One of the biggest dilemmas in my childhood was about the right pronunciation of pronunciation and many such multi-syllable words. The reason was my school teachers taught me one pronunciation and my father pronounced some of the words a little differently, whereas my mother was clearly with my teachers in her spoken English. One fine day when I almost blamed him for biggest problem in life at the time, he told me very patiently that he had received first 10 years of his education from a government school nearby his village. The first time he was acquainted to English was in standard 6 and in a non-English speaking environment. The mispronunciations learnt that time were hard to change now.
I remembered this very vividly while speaking to C.P. Viswanath (Vish), the founder of Karadi Path Education Company which is developing a pedagogy for language learning, with a focus on English currently. For any language learning process, the most important factor is the environment around a child and that is the reason that children learn their mother tongue very quick without any formal education. A good foundation in English is very much needed for understanding of other subjects in the curriculum today. And in absence of the same, the quality of education is bound to fall down.Karadi Path, an offshoot of Karadi tales, has developed a three component methodology to induce the environment of English learning in schools where it is not present. They develop processes to be implemented (around stories), provide tools to execute these processes (body language/textual/audio/video tools) and give training and support to schools for efficient delivery enhancing the English language proficiency of students. Karadi Path’s two main products are Magic English and Power English focusing on primary and advanced goals of language learning.
What Karadi Path wants to achieve is to induce the ability in children to think in English. If anybody’s thought process can flow in a particular language, it’s a sign of proficiency in that language. Their products are aimed at engaging children with the language at this higher level. Karadi Path has developed their pedagogy to support the needs and goals of all kinds of schools ranging from the ones in tribal areas to urban private schools.
The daunting situation that Karadi Path’s 40 member team faced was that teachers are not proficient in the language themselves, hence it is impossible for them to teach it. What Karadi Path’s products need of a teacher is just to be the facilitator. Vish explains, “It is like teaching someone how to ride a bicycle – teachers are just to assist, learning happens on its own.” Karadi Path team, under the umbrella of Karadi Tales, has researched on this for almost a decade and they are a separate entity developing and providing their products to the market for the last 2 years.
Vish believes that if there is any country the world can learn the art of mastering many languages from is India. We are a highly multi-linguistic nation indeed. Working with an NGO in Dharavi, Vish noticed that children could speak 2-3 languages with ease. There is no doubt they could have learnt English as well if they would have heard it from different sources continuously.
Vish says, “Learning a language is ridiculously easy and incredibly tough. No classroom succeeds in teaching a language unless there is a right environment of learning. The failure of China and Japan in their English learning abilities and closer to home, inability of students of Tamil Nadu to speak or understand Hindi even after being taught for 6-7 years in schools highlights the fundamental issue – the lack of environment.”Addressing the abovementioned problem with Karadi Path Education Company, Vish wants to take the road to change the rural education system and is backed by Aavishkaar in their efforts. They will be expanding their methodology to more languages too for helping people be multi-lingual. Karadi Path is on the way of decreasing the disparity between the quality of education children receive and the languages they are restrained to learn, just because they are born in a different environment than other children of the world.
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