Vivek Agarwal tells Sangeeta Yadav about how one can become fluent in speaking English with the help of EnglishEdge
What is EnglishEdge all about?
It is a highly effective and unique way of learning English language, which leverages technology to empower teachers so that they are able to provide a more effective learning experience to the students. It provides solutions to children and young adult segments. We combine the best in technology with the best in pedagogy to provide a superior learning experience. Our pedagogy provides teacher empowerment, interactive, multimedia programmes and a focus on effectiveness of outcomes.
What are the policies or modules that you follow in developing EnglishEdge?
For children, there is a curriculum-mapped solution that helps them to develop their language skills. For adults, the solution focuses on providing employability-related skills. The solution covers all levels of English proficiency—from basic to advanced—and is available on computers, tablets and mobile phones.
What is the latest development in English language in India?
English as a language is extremely aspiring. Everybody wants to learn it to improve his or her prospects. The teaching of the language is moving away from a grammar-based approach to a more communicative approach and the focus is on its use more as an instrument or skill of value, as opposed to just an academic subject.
How can we improve the situation of speaking correct English?
The first step is to identify the needs of the learners and their objective for learning the language. There are typically three reasons why people want to learn English — work, academic or general and social. All these are different needs and need different approaches. This is a curriculum issue.
Then, there are environment and learner factors, which need to be kept in mind. All these things should then be combined with the right use of technology to ensure that a large number of people can be provided with high quality learning experience in a cost-effective way.
What are the steps one should follow to improve their English speaking skills?
Language learning is a social experience and therefore, we believe that a pure self-study method does not work well. EnglishEdge uses a combination of technology and teacher-led training, which is the most appropriate way of learning English – students acquire the knowledge by themselves while the skills like listening and speaking with confidence are acquired in the classroom. There’s great emphasis on speaking and peer-interaction, two of the most successful ways of acquiring proficiency in any language.
What are the key points on which English Edge has tied up with IIT Delhi ?
EnglishEdge is based on a very robust pedagogical basis and has proven to be effective for hundreds of thousands of learners. Its technology-driven approach means that it suits the needs of IIT Delhi students who can study at their own convenience.
How could one register for this service?
It is available at more than 1,000 locations across India, at various institutes. Students get access to it either as part of a programme they enroll for and also separately.
What is the way ahead?
EnglishEdge is already available across age groups, proficiency levels, several vernacular languages and across all technology platforms. Now the idea is to deepen our value to the learners and reach out to a much larger numbers of learners around the world.
(The article was published in the Pioneer Newspaper)