English is used as the medium of instruction both in school and higher education. It is the language of business. English is often the common language between bi/multilingual speakers. Globally, the use of technology for learning a language is dominated by English.
EnglishHelper launched RightToRead in 2013 in India, taking AI technology-enabled English reading and comprehension solution to government schools in 6 Indian states. In 2015, in partnership with USAID, the RightToRead Program was implemented across 8 states of India. The program covered 1 Million students across 4889 government and aided schools in 8 states.
An independent impact evaluation conducted, validated the effectiveness of RightToRead in improving English learning outcomes by more than 20% compared to the counterfactual. Subsequently, the impact has been observed at scale, across geographies, and with continued use. (ReadToMe – a Study of the Impact of Multi-Sensory Reading and Comprehension on Learning Outcomes – a Consolidated Analysis:)
The successful implementation of the program, encouraging assessment results, and the capability developed are recognised and have resulted in support from various governments for expanding the program. The footprint has grown manifold since then and the technology-enabled initiative, RightToRead, is now deployed in nearly 25,000 schools in India reaching in excess of 5 million students.
RightToRead – A Global Initiative
EnglishHelper has leveraged partnerships to launch RightToRead in K12 schools in Africa (Sierra Leone & Nigeria), Asia (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal & Vietnam) and Central America (Nicaragua, Honduras & Guatemala). The Government of Sri Lanka has 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 10,000 schools in the country. In 2020, RightToRead will be implemented in primary schools in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
This global expansion has been possible due to:
1. Easy-to-use Technology: One that helps to solve the difficult challenges of learning English. It enables deployment at a rapid scale, efficiently and effectively. The software is simple to implement and use in class. In India and across the world, thousands of teachers have downloaded and installed ReadToMe®, the English reading and comprehension software from the ‘cloud’.
2. Cost-Effectiveness: RightToRead is a cost-effective, affordable solution. Price is not the conversation!
3. Adaptability: The teacher leverages existing textbooks that have been trained to be read by the software during regular school hours (integrated with school timetables). The AI software supports ‘localisation’ by offering voice (accent) choice and translation to vernacular. In Guatemala, teachers and students can translate English words to Spanish, in Sri Lanka to Sinhalese and in Vietnam to Vietnamese.
4. Partnerships: Leveraging partnerships for expansion, EnglishHelper has worked with companies, non-profits and governments to expand the program’s footprint. Local partners bring knowledge, expertise, and resources essential for the success of the program. In Sri Lanka, a leading business group in the country is spearheading the implementation of the project across the island’s 10,000 schools network.
The need for English learning will continue to grow. Integrating technology-enabled English learning in schools has many benefits. English literacy and speaking skills are developed at the right time. In many countries, this successful coming together of technology and education will open the doors for many similar initiatives. English and technology are helping create a world without boundaries!
— Priya Viswanath
This article is written by Priya Viswanath, Senior Vice President of EnglishHelper.
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