Once you learn to read, you’ll be forever free!
The backstory of Flourish
When someone walks into any typical Indian classroom, it is not surprising to find students of varying English language reading levels – from the ones who can read at a blazing speed of 300 words per minute to the ones who can barely decipher the words. But here’s the caveat when it comes to reading in English, even if the students can read, many of them can’t understand what they read – yes, even the ones who blaze through the text at 300 words per minute. This single powerful observation is the inception of the Flourish initiative.
The reason behind a child’s ability to read English text without comprehending is very simple – Poor exposure to meaningful usage of the English language. Research has well established that a language can be learnt only when it is used meaningfully. For most children, English is not widely spoken in their households and neighbourhoods. In such a case, the English vocabulary of a child is very limited. Therefore, reading simply becomes the act of deciphering sounds without any meaning.
But here’s the caveat when it comes to reading in English, even if the students can read, many of them don’t understand what they have read – yes, even the ones who blaze through the text at 300 words per minute. This single powerful observation is the inception of the Flourish initiative.
Reading Genius – Bilingual Stories is one of the finalists in the prestigious British Council’s ELTons Innovation Awards 2020.
We decided to help children understand better by providing them easy access to meaning in their native language with the use of bilingual stories. This led to the experimental intervention called Reading Genius – Bilingual Stories. After witnessing the positive impact of using bilingual text in improving the language skills of the students, we decided to make it a part of the children’s school curriculum in the form of an academic book that could help them develop their language skills, general knowledge, and impart value education, all at once.
Now, here we are, launching the first book in the set of Flourish’s 8 innovative bilingual books in English and Tamil to improve the language skills of Tamil-speaking learners and impart moral education through contextual stories and activities.
Flourish is an entirely volunteer-driven project. Right from its inception, the initiative has thrived with the creative energies of numerous volunteers. Take a look at the team that has been anchoring this initiative!
Deepak Varuvel Dennison
Vikram Ravi Ramanathan
Book Content Team
Monica Reddy Kathi
Rose Mary Joseph
The initiative is supported and backed by Infant Jesus Education and Social Welfare Charity Trust.