What is the problem that we are addressing?
In India, with a population of 287 million illiterates, professional English teachers can’t be hired to match this scale and so a lot of English (spoken & written) teaching is being done informally by people, who are English literates but not English teachers professionally, through NGO volunteer-ship or independently for their unschooled students (e.g. house maids, laborers, support staff etc). But currently there exists no publicly available English curriculum for these ad hoc teachers which tells them what to teach, how to teach and how long to teach, inline with their students’ needs. Prevalent English curriculum frameworks ( NCERT and the various niche curriculum prepared by NGOs) cannot be replicated here because of the humongous diversity in age and requirements of these students i.e. some may want to learn English for better jobs while others probably just to educate their family.
A Fresh approach for teaching practicable English
Breaking away from the traditional way of teaching English through separate chunks of literature and grammar lessons which takes years to make the student a fluent speaker, we encapsulated all the common grammatical forms and repeatedly occurring phrases into simple tables. These tables teaches the students to directly make sentences, which they can use in their day to day life, through the familiar visual technique of 'match the following'. Each such table is supplemented by vocabulary and exercise/activity sections to form a single lesson plan.
Our core innovation: The Table Structure
Delightful set of exercises and activities in each lesson plan
The exercises and activities in each of our lesson plans are strictly based on the tables in that lesson plan. And they are created to help the student understand by heart how to use the 'derived from table' sentences in real life scenarios. A certain number of exercises and activities in each lesson plan is created to initiate the student to speak up in front of his/her teacher. Another set of them focuses on the grammatical aspects of the table. Hence by giving a glimpse to the student of the vast practical use of the English which he/she has learnt in the lesson plan, the exercises and activities go well beyond their traditional role of teaching the grammatical aspects of the curriculum,
There is a strict benchmarking process for selection of exercises and activities for a lesson plan. But at the same time innovation in terms of possible types of exercises, aspect of real life that is linked within, and the pertaining story background for an activity is very much a part of the process of exercise and activity creation. We do spend a lot of our time and resources in creating the right bunch of exercises and activities for each lesson plan. Have a look at them in any of our lesson plans to judge their impact for yourself.
Nothing is static about this curriculum
We based this portal on the Wikipedia model of knowledge accumulation wherein we regularly assimilate teaching content, techniques and approaches from different teaching sources (Ad-hoc volunteers, regular teachers etc whoever our users are) to our lesson plans making them highly responsive to the on ground needs of the illiterate students.
How does our curriculum has the potential to impact the low income population in India?
Our English curriculum is primarily created to enable the people at the bottom of the pyramid in cities i.e. migrant laborers, securityguards, daily wagers, house maids, and contract workers etc. to learn ‘practicable’ English which should help them improve their life by getting better paying jobs, being more informed about their rights and support systems, and by making better life choices for themselves and their families. Moreover we also understand the pathetic condition of govt school students when it comes to English language skills (reading & writing) and so our curriculum is also designed to help these students accelerate their English learning to match the private school students English skills before they move out of these govt schools and compete with them in the real world.
Lastly, we believe that in the present communication age English is the lingua franca of progress for Indians and hardly do we come across a English speaking poor Indian.