RightToRead Enables English Literacy – the First Steps in Guatemala
Learning English is a challenge across the globe. In February 2019, the RightToRead program was implemented in Guatemala. The initial pilot was launched in 5 schools. Of these, 2 private schools were supported by Pantaleon Group and 3 public schools were supported by FUNDAP. The pilot covered nearly 1400 students from pre-school – 12th grade.
The pilot demonstrates a noticeable change in English reading and comprehension of the children undergoing the program. Students who were exposed to the program for over 2 hours weekly, improved 8 times more than the students who were exposed to the program for just a third of that duration. The benefits of using the program are significant with consistent and regular usage! Encouraged by the results, FUNDAP is looking forward to expanding the program to 40 schools within its network.
Teachers also enjoy using the program as it helps the students build pronunciation, reading and speaking skills.
The program provides confidence to leverage technology and education significantly to improve English literacy in the schools of Guatemala.
RightToRead was launched in 2013 in 100 schools across 6 states in India. In 2015, the program expanded to 5000 schools reaching one million students in 8 states in the country. RightToRead is estimated to achieve a footprint of 100,000 schools reaching nearly 20 million students by early 2020.
Studies have confirmed the need to introduce change thoughtfully and methodically in public education systems. RightToRead ensures the fundamental tenets of sustainable change. These include: the study of prescribed textbooks, the continued pivotal role of the teacher as the leader in the classroom, the integration with school time-table and the deployment of the program leveraging existing IT infrastructure.
ReadToMe®, the AI software, enables the reading of English textbooks during normal class hours. It supports ‘localisation’ by offering voice (accent) choice and translation to vernacular. In Guatemala, teachers and students can translate English words to Spanish.
Leveraging Technology for Empowering Students with English Literacy – the Latin America Opportunity
RightToRead is an edtech initiative that aims to enable English Literacy with the help of multi-sensory reading and comprehension AI software ReadtoMe®. Research indicates that language is best learned through multi-sensory exposure in the learner’s environment. Repeated and frequent exposure to words enables word recognition and pronunciation. Features like dictionary, word translation and pictures help with developing vocabulary. This process of learning improves fluency of reading and comprehension.
The software can be installed on almost any device and integrated for use with existing IT infrastructure. The user interface has been designed for teacher friendliness. The software’s features such as picture dictionary, translation and word-meaning help teachers to conduct English classes more effectively and achieve their syllabus goals. Teachers observe high level of student engagement when using ReadToMe® in class.
The success of the program has enabled EnglishHelper to leverage partnerships and implement in schools in Africa (Sierra Leone & Nigeria), Asia (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal & Vietnam) and Central America (Nicaragua, Honduras & Guatemala). The Government of Sri Lanka accorded its approval for implementing RightToRead in all Government schools in Sri Lanka. This will enable the program to reach 4.1 million students in over 10,000 schools in the country. The Kingdom of Cambodia has recently has expressed interest in piloting RightToRead in primary schools in the country. RightToRead will be launched in Cambodia in early 2020.
Latin America, as a region, performs below the world average in the EF EPI (English First English Proficiency Index) for all age groups. While there is a great need to improve English proficiency there is a shortage of English teachers. ReadToMe® is an AI technology learning solution that could be deployed in this region at scale and cost effectively. The initial pilot in Guatemala has demonstrated the relevance of the program. In other parts of the world, RightToRead has achieved massive scale very quickly. These attributes of the program make it a ready solution for deployment across Latin America.
To know how to setup and use ReadToMe® in class, please click here
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