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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Beacon of Hope for Language Learner: Monika Gaba


New Delhi, 30.01.2020: Being a mother of two children and doing household chores as well as sticking to the professional commitments made to the office at times I find it very hard to balance both of the self- chosen tasks and roles for a dignity. However, that is the go of life whether it is you, me and for that matter anybody else positive in the world.  

It was the month of April in the year 2005, say around 15 years back, when I came in contact with British Lingua at Laxmi Nagar of Delhi which turned out to be a congenial workplace for catering to those seeking to improve their English communication skills under the slogan ‘English for all. The motto is self-explanatory which appealed to me no end, egging me on to be the part of the ‘English Movement’ of taking English to the common man of India.

The dream came true when I was made a part of training those who were the first points of contacts in the XIX Commonwealth Games that were held in New Delhi where I worked a lead trainer under the banner of British Lingua which had bagged the contract of imparting Spoken English and Behaviour skills in the run-up to the much-acclaimed games in which India fared well, drawing international praise.

I subscribe to the views of the international school of thoughts- what makes you stronger is the responsibility that is taken and a freehand given to accomplish a piece of work. I cannot help singing the praises of the British Lingua Managing Director Dr Birbal Jha, who supported me in my endeavour to grow into a full-fledged trainer, reposing faith in me by way of assigning the responsibilities and helping me realise my inner potentialities, teacher-ship and scholarship. Teaching is my first love and I wish to live up to it. My gut- feeling is that skilling youth is skilling India for the prosperous present time and a better tomorrow.

The English adage- teamwork makes the dream work. It goes without saying. British Lingua is popularly known as the Lingua family for its bonding, ethical practices and work culture which I have witnessed for last many years and for this reason I feel growing respect for the management headed by Dr Jha, who is an iron hand in a velvet glove. At times his aggression to anyone is nothing but a sort of dedication to the accomplishments of the professional work.


I often hear Dr Jha saying there is no demarcation of learning and knowledge, the day is good when you learn something new else it is a dull day. There is hardly any day when I skip learning something new at British Lingua where Dr Jha creates such an ideal situation of sharing knowledge, signifying the concept - a joy shared is a joy doubled. A Sorrow shared is a sorrow halved. He adds to it, saying that knowledge shared is knowledge doubled. The concept used as a peer learning approach to furthering the wealth of knowledge and wisdom among the trainers and trainees at the Lingua Family which transacts all communications in English that youth of the day need to be acquainted with.        
    
I knew English. I had taught English at a prestigious school in east Delhi. But I did not have a fair degree of knowledge of andragogy- the method and practice of teaching or training adult learners which I acknowledge I learnt at British Lingua. A  unique methodology – ‘SIM’ which stands for ‘Structural-cum-Interactive Method’ devised by Dr Birbal Jha, who has gained international acclaim for his probity, integrity, erudition and authorship.
The full-blown and effective SIM encapsulates all the patterns of the English language and endless scope of interactions on varied topics that interest trainees as well as trainers involved in carrying out the task of national building which is central to ethos of the Lingua family of which I am a proud member as one of the master trainers with a title of Seasoned Trainer given by the entity. 

 I admire the policy of this training institute for its practice of giving trainers a carte blanche to carry out the mission it has taken, enabling the trainees to grow naturally. You never realise how time flies when you enter the class as both trainers and trainees get engrossed in the training sessions with classroom topics and a melange of language activities and senses of humour which have all stakeholders rolling in the aisles when the class is in progress. It makes the classroom healthy, thus inculcating the desired knowledge in students incognito, without a feeling of fatigue while working even for lengthy hours.  

Monotony is a rare word here. Language activities of various natures are so entertaining on the one hand and academic talks on the other that interest everybody here. It has been very intriguing for me to witness the fact that seminars, workshops, discourses, cultural activities all are used here as tools of learning, not a mere formality. Such activities afford the trainees as well as the trainers the opportunities to learn various things by osmosis.

I have been happy as a lark while laying my hands on editing literature produced by British Lingua Publication. I miss the Lingua Bulletin which is on hold for now and where I contributed as one of the editors for a decade. It was very enthralling and a great experience of learning in my lifetime.
What could be the secret of the brilliant success of Dr Jha, who takes pride in calling himself a village boy, born and bought up the remotest village of Bihar which has been a seat of learning as Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment there, Lord Mahavira existed there and the first-ever concept of democracy came into being and practice with Licchavis Ganrajya of Vajji Mahajanpada of ancient India?

 A peep into Dr Jha’s life reveals the fact that ‘genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains’ and at the same time ‘Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration’. He is often seen working fourteen hours a day religiously. His linguistic abilities, writing knack, impeccable professional commitments to taking the bounties of English Skills to the unprivileged section of society have made him stand out from the crowd and a source of inspiration to others to follow in his footsteps. In a word, he is a rare bird and full of sagacity.  


It would not be an exaggeration to call him a beacon of hope for raising the overall status of the downtrodden people of Indian society and the educational prospects in the country that needs to be a skilled one.

I’ve always had a fascination for the English Language that has pulled me into this noble profession. Truly speaking, it is a never-ending process of enhancing skills and knowledge. I feel we should have the spirit of doing so and I find it here. The aura of the Lingua Family keeps me engaged and jovial and motivates me to pen down my personal feelings about my linguistic journey right from embarking on my career in language training to the sheer bliss which I derive out of it.

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