Whereas it’s necessary to generate an curiosity surrounding literature amongst youngsters, it’s much more necessary to do it in an enticing approach. Pune based mostly Ketaki Latkar is working in the direction of doing simply that. Latkar is a communicator and has been working as a journalist for greater than a decade. Because the Chief Facilitator and Founding father of the startup – The Wordsmiths Membership (TWC), her imaginative and prescient lies in enhancing the English language expertise of youngsters in class. Ketaki additionally teaches a module on Tender Skills to postgraduate college students of Savitribai Phule Pune College’s Division of Regulation. In September 2018, she launched her graphic ebook ‘Raising Rihaan’ on the Pune Worldwide Literary Pageant.
SheThePeople.TV spoke with Ketaki Latkar about The Wordsmiths Membership, her e-book, the significance of literature and extra.
Please inform us about The Wordsmiths Membership and its imaginative and prescient? What drove you to start out it?
I all the time had a aptitude for writing, and was additionally a relatively enthusiastic orator since childhood. Throughout my commencement days at Fergusson School, I used to voluntarily go to my faculty Abhinava Vidyalaya and spend time with youngsters – studying out books to them, or discussing authors, or serving to them out with elocution competitions, and so forth. These stints, nevertheless, have been unstructured and fairly casual. Subsequently, I received busy with research, and later with work, and slowly, the visits to the varsity got here to a halt. Later, I turned a part of the print media business and for a very long time, I used to be working as an schooling reporter. That was once I began visiting many faculties within the metropolis.
Throughout these visits, and after a number of interactions with the academics, mother and father and schooling facilitators, I realised that the situation of language schooling, particularly English, in a lot of the faculties, was abysmal. Children knew nothing outdoors their textbooks, and sadly, a lot of the faculties weren’t going that additional mile to acquaint college students with literature, public talking and studying. As a author, and a language fanatic, I felt horrible concerning the state of affairs, and that’s the place the thought of planning a constructive intervention began. Nonetheless, it was not virtually potential to spearhead any initiative, at that time limit. I had a really consuming job, and the thought of bringing about change was nonetheless crystallising in my thoughts.
I stored mulling over it, and eventually, three years again, after I left my full-time job, I made a decision that it was time to place collectively my expertise of working with youngsters, and the love for English collectively. And that’s how The Wordsmiths Membership (TWC) got here to life.
What are the elements that you simply contemplate relating to enhancing language expertise for attaining distinctive efficiency?
I typically come throughout mother and father, who complain that their youngsters don’t learn as a lot. They need me to assist them enhance their youngster’s studying expertise; at occasions, they insist their baby shies away from talking, which they have to be corrected. Nevertheless, I feel this can be a basically improper strategy at assessing your baby’s linguistic capability. You can’t isolate part of language studying from the opposite equally important elements, which suggests: I can’t work solely in the direction of enhancing a toddler’s writing expertise, with out specializing in the studying, listening and talking expertise. All these points are intertwined, and improvement of every of those is equally necessary.
At TWC, the main target is on language enhancement in a holistic sense.
What are the totally different modules that you simply train beneath the aegis of TWC? Whereas conducting these programs, what are the main areas that you simply cater to?
There are three modules (for various clusters of grades: 5-6, 7-Eight, and 9-10) that I train at totally different faculties in Pune. As well as, I additionally conduct short-term, and weekend workshops, as additionally one-to-one periods for youngsters, and adults.
I don’t train something from the tutorial syllabi. The thought behind designing these programs is to current a slice of literature to youngsters, and take them on a literary journey. Secondly, the course contents are all-encompassing and embrace classes in all of the 4 important points of language studying: studying, writing, talking and listening.
The strategies of educating are interactive and play-way, with a view to make sure that there isn’t a factor of rote studying.
