A drastic change came in my life when Sister Irene was appointed as an English teacher. She was quite strict. All the students feared her as she used to carry a stick in her hand.

She taught us very well. But denied to give answers to the questions asked in the exercises at the end of the chapter. She used to tell us that “Read the chapter once again and frame the answers of your own”. She believed that dictating answers is spoon feeding to student, that makes the student dependent on teacher.

All the students of my class faced a great difficulty after this amendment, because all the teachers used to dictate answers and we simply used to copy them.

Initially I had a great difficulty in searching the answers. Later I got used to it and could frame the sentences with my broken English.

Next day sister announced in the class that, “Everyone will talk in English only in my class; If I see anybody talking in Hindi; he/she will have to pay fine of five rupees.”

This strategy worked well on me. It forced me to communicate with those few words I knew. Once Sister Irene gave us the homework to learn the summary of the stories given in our book; she also told that; she would listen to it. I thoroughly learned the summaries of all the stories that night.

Next day sister entered the classroom and announced, “Come one by one according to your roll number and I will ask you to tell the summary.”

These words hit me like a bullet, because I had never said a single sentence in front of so many students. I begun to worry. One by one the students were telling theirs summaries. After some time my turn had to come. My heart begun to beat faster as my roll number came. Finally I got up and assured myself to be confident and fearless.

Sister asked me to tell the summary of the story “Last leaf” I became happy as every incident of this story was known to me. Finally after taking a long breath and with a smile I started, “In the story last leaf there are two girls named Johnsy and Sue. They…… after saying these few words as I looked at the students sitting in front of me, I noticed they were all smiling at me. My mind became blank at that moment, all the content had gone; that I had stored last night.

The phobia of stage did not allow me to utter a single word after that. I stood speechless; bowing my head down. Looking at me, standing speechless; sister burst with anger at me and said the following words which I have  mentioned at the beginning. I felt humiliated and insulted after that incident and decided to work hard and learn English by heart.

I took several measures to learn and improve English such as reading essay books, English novels, stories etc. I also developed the habit of watching English news regularly. I used to talk with myself in front of mirror. I wrote summaries of poems in my own words. Every Sunday I used to tell a story to my sister holding a pencil as a microphone to overcome stage fear. In this way I had improved my English to a great extent.

Now I was ready to face any challenge related to English speaking skill. Soon I got that chance too; when my school Principal “Sister Sheela Thomas” asked at the prayer ground after the prayer; “who is going to describe about the tour to Jaipur?”, that my class has recently visited.

I raised my hand to answer, “Very good Shyam, Come on to the stage.” My principal called me in a loud voice. I held the mic and started describing…. “On 10th of October at 9pm, our bus left Orai for Jaipur. Next day at 10am in morning we reached at ‘Hotel Ruby’ Jaipur. After having our breakfast we visited Allart museum………..

In the way after speaking for three minutes, I ended my speech with a Thankyou.

As I finished, the whole school including all the students, teachers and sisters clapped for me. Sister Irene was most happy person that day and was clapping with all her might. After that day I gained self confidence. Later I took part in a debate competition and performed well. My performance in the exams had also improved. By continuous practise and hardwork on English I had conquered the stage fear.

Time to time Sister Irene also helped me a lot. Now I could confidently interact with teachers. In this way the efforts and invaluable help of Sister Irene had completely reformed me. Though today Sister Irene is not with me; but I would always be grateful to her.

I hope you enjoyed the true story of my early life.🙂


Written By – Shyam Singh

Roll no. – 20261

Batch  – F2(MEGA )

Mobile no. –  8052903014