In December 2012, ‘English Vinglish’ movie was released in India; it was a superb hit. Why? All over the world, our very own people were able to connect with the main character and her feelings. Because, India is a multilingual country but the English language; we got as a gift from our unfortunate circumstances. But today the worldwide scenario has changed multi fold with technology. This language have become an integral part of our strength in this global 4G and upcoming 5G world.
The point I want to address here is, that it is one of our necessities to grow and to connect with one big global country. In India, National Skill Corporation of India (NSDC) and State Governments are working day and night for the Indian youth. They are inventing new ways to provide skill based training, opportunities and making them job ready. All this effort is for the underprivileged and the Indian youth to connect with the rest of India and to the world. When the whole world is entering into a technology driven era, our young, intelligent and hardworking generation should not left behind. Their effort is really appreciable and is making a difference.
In all these skill based training programs, the government have mostly kept basic spoken English as part of the program. There are many private programs also running throughout the globe to teach people this language.
In the last two months, once again, I was connected to a women empowerment vocational centre in Maharashtra for their basic spoken English program. I am working in this field for more than 5 years, but this time I realised that all the girls are undergraduates. Though outstanding in their respective skill areas, at an undergraduate stage, learning any language in just a few sessions is not easy. Why? Because it is not enough for the majority of them!
First of all, we need to admit that it is a necessity, not a choice. Teachers and parents can help young India at the grass root level. Parents and Teachers need to work as a team that can bring about a positive change for the future. If we do better at a younger stage, these short term programs will bring much better results.
How teachers can help students to give them a good base for English language?
- Our rural and small cities need to work hard because children have fewer facilities in these places. School teachers need to update themselves with new ways to teach English language.
- Make them believe they can learn it. There are ways to teach this language with interesting and captivating methods. Motivate them to learn and practice this language.
- Provide interesting opportunities to read more, increase vocabulary, word spellings, meanings and sentences, because when we try to teach them in adult age, in spite of good intent their basic issues are pushing them back.
- Keep one hour a week just for group discussions on some interesting daily routine topics. The child should feel excited to talk about it. For the initial period, let children speak, even if it is wrong grammar; they need to learn to speak fearlessly. Once there is no fear learning will be an automatic process.
- Invent new games to teach them new words and their spellings.
- Guide them in their difficult phases. If teachers upgrade themselves they can get wonderful results with these students.
- Guide parents on how they can help their children at home.
- Blaming or shaming a child does not help in anyway.
- A Student needs an understanding from their educators.
- Last but not least – be good listeners and guide them on how they can solve their study problems.
How Parents can help children to practise English language?
- Parents should understand the necessity of learning this language but they do not need to blame the child for not getting it.
- Provide reading material, encourage them to watch the news, documentaries and other programs in English.
- Parents should spend a little extra money and time in their childhood if they get opportunities.
- Invent new games to teach them new words and how to spell them.
- Encourage them to speak in English as well, besides their mother tongue.
- They should have insightful talks with their children.
- Parents should cooperate with teachers and work as a team.
- Last but not the least – be good listeners and guide them how they can solve their study problems.
How the Government can help at the grass root level:
- Government may provide guidance or training sessions in Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy for Anganwadi supervisors, Balwadi teachers and School teachers.
- By providing teachers reading material such as story books and dictionaries.
- By teaching school staff about the importance of learning the English language.
- Identifying and training good teachers will help many children grow.
- Old staff should be trained in the new ways of child psychology. It will help them to connect better with the young generation.
So, if we work on all levels we can make a smart difference. Students would be able to learn English with their state language and national language.