The contents differ for each module, however the widespread thread is the publicity to excellent literature, authors, and poetry. Proper from Roald Dahl, to Charles Dickens, Ruskin Bond, Sudha Murty, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, and Rudyard Kipling, and so forth, the modules discover totally different authors and poets, and their exemplary works. Aside from authors and books, subjects like poetry appreciation, character sketches, experiential writing, letters, reviews, journey tales, weaving tales, paraphrasing, and public talking, are additionally explored.
You’ve grown up in Pune, and coming from a household of litterateurs and educationists, you’re acquainted with the state of affairs of language research for fairly a while. Now that you’re additionally working in the identical area, are there any transitions you have got observed of late, when it comes to participation and curiosity amongst college students?
Nicely, when it comes to curiosity, I feel, youngsters at the moment are very eager on studying, they usually additionally realise the worth of learning languages. I feel that is fairly a exceptional transition, provided that again within the day language research all the time performed second fiddle to the extra “lucrative” math and science preferences. This stereotype has fairly gone down, and other people have realised how important communication and interpersonal expertise are. Children these days are additionally far more in sync with the happenings round them, because of social media. That not simply helps them in accessing info, however additionally they type knowledgeable opinions and that’s praiseworthy.
Talking concerning the flip aspect of the present-day state of affairs, I really feel school-going youngsters, at the present time, are painfully over-scheduled.
They’re so busy attending a collection of courses, they barely get any downtime. Not having time to do nothing and easily get bored is wholesome, and in addition sparks creativity. This appears to be lacking so much, and that’s not excellent news.
When you’re given the duty, what’s it that one factor you want to change or introduce throughout faculties in India?
I’ve come to understand that in a lot of the faculties, the library interval is extra of a uninteresting, programmed affair. The drill is completely drab: youngsters go to the library, they’re introduced with just a few decisions of titles, and they should shortly (and just about, with not a lot thought) decide one of many books, and get going. The complete expertise is often uninspired.
I consider having a devoted time slot for studying is, in itself, such an exquisite idea. Faculties can ideally make the expertise so palatable for teenagers that studying will develop into a lifestyle. Children must be knowledgeable about totally different authors, new titles, nice poets, and literary trivia through the library session. And most significantly, the librarian must know each nook and nook of the library, and in addition its assortment out and in. An invested and passion-driven librarian can work wonders for college kids.
Given an opportunity, I might like to revamp the libraries at faculties.
What led you to write down Elevating Rihaan? Inform us concerning the guide.
Elevating Rihaan has been the consequence of my observations about youngsters, whom I work together with so much as a part of TWC’s periods. For me, educating doesn’t stay confined to merely finishing a sure module within the classroom and going residence; there’s numerous dialog and free-wheeling communication that occurs between me and the youngsters. Thanks to those interactions, I began to notice down little anecdotes and items of data that they shared; these have been virtually like revelations to me about modern-day parenting and the “first world” problems with not simply youngsters within the current occasions, but in addition their millennial mother and father. These notes have been humorous, however they weren’t trivial.
Earlier than I knew, I had already collected a sizeable quantity of observations and musings. That’s once I considered turning them right into a ebook, and that’s how Elevating Rihaan was conceptualised. The idea and the contents of the ebook are mine, and the illustrations have been finished by the visible artist Annushka Hardikar. The e-book revolves across the “I-know-it-all,” sensible cookie Rihaan, who’s a 12-year-old adolescent of the current occasions. Rihaan could also be your nephew, your neighbour, your son, or your pal’s baby – he’s round, and also you undoubtedly know him.
The graphic tales converse volumes about themes, such because the influence of social media and know-how on our lives, the altering household dynamics in trendy households, and lack of free time for teenagers, and so forth: these points are the most important considerations of immediately, which make the e-book related and relatable.
What’s your recommendation to these youngsters who’re on their method to discover unconventional paths?
Aptitude and curiosity must be given equal significance in figuring out profession choices. There’s an excellent poem by Robert Frost titled ‘The Road Not Taken,’ and I distinctly keep in mind some inspiring strains from it: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.”
Additionally, I feel, greater than typical or unconventional, it’s a lot about discovering happiness and conviction within the decisions you make.
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