Guwahati: “Spending days within the four walls can be difficult, but when you can find ways of engaging yourself and at the same time help others in a meaningful way, isolation times become easier.” With this motto, a Facebook group called ‘ENGLISH IS EASY – Lets Learn English While Being Home’ was born to help Assamese language students learn English while at home during the 21-day national lockdown.
The idea was conceptualised by Nagaon-based Devanga Pallav Saikia, a writer, singer and founder of Kharkhowa Foods, an ethnic processed food brand. The group was initiated on March 26, and in just four days, it got 1,300 members. Currently, the strength stands at 1,454 and counting.
Saikia got on board a group of enthusiastic individuals from diverse backgrounds to help him in providing meaningful and useful lessons. They are Ankurita Pathak, joint director of FICCI, New Delhi; Meghna Choudhury, PRO at DIPR, government of Assam; Lina Saikia, teacher at Pabhoi High School, Assam; Luitjyoti Sarma, chief dreamer & delivery boy of Axom Haat; Mandira Sharma, teacher at Rangajan High School, Assam. Also, two others — Kashmiri Deka and Manalisha Kalita — are also associated with the project.
Speaking with EastMojo, Pathak said, “The sessions include basics of learning English in easy and fun way, how writing English can be fun, how to learn English as hobby, how to begin reading in English, simple books to read, word fun, narration, grammar, among other topics.”
The group is for all, from students to people who want to learn more, or mothers who want their children to benefit. “There is no curriculum, but to facilitate learning,” she added.
The videos are primarily in Assamese so that it is easy to comprehend even for the most basic learners. The write-ups are a mix of Assamese and English.
So far, the members are very happy with the group and have welcomed the initiative. The feedback has been “exponential,” she added.
On why they picked English over other subjects, Pathak said, “Because that is what they fear most… English as a language is scary for them especially.”
Regarding the future prospects of the group, she informed that all the lessons will be on YouTube for further references. Also, whenever students have queries they can request more sessions. And after the lockdown is over, the classes will continue “on demand” basis.