Breaking language barriers: How edtech supports multilingual learners
The National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE) 2023 in India mandates teaching three languages to promote multilingualism in schools. This approach aligns with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
In a globalised world, linguistic diversity is a boon and a challenge for education systems worldwide. As multilingual learners strive to access quality education, they often encounter language barriers that impede their progress.
Learning should not be hindered by language barriers. With this in mind, edtech platforms are emerging as a revolutionary solution to overcome this gap and empower learners.
Addressing a global learning crisis
Edtech stands as a ray of hope to offer multilingual content that directly addresses this learning crisis. Edtech platforms are not only tackling this pressing issue but also making significant strides towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-4) by 2030.
SDG-4 emphasises creating an inclusive and accessible education system for every child, besides creating continuous learning opportunities for people of all ages throughout their lives. Digital learning platforms can play a pivotal role in the transformation of education on a global scale by extending quality education to children and youth worldwide.
Additionally, the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE) 2023 in India mandates teaching three languages to promote multilingualism in schools. This approach aligns with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
Students in classes 9 and 10 will study three languages, of which two must be Indian languages. Class 11 and 12 students will have to study two languages with one being an Indian language. The goal is to help students achieve proficiency in at least two Indian languages, which will help instil cultural rootedness, cognitive skills, and global readiness in students.
Edtech’s role in breaking down language barriers
Edtech platforms benefit multilingual education in numerous ways. According to UNESCO, technology, driven by principles of inclusion and equity, has the potential to accelerate efforts towards providing lifelong learning opportunities for all.
In this context, multilingual education, based on students' mother tongues, emerges as a critical component of an inclusive educational approach. Edtech startups can facilitate inclusivity by preserving cultural identities, embracing marginalised communities, and fostering a sense of belonging among all students.
Additionally, by making vernacular content more accessible, edtech can reach a wider pool of students, besides bridging the gap between Tier II and III consumers.
Edtech: Engaging multilingual learners via technology
Edtech plays a key role in facilitating multilingual language learning by offering interactive and tailored educational experiences. AI-driven edtech platforms help learners gain access to a wide array of language courses besides facilitating adaptive assessments and real-time feedback.
Further, incorporating speech recognition technology assists in refining pronunciation, while multimedia resources enhance overall comprehension. Edtech platforms also encourage cultural immersion through virtual exchanges, thereby driving a deeper appreciation for diverse languages and cultures.
Multilingual content in edtech extends beyond just language—it embraces concepts of inclusivity and compliance. By personalising content in regional languages, edtech platforms can help learners improve their conceptual understanding of languages.
Also, by addressing the language barrier in learning, edtech tools can assist learners in planning their career growth in a dynamic, global industry. This technological revolution in education holds significant potential to bridge linguistic gaps and promote a more interconnected and inclusive world.
Strategic approaches for effective multilingual digital learning
To fully harness the potential of edtech in multilingual education, educational institutions must embrace a strategic approach. Collaborating with tech providers who possess a global understanding of educational needs is crucial for success.
Advanced authoring tools can empower educators to efficiently create content that resonates with diverse learners. Equally important is the integration of a content management platform equipped with dynamic language transition capabilities. This can facilitate seamless adaptation of learning materials to various languages while maintaining consistency and quality.
Additionally, the alignment of remote, classroom, and individualised learning with curricula is vital for addressing global learning concerns cohesively. Edtech platforms should offer hyper-personalised interactive assessments that incorporate diverse question formats and video assessments with AI-powered transcription for maximum inclusivity.
Transformative impact and promising future
The transformative impact of edtech platforms on multilingual education is undeniable. Through the provision of standardised curricula, accessibility support, and regulatory compliance, these companies are reshaping the global educational landscape.
As the edtech field continues to evolve, it will drive innovation, inclusivity, and accessibility, ensuring no student is left behind due to language barriers. It also stands as a torchbearer, lighting the way towards a more equitable, multilingual education system where every learner's potential can flourish.
By offering multilingual content and breaking down language barriers, edtech platforms are gradually taking centre stage in addressing the global learning crisis and fostering inclusivity, regulatory compliance, and innovation.
As the edtech landscape continues to evolve, it carries with it the promise of a brighter, more inclusive future where language barriers disappear and everyone can access education's boundless potential.
Monica Malhotra Kandhari is the Managing Director of MBD Group and AASOKA
Edited by Suman Singh
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)