Connecting English language to real life

As an organization we have been working with the Society for Creation of Opportunities through Proficiency in English (SCOPE) right from its inception in 2007. The challenge has been to reach all the learners scattered in different locations of the State of Gujarat and enabling them to learn English Language in a non intrusive and very cost effective manner.

At a personal level I believe that learning a language is all about relating its usage to a person’s own cultural context. When I saw Flinnt, I intuitively felt that this was a platform that lent itself to use in our context, especially as it was in line with our philosophy.

I am using Flinnt to cater to the learners at the Common European Framework of Language (CEFR) level A1 and A2. These are the beginners level and the learners in many cases have just started their English language learning journey.

I have the ‘Can Do‘ statements and the ‘Grammar lists’ that list out the units, the relevant vocabulary and grammar topics that are relevant to the A1 and A2 level learners.

Let me walk you through a specific example:

Topic: Giving Instructions

When I was in the flight travelling to another city, I came across the safety instruction booklet, where instructions were given using pictorial representation. I immediately shared it with my learners and got a great response. Many of them had traveled by flight and they could relate to what I was saying, also safety tips are very basic and it is easy to relate even for persons who have not been on a flight.

Also as I was listening to the safety announcements I saw an opportunity for a listening exercise. I recorded the announcement of the air hostess while she was giving safety instructions and shared it with my learners. I asked a few multiple choice questions regarding what was being said in the announcements.

All this coupled with the fact that I had already shared that I was going to travel and now I was also connecting my learners to my travelling, they became a part of my travel. They started looking forward to what I would be sharing with them.

The crux of the above both the activities are:

  • We are always connected to your learners unlike a 40 min face to face session. The feeling that the educator has made the learners a part of their life and that the educator is thinking about the learners even when they are away is something that bridges the distance between the educator and the learner. When I came back my learners were a little closer to me as they felt that I had let them into a special corner of my life. This engagement with me at a personal level also established English Language as their own personal favorite. I began to understand why celebrities share about their lives and their activities.
  • We can truly work on our philosophy connecting life and learning, through these activities I was able to establish that what they were learning have a real life application. When I came back I relived the moments with
  • them asked them what would happen in you were in a flight and you were not able to comprehend what was being said, how would they feel if they were given an information booklet that they couldn’t read. Through this activity not only did I give them authentic real life learning materials but I also established that what was being learnt was extremely important in life.

Further in this unit I posted some notes, a couple of videos from YouTube and also a few more questions in the form of a quiz. Thus the whole unit was revisited from a perspective that was very different from the ‘role play’ and presentation that I had conducted in the classroom.

So to sum up Flinnt permits me to:

  • Weave authentic real life incidents into the learning programme.
  • Enables me to engage with my learners after class.
  • Allows me to conduct short assessments that are useful to me as an educator and my learners as a self assessment tool.
  • Learners can listen to audio recordings and learning videos at their own time and pace.
  • Weave additional resources from the internet.

Flinnt has added a lot of value to me and my learners I hope you also benefit from it. Any Institution or Expert can create their learning page on Flinnt.

By Babusha Yagnik

Originally published at on December 1, 2014.