Leap For Word – Teaching a global language locally -By Asha Devi

This is a success story from one of Vibha’s partners in India, Leap For Word (LFW). It describes how LFW’s training positively influenced English-learning journey of a 10-year old girl, Sidhi Yuvraj Patil, a daughter of a farmer in a small village in Kolhapur.

Sidhi’s mother Shubhangi was sitting in her courtyard, when some tourists came outside her house. They were kind of lost and wanted to enquire about directions of some important places around the area. They spoke English and English being a barrier for Shubhangi, she called her daughter, Sidhi, who was then helping her dad in the fields. Sidhi was somehow able to converse with the tourists and help them with the directions they needed, but she felt that her confidence was lacking.

Ten-year old Sidhi has been attending school since she was 3 years old. Just like any other parents her parents had also dreamt of a good life for their daughter and understood the necessity of education. Sidhi’s schooling stopped due to a countrywide lockdown during the times of Covid-19 pandemic. Because Sidhi eagerly wanted to utilize her time fruitfully, when schools were closed, to improve her English-language skills, her mother, Shubhangi requested Sidhi’s English teacher, who had been trained by the Leap for Word (LFW) English literacy school. The teacher provided them with some LFW English learning material. Sidhi’s teacher had made a WhatsApp group for her students, where she would upload all the material, videos, worksheets and quizzes provided by LFW for her students to practice. This resulted in significant improvement in Sidhi’s English speaking as well as writing abilities within a month.

When I asked Sidhi’s mother about the difference in learning during and before pandemic, she said, “Earlier teachers in Sidhi’s school used only text books to teach English. But now children are using phones because of which they are able to access a wide range of study materials. And that is only because of LFW. My daughter has also progressed a lot because of this method of teaching and she is now able to read and write in English with much more ease. As a parent I feel really proud and thrilled when I see my daughter reading, writing or conversing in English with confidence. My daughter has certainly benefited from LFW techniques.” Shubhangi also added, “After seeing improvement in my daughter’s English skills, I realized that it is not mandatory for children to attend English medium schools in order to learn English; if they are taught properly in regional language schools then they can surely learn the same amount of English that they could learn in English medium schools.” Shubhangi believes that Sidhi’s overall confidence level also has increased after she got a strong command on English language.

Siddhi’s advancement with English language is an example of LFW team’s hard work to reach out to as many schools and students as possible to ensure that their education does not stop during the global pandemic.

Vibha has been supporting LFW’s English literacy training program since 2019. We at Vibha respect the dedication and effort our partner organizations make to ensure continuation of education in the rural parts of India, especially during the pandemic. We also acknowledge involvement of parents who are playing significant role in their children’s learning by providing them with supportive environment at home during the closure of the schools. 

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