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Lockdown: Indians turn language learners despite distance

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New Delhi, April 30, 2020-

Speaking a new language can open up a whole new world for you, quite literally. With some extra time on their hands, Indian students and working professionals are taking to language learning, as they use the downtime to upskill.

A case in point, the Indo-French cultural hub Alliance Française de Delhi, 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.

Seeing much enthusiasm for French e-learning during lockdown, it says it is receiving a significantly high number of queries from youngsters between 16 and 25 years of age, that forms the majority of its enrolments. Their digital platform ‘Mon Alliance’ helps students manage time, multitask and receive lessons from anywhere, allowing the French cultural centre to contain the effects of the Coronavirus crisis in a softer way.

“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 multinationals who look for French speaking candidates who have reached a high level of French, is proof of their seriousness,” says Guillaume Grangeon, Academic Director, Alliance Française de Delhi.

Adding, “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.”

Not just centres, language apps are noting a spike in online users during the COVID-19 crisis. US-based English learning app, Cambly, has seen an increase of more than a million downloads globally including in India, just during the COVID-19 time.

“We are seeing a surge in usage by working professionals and students. Working professionals are using the downtime to work on their English Skills. The uncertainty in the economic outlook has created an urgency for them to focus on their communication skills. College students are also concerned about the prospects of the job market and working on English for their placement interviews,” Senthil Thangavelu, Country Head for Cambly India told.

“In professional life, speaking good English is becoming a must have skill for professionals. This is something people can work on and continuously improve. Good English skills help working professionals unlock opportunities for better career advancement. Post COVID, the workplace would only intensify the need for good communication skills,” he said.  (Agency)

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