08 April 2022

Creating a safe environment for English through frugal innovations

By Simran Saluja

English education is not just a skill but a way of life. English is one of the most spoken languages in the world making it a prerequisite in all forms of jobs to keep up with the rapid changes in the world. But for us, English is a foreign language and children often find it difficult to understand and learn. Children have the tendency to learn English sentences or spelling by heart without understanding the language. Children often fear the language and it becomes difficult for the teachers to teach the language.

It is said that – anything needs to be done in a proper way to get the desired results. Same way, there is a particular process and method for teaching English to children.

Sampark Foundation in collaboration with the Haryana State Government implemented Sampark Smart Shala Programme in primary schools of Haryana while mainly focusing on providing fundamental literacy and numeracy to children. The schools received English TLMs along with the Audio box. The teachers were at first a bit sceptical about implementing the new method of teaching to the students as they thought it might be difficult for both students and them to use the SoundBox and the Sampark Smart Shala App. But, they were amazed to see the children-friendly approach to the App and the SoundBox. They found it not only very easy to use but also very informative as it helped them be in alignment with the syllabus. The audio box played a key role in rebuilding the friendly rapport between teachers and students. Furthermore, learning through play assisted the teachers at school is not only in increasing attendance but also in retaining students on a regular basis.

Rekha Jha, one of the teachers from the Primary School of Hisar, Haryana, stated that “When the Sampark Foundation Kit arrived in our school, we first took out the Audio Box and played it in front of the children as a trial. It is difficult to put into words the enthusiasm we saw for the audio box among the children, especially for Sampark Didi. We have seen quite a shift in children’s behaviour towards learning ever since that day, and they are even more excited to come to school to learn new concepts.”

The chapters and lessons provided in the App and audio box are based on the fundamental literacy approach. The Sampark English Kit aided in creating a safe environment for the children who felt ashamed of their inability to pronounce English words, by allowing them to listen to the right pronunciation and enabling active participation while maintaining the decorum of the school.

The new teaching methods have also increased the engagement of children in their studies and better grip on the English Language. This experience of children learning something from an audio box through rhymes was new which was encouraging them. When the teachers discharge other works given by the government, Sampark Didi helps them in educating the children. While maintaining the school's decorum, children learn many words of English while singing, dancing and practising activities. The Audio box is the bilingual approach that Sampark Foundation has used as it helps children understand English and also gives them the confidence to use or pronounce the words in the right way.