Abdul Salim is an English teacher at Sane Guruji Urdu Vidyalaya in Rahatekar Vadi in Nagpur. He has spent most of his life in the city, doing what he does best; teaching English to students. Salim is one of the 100,000 teachers from around the world who use ReadToMe® in their classrooms.
He was first introduced to the ReadToMe® software when his school came under the umbrella of the RightToRead program aimed at improving English literacy in Maharashtra.
ReadToMe® is a multi-sensory AI-powered reading and comprehension software provided to schools under the RightToRead program. This program was initiated in Maharashtra in 2014 in just 125 schools by EnglishHelper in partnership with Schoolnet and donors including Forbes Marshall Foundation. In 2016, the program was expanded to 3720 ICT schools in 29 districts in partnership with Schoolnet and supported by USAID. In 2018, the Government of Maharashtra, Schoolnet, and EnglishHelper signed an MOU to implement the RightToRead program in 65,000 digitally equipped government schools across the state.
The English Aspiration: Challenges Faced By Teachers
According to Salim, “English is a global language. Therefore, every child needs to learn and speak in English.” He believes children who lack English reading and comprehension skills lose the opportunity to acquire knowledge about the world around them. “ As nowadays most information is available in the English language,” adds Salim.
Salim always encourages his students to read and write in English. Earlier, he would record dialogues from English movies and play them in class repeatedly. By doing so, he was introducing his students to ‘global English’. Though he used movie dialogues as an English learning tool, he was always doubtful of its effectiveness. “Moreover,” he adds,” they were not relevant to the school curriculum.” Additionally, the extra time spent after school for planning his classes was becoming an onerous chore.
Introduction of ReadToMe® In Classrooms
The introduction of ReadToMe® in his school has assisted Salim in his English classes without adding additional layers of work. Salim, a dedicated teacher, wants to optimize the use of this reading and comprehension tool and also make it enjoyable for his students. In his first ReadToMe® class he conducted a group activity. He arranged his students into two teams and used ReadToMe® to practise the pronunciation of words. The students enjoyed this new method of learning pronunciation. After ten words, when Salim did a recapitulation with the children, he was amazed at how quickly they had learned the correct pronunciations. He was surprised at the efficacy of multi-sensory learning. In the words of Salim, “this is the most efficient way of learning a language.” He uses tools that enable “slow reading” and “silent reading” in all his classes.
The Benefits of Multi-Sensory Reading
Many of Salim’s students are first-generation English learners. Zeenat, a student from grade 6, had trouble pronouncing words correctly before using the pronunciation tool of ReadToMe®. Salim proudly proclaims that Zeenat is a much more confident speaker now. Aaliya, a student of grade 8, was also facing the same difficulty. “It was difficult to get students interested in classroom reading.” Now his students are attentive throughout the 40 minutes of class!
ReadToMe® software helps dedicated teachers like Salim save time and energy. The software is designed to assist teachers in rapidly developing the English reading and comprehension of students. Salim does not have to read aloud in every class anymore, which can be a physically demanding task. He is grateful to see his students speak English fluently.
The pronunciation tool is, without doubt, Salim’s favourite! He has seen a remarkable improvement in the pronunciation of his students since the use of this tool. The children respond well to the software and are keen on attending their English sessions.
Abdul Salim is an example of a teacher willing to adopt technology-enabled methods to improve the learning ability of students. RightToRead is enabling nearly 60,000 teachers impacting the lives of almost 4 million students across the state. The program is making English learning possible for all, leaving no child behind!
To know how to use ReadToMe® pronunciation tool please click here.
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