An App for Busy Office-goers to Learn & Practise English
Mar 27, 2016
Throughout my career in different cities, companies and even professions, I have come across many office-going ladies and gentlemen who have expressed a fervent desire to either learn or enhance their knowledge of a language – mostly English – but have expressed great regrets and doubts, when asked why they have not made any move towards this goal.
“Where is the time?” laughs Rakesh Chauhan, Graphic Designer at RMOOS Prints Private Limited, Mumbai. “And then, at this age, and stage of our lives and career?! Quite impossible to learn something new, under the given circumstances!” he shakes his head. “Actually, the option of joining a class has always been there; I have often considered it; and then thought: there will be so many different learners in a class; each with a different need. One might have no knowledge of the language at all, while another might have come just to brush his/her knowledge up a bit. Each learner will have a different pace of learning, a different level of learning skill, too. The class will not be able to cater to each one of the students individually. The class will have its own set lesson for the day, which the teacher would have to deliver. It might or might not suit the need of each one present there, on that particular day. Where is the guarantee that I will get to learn exactly what I need to learn?” A very important question, indeed.
Rakesh Chauhan opines, “Had there been a way to learn English at our own pace, time and convenience, and to learn exactly what we need to learn at a certain point of time, at a reasonable fee, from a reliable source, why wouldn’t people learn? We all realise how important it is to learn English today; no matter what your age or profession; but, how and when can we office-goers, busy working and travelling all day and week, learn?!”
He certainly has a point. A point a teacher had once raised, some time ago. She teaches a vernacular language and wishes to brush up her knowledge of English, but does not have the time to join a class; working six days a week and having no time or energy to travel for classes, later. Moreover, she needs her lessons to be customized and does not know any class that can fulfill this necessity.
A third girl had taken up tuitions, where she would visit her tutor every evening after 7:30/8:00 p.m., just to talk her heart out in English! She was working for a company where her peers spoke fluent English, while she was too unsure of herself to speak up. So she would carry a notebook to her teacher’s house and painstakingly take words and sentences down, that she felt she would need to speak the next day, at work. The sessions would often run into hours and then her father would have to visit the teacher’s house, too, just to take the young girl back home. So much of pains, just to learn English well!
The question is: can there be something that can address the specific needs of each one of these people, and then thousands of others, just like them? The answer is: yes.
An Android App for English can be the answer to all these questions, and more. With an app downloaded unto one’s mobile phone, one can virtually carry one’s English Class anywhere and everywhere, all the time! In case there is half an hour’s break between two classes, or for lunch, the app can be used to have a quick English learning or practice session with the friendly and expert teacher at the other end of the phone-line, who is listening to you, and you alone. You can ask any question related to English, solve your doubts, seek meanings, help, guidance, even request for a role-play that can help you in your day-to-day life, or career! Let me explain. In case you are visiting a foreign country and would like to know how to ask the right questions in the right words at the airport, you can ask your English teacher. In case you are about to appear for a meeting or interview, and are not too sure of your preparation, you can request your teacher to play the interviewer, ask you relevant questions, and correct your grammar or tone, in case you make mistakes. Even if you feel shy asking for things in English at a shopping mall or party, you can learn the right words, pronunciation, tone and style from your personal English trainer, through the app.
You are on the way back from work, and could do with some quick English practice? You can try the app. If there are no time constraints applicable right then and there, you could very well practise speaking in English with your teacher.
Many office-goers believe that they are certainly not too old or tired to learn; they just need the right source of knowledge for their specific learning requirements, and timings. They also believe they CAN learn a language even without attending regular, conventional classes. “Just a bit of practice would do!” opines a lady taking care of children at a crèche, who cannot keep pace with the English that the children speak, and is too shy and embarrassed to reveal her problem before her seniors at work, the children she takes care of, or her colleagues. She also worries she might lose her position at work, or the job altogether, if people come to know of her ‘drawback’. She tries to pick up words and sentences from ‘Learn English…’ books, but has no one to practise speaking with.
The app is ideal for people like her, as well. She just has to make a call and talk to the teacher, whenever such time can be found.
Since the teacher and the learner cannot see each other, many learners feel a certain kind of relief that no one ‘knows’ who they are, learning English. For there are many people who are unwilling to reveal the fact that they do not know English very well.
“The time factor, and embarrassment, prevent many working individuals from attempting to learn or polish their knowledge of English,” opines Businessman Partha Pratim Mukherjee, from Kolkata.
Sudip Chakraborty, working at HSBC Bank, Gurgaon, and his wife Meha Chakraborty, former employee of HSBC,believe, “It is the age factor, too, along with embarrassment that stops people from admitting they need to learn English or improve their knowledge of it. This is the reason why many office-goers shy away from doing anything about this problem that they face.”
Given the assurance that English can be learnt, practised or improved
At any age
Almost any time
As per one’s particular requirements
From or with most reliable sources of knowledge
Safe, secure, sound
Minus the anxiety of embarrassment
Without wastage of time, energy, money on travelling
In privacy, if required
In a happy, stress free, friendly atmosphere
many working people would happily try to enhance their confidence and professional scope, by utilizing such an opportunity. In fact, many of them state they have been waiting for such a thing to happen.
Especially keeping their needs in mind, has arrived one App that stresses on English, and English alone. Learning, practice, all. It is heartening to note that many individuals who were too busy, work-stressed, embarrassed or shy to address or voice their need to speak better English are now coming forward to improve their skills, and thereby, their chances at doing better in life. After all, who does not want improvement – especially if it is assured?
Ritaja has studied English Literature up to the PG Level and been the Assistant Editor of a renowned magazine related to movies. She has also been a teacher of the English Language, Literature, and Communicative English. She loves Ethics, Literature, and Animals. If that can brighten lives, she tries her best to.