Need for English Learning
According to surveys conducted by ASER, less than 40% of school-going children in India can read a simple sentence in English.
English is an aspirational language in the country. It is connected to the social and economic well being of people. English literacy and learning are considered to be effective for increasing educational, social and economic opportunities.
Usage of technology in education is becoming increasingly popular. The role of technology as a resource for learning languages has already been recognised by educators in many countries. Studies have shown that learners benefit from the use of technology-enabled language learning methods.
The RightToRead Initiative
The RightToRead initiative aims at enabling English literacy through large-scale deployment of the multi-sensory AI reading and comprehension software, ReadToMe®. It is an effort to demonstrate that multi-sensory technology, that supports reading and comprehension, can play a major role in improving the English proficiency of students in government schools.
Across the education system in India, this integration of technology in education has been demonstrated as an efficient and effective solution for improving English reading and comprehension skills of K12 learners.
ReadToMe® – the Software
Research confirms that multi-sensory language learning enhances retention and increases engagement among students. Students improve their ability to read and comprehend a language since “repeated multi-sensory exposure to words enables word recognition and facilitates the development of pronunciation and oral skills.”
ReadToMe® is a multi-sensory reading and comprehension AI software designed to enable learners to enhance their English language skills. The software is trained to read curriculum prescribed textbooks. It empowers learners to improve their vocabulary, comprehension and pronunciation. ReadToMe® is a highly flexible tool which can be adapted to local needs. It can also be used on multiple platforms (online and offline). ReadToMe® can be used for supporting both group and individual learning needs.
About ReadToMe School Edition
Under the RightToRead program, in 2013, ReadToMe School Edition was deployed in 100 schools across 6 states in India. The software was introduced in English classrooms of government schools. Teachers were trained in the usage of the software. ReadToMe® enabled classes for reading the prescribed English textbooks were easily integrated into the school timetable. ReadToMe Student Edition allows students to access their school textbooks online.
An independent impact evaluation conducted across the country proved the effectiveness of ReadToMe® in improving English learning outcomes among students. Students using ReadToMe® have shown at least 20% improvement in their English skills, compared to the group who did not use the software. The beneficial impact has been observed across geographies and with continued use of the software.
It is estimated that by the end of 2020, ReadToMe School Edition will achieve a footprint of 100,000 schools and reach nearly 20 million students.
About ReadToMe Student Edition
The RightToRead initiative has transformed the way English can be learnt in government schools. The easy-to-use reading and comprehension AI software, ReadToMe®, has demonstrated the benefits of technology aligned with the curriculum.
To solve the problem of schools closure caused by the COVID-19 crisis and the consequent impact on learning an Android application – ReadToMe Student Edition – has been launched on Play Store.
ReadToMe Student Edition is an Android-based application which will enable students of all socio-economic segments to learn and practise English anytime, anywhere. The app is an extension of the software, ReadToMe School Edition, which has been extensively used across government schools in India. ReadToMe Student Edition enables students to read their English textbooks at home. Students of Maharashtra are the first to use this application on their Android devices.
The Way Ahead
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought technology in education to the forefront. The current crisis provides an opportunity to equalise education for all. ReadToMe School Edition has made ‘learning in the classroom’ more effective. ReadToMe Student Edition is now making its way into the homes of students and is addressing the ‘learn at home’ problem. Innovative digital solutions like these can offer more opportunities for learners and teachers to come together and overcome the English literacy crisis in India. Technology in education is paving the way for transformative learning tools which will benefit students from all segments and across geographies.
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