British Council India, in partnership with Pratham ASER Centre (Annual Status of Education Report) launched the English Impact Report: Investigating English Language Learning Outcomes at the Primary School Level in Rural India, at the British Council in New Delhi on Wednesday 20 November 2013.
Edited by Dr Vivien Berry and put together by the British Council’s research, publications and assessment teams in India and the UK, this report presents an analysis of the English learning outcomes data gathered by Pratham ASER Centre from children attending primary schools in rural India from 2007 to 2012.
In his welcome address to an audience of over 200 from the English teaching and education sector packed into the British Council auditorium in Delhi, Rob Lynes, Country Director British Council India, spoke about the importance of English as a language of opportunity, access, education and social equity.
Martin Davidson, Chief Executive British Council, stressed the role of English in growing cultural relations and international business but emphasised that English should not be offered at the cost of the sustained health of the local vernaculars and the national language, Hindi.
Madhav Chavan, CEO of Pratham Education Foundation, who launched the publication with Rob Lynes and Martin Davidson, asked the audience to reflect on the question, “Is learning English the same for everybody? Or should it or could it be different for different learners?”
Dr Rukmini Banerjee, Director Pratham ASER Centre and Dr Vivien Berry, Senior Researcher, English Language Assessment, British Council presented the report findings of the English learning outcomes at the primary level in India from the ASER 2012 survey.
Presentation of the key findings was followed by Colin Bangay, Senior Education Advisor, DFID India chairing a panel discussion on “What can we do to make a difference to English language learning outcomes in India?”
Rukmini Banerji felt that English should be considered as a broad continuum where different languages have a role to play and we need to enable the children to communicate and comprehend as much as they can no matter which language.
“T is for Technology and T is for Teacher. Technology is an enabler that will not replace the teacher but will support the teacher” said Ujjwal Singh, Founder CEO, The Curriculum Company.
Alison Barrett, Director English for Education Systems, British Council South Asia spoke about the importance of quality in teacher education to impact learning outcomes, both for teachers as well as learners, and made a plea for improved understanding of learning outcomes among teachers.
Jamie Dunlea, Researcher, English and Exams, British Council, said that subjects need to be integrated more, similar content and tasks and build on the resource and there is blended learning.
Baroness Usha Prashar, Deputy Chair British Council summed up the evening’s programme by underlining the need to develop strategies to enable children to learn in different contexts and also how important partnerships is for British Council.
The event was webcast live; and invited audiences in our centres in Chandigarh, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad watched the proceedings and questions poured in via Twitter.
“I am immensely impressed with British Council moving in this direction – rigorous research which builds on meaningful partnership and has pragmatic application.” – Colin Bangay, Senior Education Advisor, DFID India
“British Council is not about promoting English but promoting international friendship, connections, trust and relationships. I admire India for being one the most linguistically diverse countries in the world.” – Martin Davidson, Chief Executive, British Council
The entire event can be watched here
Download the pdf version of the report here