As ed-tech enables more learners to upskill from home, especially in the absence of face-to-face lessons, Indo-French cultural centre Alliance Française (AF) has taken its classrooms online during lockdown by enabling as many as 30,000 people to learn French online from home and turn a crisis into a promising opportunity.
Receiving a significantly high number of queries from youngsters between 16 and 25 years of age, that forms the majority of AF enrolments, the French learning centre describes the digital mode more convenient in terms of time management and multitasking, as learners are able to receive lessons from home.
With the use of a modern LMS (learning management system) and developing a 100% effective pedagogy, the Alliance Française network was able to recreate its links with old and new language learners through distance learning, just one day after it closed physical classes in March due to the nationwide lockdown.
‘Mon Alliance’, their platform which follows some social network principles, is used to share assignments, post comments, store documents and practice through self-corrected exercises. Integrated into their teaching process three years ago, a video conference tool today allows the centres to contain the effects of the crisis in a softer way.
In view of the gravity of the global health condition, this unique situation has to be taken as an opportunity to experiment with new ways of teaching and learning in the sought-after language.
“What can you do during a lockdown? Well, you could complain about the Coronavirus. Or, you could think of it as a chance to learn something new. One must always learn something in difficult times. Learning French is a good way to tide over these times,” Mr. Guillaume Grangeon, Academic Director, Alliance Française de Delhi said in a personal message in Hindi on the centre’s social media.
On the heightened relevance of the French language, Mr. Grangeon said: “The French language is becoming more and more trendy in the new generation. Young Indians want to take advantage of all the opportunities coming from the continuous economic growth in India. French language is a plus on the job market place. Many students have a clear objective before joining the Alliance Françaises. They want to study or work in France, work for francophone companies or even multinational who look for French-speaking candidates who have reached a high level of French, proof of their seriousness.
“The lockdown is such a chance to learn and improve their language skills in order to be ready for the future and look for job opportunities. The French language will add value to a resume in a context where competition is becoming higher and higher!”
Stressing on building and strengthening student communities digitally, Mr Grangeon believes that learning must continue despite the distance. He has been involved in teaching and promoting French in multiple countries in and outside Europe.
Language learning is a sector seeing much growth, as educational institutions harness digital technology to deliver quality training, and with it, the choice of the place of instruction. For the Alliance Française, every crisis is an opportunity to challenge yourself and learn new skills.