S.M.I.L.E.’s flagship English Oral Conversation Skills Programme was initiated in 1991 at St Mary’s School in Kloof. This extramural formal English skills development Programme aims to boost the English-speaking skills of Community Primary school learners and so enhance their corresponding English language development in the classroom setting.
Approximately 10 Programmes are hosted each year by High schools across five Provinces of KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Mpumulanga, namely:
- St Mary’s School for Girls – Kloof, Durban Girls High School, St Anne’s Diocesan College, Inanda Seminary, Intakamezolo Combined School, Herschel, Springfield Convent, St Davids Marist, Uplands College, Woodridge College.
Each afternoon, 48 Grades 4 or 5 learners from one or two Community schools attend the weekly Programme at a host school, with two teachers introducing the week’s theme and topic. The 8 volunteer Grades 10 or 11 group leaders develop their leadership skills as they take their groups through the four activities of the afternoon – reading, games, songs and crafts – building learners’ confidence in conversational English skills.
Friendship, trust and understanding that cross the extensive divide of ages, culture and life experiences are critical by-products of this innovative Programme.
The English Oral Conversation Skills Programme is a CAPS compliant, 32 week Programme supporting S.M.I.L.E. Classroom Textbooks and dovetails with all the activities conducted in the formal classroom situation. All the materials are available for schools to purchase with guidelines on how to implement the Programme.