Education May, 20 2011

Opportunity beyond words

Parents today aspire for overall development of the child rather than seeing him excelling only in studies. They want their kids to learn everything, rather than just one thing. The latest addition to this is the language development. Read on to know who

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
Opportunity beyond words

Considering the outdated primary education system in India that restrains kids to develop a sound foundation, which ideally should be based on ability to ‘read’ and ‘speak’  English well some organised brands have forayed into upcoming opportunity of language training. These brands aim at making each child learn the usage of sound of human speech. A language school helps kids in learning the art of speaking languages as well as their correct pronunciation and meaning. There is a good opportunity within India to institute phonics in the early childhood stages (four to six years of age). Thus, Phonics has a bright future in India and will revolutionalise early education system in India.

Need of language and phonetic schools

Before embarking on the various brands offering franchise opportunity in language learning program let us find out the reason for the growing popularity of the concept. As said by Shainaz Jussa, Principal Instructor and Director, Phonickids , “I realised that phonics was a fun way to teach young kids to ‘read’ enabling them to assimilate knowledge at a faster pace and be able to communicate with their peers and elders effectively. After returning to India, I saw that Indian kids were compelled to learn and write and recognize alphabets through pictured examples. This method restrains Indian kids to start reading in the true sense and develop strong communication skills. This inspired me to foray into phonetics and within 3 years of being an instructor in Mumbai, I instituted Phonickids to exclusively teach Phonics.” Other factors can be:

Universality of English language: Till a few years back sending children to language and phonetics schools was not considered that important. However with English becoming more like our mother tongue, parents no longer consider phonetics and language schools worthless.

Kids are fast learners: It has been proven by scientists that child brain is better for learning languages. Children pick up languages faster as compared to adults.

Aspirations of the parents: Parents want their children to do well in every field and feel proud if their kids can become a linguistic at an early age by getting him admission in a language school.

Better performance in schools: Kids develop a better vocabulary and speech by attending a phonetic school. This makes them more active and brighter in school.

Franchising in language and phonetic schools

It has been proven time and again that franchising is the best foot forward for making a brand expand successfully. Owners of phonetic and language schools have also taken the franchise route after witnessing its success in the business world. However, as this concept is comparatively new there are fewer organised players in this sector. This number is sure to increase due to the success and increasing need of this concept. Some players who had made an entry earlier are already on the success path with this concept. Mikids, a phonics based English language learning programme for children is brought to India by SIP Academy India Private Limited in association with MIQUEST World Wide. The company had taken the franchise route and till now has a presence in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka across 35 leaning centres and 50 schools. Another player Phonickids had taken the franchise route and has been successful in their expansion module.

In a more recent development Pop Languages, an international program to help children in the age group of 3 to 10 years to learn foreign languages with fun and modern way has made in-ways to India.  At Pop Languages, children learn through listening and singing a range of songs. The company has achieved great success over the last 30 years in teaching children to speak English and other languages like Spanish and French through their innovative Pop Languages classes.

Criteria and training for franchisees

Running a phonetic and a language programme is not very difficult. Having a good hold on languages, especially English is important. Moreover aspirants need to have an interest to work with children, flair in business and hunger for growth. In words of Jussa, “Our basic requirement is that the franchisee has to have immense passion for teaching young kids. They should have genuine interest in ensuring that each and every kid in the class benefits from the course.” Regarding the training given she informed, “We will be imparting a comprehensive one month long training to the franchisee’s teachers. This training will comprise of classroom based training as well as hands-on training delivered through Phonickids unique ‘Shadow, Reverse-Shadow’ knowledge transition methodology.”

Another benefit of taking a franchise of phonetic programmes is the low investment needed for its successful running. The investment can range from Rs one lakh to Rs 10 lakh depending on the brand and its fees and other requirements.

Challenges

Owning a phonetic or language programme has many profitable results for aspirants. However it is not free from challenges. Language and phonetic teaching lays the basis of the child’s over all development at later stages. Sometimes inefficient teaching staff and lack of resources can lead a child to failure. Therefore it is of utmost importance to have well-qualified and efficient staff.

It can be concluded by saying that, taking a language or phonetic franchise can reap high profits for entrepreneurs who have an interest to teach kids and run an academy. So if you have expertise in the language and a desire to be surrounded with kids making them learn the languages, then this is a wake up call to grab the opportunity to eat the maximum share of the language training industry.

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