English is the language of aspirations, the inherent belief that the command over the language opens a huge number of avenues and opportunities has struck a chord with a large number of the Indian population. No wonder we have seen English learning institutes cropping up in every nook and cranny of small towns and cities. But a new service called “English On Mobile” adds the much needed zing to the problem and creates a far reaching solution.
“English On Mobile” is a mobile education product with a sole focus on teaching the language to the people. The ingenuity of the product lies in teaching people command over spoken English without the need for a smartphone or a data connection.
The package costs INR 799 and has access to all the three modules of the product which are in the form of the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The student on buying the product is given an access key which is confirmed and registered to their number when they join for the first time.
Then a basic assessment is done for a student to determine his English proficiency level and once that is done the student can pursue through the curriculum. The student is free to go back and revise the older modules as many times as they like.
The system is IVR based which implies that each time a student wants to learn he/she gives a missed call on a number and the automated service calls back. English On Mobile also claims that each week they will have a class where few students pursuing the same modules would join a telephonic call with a real teacher to ask their doubts and have their concepts cleared.
Apart from that the service would have reminders and tips based on the performance of the student and an SMS based question asking system.
The core audience for the product would definitely be in the form of the people belonging to Tier 2 and 3 cities where access to good teaching infrastructure in the form of institutes and learning aids in the form of internet connection and computer is limited.
The team has already done a pilot in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat and is now looking at expanding in the Northern Indian states. The reason for this is the fact that all the teaching modules use Hindi as a base for communication and foundation for teaching English is built upon that.
Right now, a student could order and pay for the product online or use a number of offline channels such as COD, cheque or DD. But they are also exploring offline verticals for publicizing the product and partnering up to offer the product via traditional retail channels.
In our usage of “English On Mobile”, the call was quick to initiate. Merely seconds after we had entered our contact details we were onboard the service already using the modules. But the issue of static (or the noise or disturbance present during a call) in the call was too large to ignore and many a times we couldn’t hear the speaker on the other end due to this. The idea seems well thought out and executed. It just might start off a new phase of personalized learning in smaller regions in the country.