The world of teaching has seen a paradigm shift; technology, which has spiralled change in most of the domains, has also impacted the domain of education. The requirement of the day, as we move away from the chalk and talk method, is for blended learning, and
this does not only apply to learning a language, but to almost every subject under the sun. The idea is not to blindly follow a trend, but to understand the features and impact of the same, before its adoption. However, when we look around, it is easy to gather that technology is being adopted at a rather fast pace, and sometimes solely because “others are doing it, so why not us; we do not want to be left behind?” or because “since it is easily accessible/available/cost effective, why not make the best use of it?” The point I wish to make is that technology is a boon as long as it is a facilitator, and not a substitute for human connect, expertise or impact, at least as far as teaching is concerned. Learning a language with the help of technology makes sense to me, as it enhances teaching/learning solutions, empowers stakeholders involved, and ensures better learning outcomes. At Schoolnet, our solutions for learning the English language focus on the learner, as we strongly believe in the fact that no solution can be a ‘one solution for all’; the “why?” to this is not difficult to understand. Questions like: who is our target audience? What are their demands, needs and expectations? Challenges faced by all stakeholders involved? The latter includes even issues like availability of electricity (tech-support is futile without this), or the proficiency of trainers in remote areas, or the logistics available for implementation of EdTech solutions, among so many other considerations. At Schoolnet, our solutions like English for Employability and EnglishBolo
have been designed keeping the above in mind, besides other parameters. And then, there is another important aspect of value addition to the learning of the language. Is just learning a language sufficient? Is there anything, in addition, we need to impart? And so on. Well, the answer to these questions lies in numerous factors.
However, learning a language is not just about learning its grammar, vocabulary, the structure of sentences, and so on, but about its very essence – the culture from which it stems; besides, life skills add to the learning of a language, as both enhance personality, vision, and perspective. Besides, multilinguism holds the key, even when teaching a language like English. I have always felt that one language can be used as a ‘prop’ to support the learning of another language, especially if the former is a native language; however, the proper implementation of this ‘prop’ is based on the discretion of the concerned teacher. Having said the above, I, during my long journey of an English language teacher, have always felt that learning a language is like learning about an entirely new world; hence, doing it right counts!