Studies around the world have highlighted the increasing importance of technology in education. The assimilation of technology in education has benefits that span across education levels and geographies. Incorporating technology in education might have met with a lot of resistance initially, but research shows that countries that embraced technology in education could enhance learning outcomes in schools. It would not be incorrect to say that technology has the potential to transform both learning and pedagogy.
English reading and literacy levels are very low in India. Less than 50% of students in India can read a basic sentence in English.
To improve the English reading and comprehension skills of students, state governments are emphasizing on the need to introduce quality English learning at an early age. Andhra Pradesh has made English mandatory in all government schools. Other states are also executing initiatives to enhance the English literacy of school students.
The English Learning Challenge in Haryana
Learning the English language has been a challenge for government school students in Haryana.
A report on English language learning in Haryana, prepared by NCERT and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in 2012, noted that only self-reading in classrooms was not enough to develop familiarity with the language. The children did not get to listen to English or speak the language. This prevented students from understanding even basic conversations in English.
Other studies have also pointed out the English problem in the state. As per ASER 2016, only 54.8% of grade 5 students could read a basic sentence in English. Of those who could read the sentence, a little more than half of the students could comprehend it.
Information collected from schools in the state shows that around 50% of government school students failed their English Board examinations (2018).
Haryana is ripe for meaningful solutions to help change the current state of learning English in its government schools.
Technology-Enabled Multi-Sensory Solution to the English Challenge
Research demonstrates that language is best learned through repetitive, multi-sensory exposure in the student’s environment. Repeated multi-sensory exposure to the language enables word recognition. If the content being used is contextual to the student’s everyday life, cognitive recall enables vocabulary development and improves comprehension.
RightToRead is an initiative by EnglishHelper, to blend technology and education and make it available to students in government schools in India and worldwide. RightToRead deploys a multi-sensory AI-powered English reading and comprehension software (ReadToMe®) that is “trained” to read the prescribed English textbooks. This is a big plus for educators and students since curriculum adherence is an important criterion for success.
The RightToRead program started in 2013 with 100 schools spread across 6 states across India. Today, the program has been implemented in around 25,000 schools and impacts over 8 million students.
RightToRead in Haryana:
EnglishHelper launched the RightToRead program in Haryana in 2013 in 20 Government schools in partnership with the American India Foundation (AIF). In 2014, the program expanded to 51 schools.
In 2014, EnglishHelper conducted assessments in 23 schools in Haryana, which were a part of the RightToRead program implemented in partnership with AIF. By the end of the assessment period, the results in grade 6 showed a 21% increase in English learning ability. For grade 7, there was an increase of 19% in the learning outcomes. These results would be further improved if the schools have better IT infrastructure to enable greater regularity in ReadToMe® powered English classes.
Technology in education is making English learning available in the farthest corners of the country. Haryana has been pioneering reform in the government schools of the state. We hope RightToRead will be another feather in Harayana’s cap as the program spreads its wings to reach every school in the state.
To know how to use ReadToMe® picture dictionary tool please click here.
Click here for our innovative Spoken English program – EnglishBolo™, a joint Initiative of EnglishHelper and Schoolnet. To know more about EnglishBolo™ connect with us on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.