Learn English anytime, anywhere with English Bolo from IL&FS Education

Technology – enabled language learning is the easiest way to improve proficiency, anytime, anywhere, like in the case of learning English. Now, with the convenience of mobile apps, you can pick up new skills and practice them at your ease, while at work or in leisure. EnglishBolo, designed by IL&FS Education, in collaboration with US based Ed-Tech company English Helper, is a solution that offers a blended approach. It is targeted at employed youth, who would like to improve their English and excel in their professional and personal lives. Let’s know more about EnglishBolo in a conversation with Ankur Arora, Former Assistant Vice President, IL&FS Education and Technology Services Limited.

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1. What is the importance of English for employability?
A: Across the social spectrum, whether urban or semi-urban, command over the English language, coupled with a pleasing personality, are viewed as essential ‘ingredients’ for social acceptance, employment, career growth, and upward mobility.

2. Could you enumerate the challenges faced in workplace communication?
A: Think of a typical day at work: greeting colleagues, having an impromptu conversation with co-workers, reading through and responding to emails, making a sales pitch, forming impressions about people etc. An individual spends majority of his/her time in some form of communication at the workplace.
As communication is a primary activity in the workplace, it is essential that communication skills are acquired and constantly improved upon. English, being mandated as the common corporate language, and the preference for most of the communication happening at the workplace, it is imperative for every professional to develop his / her English language skills.

3. What are some of the job roles that depend on proficiency in English?
English has become a necessity for many job roles, especially those under the umbrella of the services sector (customer interaction roles) such as retail, BPO and hospitality, among others.

4. Tell us about English Bolo and how it works.
“EnglishBolo” (www.englishbolo.com) is targeted at employed youth across hierarchy, who would like to improve their English and excel in their personal and professional lives; it is based on the value of multisensory learning, encouraging learners to read, listen, and speak to improve confidence and fluency. The programme comprises of 2 segments that complement each other – self-learning lessons and teacher led classes. The former comprises of 40 ‘Learn Yourself’ modules, with each module allowing learners to read, listen, and speak. This is facilitated by the tools built into the programme, including reading aloud at various speeds, pronunciation tools, a dictionary, a picture dictionary and multi-lingual support.

Teacher Led Classes, on the other hand, comprise of 10 online teacher led classes, with each being unlocked upon after completing 3 self-learning modules. Each class allows learners to practice speaking with a teacher with the objective of gaining confidence, and enhancing spoken English skills. Verbal practice, with other learners, is provided to complement the learning provided by the self-learning modules. This entire methodology enables holistic and practical-oriented learning.

5. How does English Bolo make it easy to learn the language for people from different backgrounds and regions?
The content and classes are specifically designed to be easy, effective and engaging; the programme enables learners to learn on their own using a multi-sensory approach (listening, reading and speaking), in addition to providing interaction between teachers and students
EnglishBolo is available on a learner’s own PC, tablet or phone and does not require commuting to classes; all classes can be scheduled at a learner’s own convenience, online (www.englishbolo.com).
Learners’ levels are assessed, and content structured accordingly, so they are able to relate better and start speaking effectively in work and social settings. This product is intended for anybody, who wishes to speak English better – learners just need to know the English alphabet and have a device that connects to the internet. Another USP is that the programme offers multi lingual support to learners.

6. What the best way to use EnglishBolo for people, who are already employed in jobs? (since they don’t have the time to attend English classes)
Learners can access EnglishBolo from any device (computers, smartphones, or tablets), with access to broadband or 3G data services.
For achieving the desired outcome, learners need to devote 4 hours in a week; 3 hours for self- learning and 1 hour for a teacher led virtual class.
The teacher led virtual class can be scheduled on any of 7 days of the week, between 10 AM to 10 PM. The time slot can be chosen by the learner based on their preference and convenience. Therefore, the programme provides required flexibility for people who are already employed.

7. English is a passport to professional success – what is your view on this?
In a multilingual country like India, people from different parts of the country find it easier to communicate in English thus making English the acceptable link language. As a consequence, the English language has gained perceptible prestige and has also slowly, but surely, crept into everyday usage by people from different strata of society, becoming a requirement for career growth.

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