The New English Channel
Can technology-enabled learning prove to be a ray of hope for India’s reading challenge? Evidence from Cossipore Institute in West Bengal suggests that information, communication and technology (ICT) can play a critical role in improving Indian youth’s written and spoken English.
Cossipore Institute is one of the 769 government and aided schools using ICT to teach 1.84 lakh students in West Bengal to read English as part of the RightToRead program – a national initiative to promote technology-enabled English reading and comprehension. RightToRead is one of several initiatives that are trying to fix the reading crisis in Indian schools.
Priya Viswanath, vice-president of English Helper Education Technologies, said, “We use the same textbook used in the school so that teachers don’t fret about the syllabus and resist change. We want to make the teacher an integral part of the process.” This, combined with continually developing technology allows for such interventions to be spread to many more schools across the country with little support, minimum investment, and higher Internet penetration.
Ten-year-old Zaqiya Parveen, a student in the Cossipore Institute, now reads aloud confidently in front of her peers as a result of the RightToRead initiative. This is an achievement for the fifth grade student to whom words in the textbook didn’t make any sense just a year ago. “Our book comes alive on screen and it’s just like a huge TV,” says Parveen. Her success story is just one of many that has come about as a result of RightToRead’s mission to teach English skills to students in government schools.
To know more about technology-enabled learning, and what students and teachers from government schools have to say about it, click on the link below.
The original article has been written and published by The Telegraph India:
Learning English can be fun
EnglishHelper offers unique English learning products that can be used online, on any smart device. EnglishHelper’s free ‘Learn English’ program has been designed around multi-sensory learning, and helps in building vocabulary, improving comprehension and enhancing spoken English skills This method helps improve your English speaking skills and has other advantages as well. Firstly, if technologically presented a person can learn at their own pace and practice without fear of failure. Secondly, there is no requirement to learn complex rules since English is being acquired through “immersion”. Finally, if the text being read is interesting (e.g. a story) learning English will be fun.
Improving Spoken English Skills
Research indicates that a handful of words are used most of the time and can easily help a person navigate through simple, everyday communication. As such, if these words are repeatedly heard, read, and spoken aloud, the learner is soon able to recognize the word when heard or in writing which helps in improving their spoken English skills. With the help of simple aids, including pictures or vernacular translation these words begin making meaning and the learner can comprehend what they are reading or saying (or, after some practice, what others are saying).