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Chetan Bhagat live and unplugged! December 2, 2009

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Dear readers, I promise you don’t want to miss out on this!

We’ve uploaded Part 1 of Chetan Bhagat’s appearance at the Third Policy Dialogue. You can see the video at http://www.youtube.com/user/Britishcouncilindia#p/c/182A295AA1364815/24/dS9kh3qeWYg

We’ll be uploading the final parts in the next few days, so stay tuned. And tell us what you think of Chetan’s address.

English Next India – what does it mean to you? November 26, 2009

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We’ve all had a bit of time to digest David Graddol’s ‘tiny tome’ (not my quote) during the Third Policy Dialogue. If not, you can still view the recording of his presentation at http://www.britishcouncil.org.in/efponline/sessions/18.html

What I’d like to know is what does it mean to you. His statistics and conclusions may be new for an international audience, but is there anything new for an Indian audience?

What are your views?

Don’t miss a thing! November 22, 2009

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The Third Policy Dialogue is physically over but the discussion continues. For updates on blog posts and new uploads to English for Progress online, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/efponline

Keeping the discussion going November 20, 2009

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It’s Friday evening and the face to face conference is over. It was a fantastic two days!

Thank you to all of you who have posted and commented on this blog – the discussion has been stimulating, wide ranging and engaging. We want to keep the discussion going over the next few weeks, so we’ll be keeping the blog open. Many of the speakers will be checking the posts about their sessions, so a good oportunity to connect with them via comments. You can also comment directly on the recorded sessions on the same page where you view them, and read others’ comments. We’ll also be uploading more photos and interviews, so keep an eye on YouTube and Picassa.

www.britishcouncil.org.in/EfPonline

Problem with comments page now resolved November 20, 2009

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There was a problem with the film comments page, where if you used inverted commas or quotation marks the page generated an error. This has now been resolved and you should be able to post without any error.

Link from blogs to programme schedule November 20, 2009

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We’ve put a link from the blog page to the programme schedule, so that you can access the session pages from the blog directly. The link to ‘English for Progress online’ is under ‘Blogroll’ on the right hand side.

The President’s shoe November 19, 2009

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I hope Som Mittal will forgive me for sharing this story, told to me by a very senior corporate delegate. I thought it was such a nice conference story that I wanted to blog about it. So, it seems Som lost the sole of his shoe during the panel discussion this morning. He left the stage and bumped into the corporate delegate in the foyer, who promptly offered to swap shoes with him, saying ‘Well, NASSCOM has always done a lot for us’. While Som returned to the panel discussion (with his new shoes) the delegate very kindly sent out Som’s soleless shoe for repair. Som was later able to leave the conference with his sole intact.

What a lovely story!

Keep tuned in! November 18, 2009

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Dear readers,

First, thanks to all of you for your comments on our blog posts so far. It’s been a fantastic discussion! The conference will officially start this evening, with the introduction to David Graddol’s English Next India. You’ll be able to watch a recording of the event the next morning. Over the next two days every plenary session will be streamed live (and recorded). To access the session pages go to the Third Policy Dialogue programme page at www.britishcouncil.org/india-projects-english-tpdschedule.htm. You can then click through to each session page where you’ll see:

the real time of the session
the abstract and speaker’s bio and their PowerPoint presentation
a link to the film page

On the film page you can choose to watch the live stream (either low or high speed, depending on your internet connection) or the recording. We are aiming to have all recordings uploaded during the actual conference. Also on the film page we’ve put a comments box – just enter your name and email address (so that we can verify you are a real person!) and write what you think of the session. All the comments will be archived.

Finally, keep reading this blog. We have a team of dedicated bloggers – myself, Philip, Seamus, Clare, Nick and Cath – who will be posting their impressions of the sessions. We’ll also be live blogging the content of sessions on our Twitter account at http://twitter.com/efponline, so you don’t have to miss a thing! If you have a specific question for any of the speakers, post it to the blog and we’ll try to get it answered.

I hope you enjoy the conference and that the online coverage will help you to become a real participant.

Best wishes,

Stephen

What is to be done? November 14, 2009

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The fact that 85-90% of college leavers in India are not considered immediately suitable for employment in the ITES sector presents a huge challenge for the industry. So what is the solution? One of the action points from the 2008 NASSCOM-Everest BPO report is to:

“Increase employability and access untapped talent pools by creating greater linkages between the current education system and the needs of the BPO industry, and facilitating the development of BPO-specific education models.”

The report goes on to make a number of recommendations in this area:

“Initiatives related to education are required to expand the employable talent pool in India. The industry needs to work more aggressively with the Government to create greater linkage between the current education system and requirements of the BPO industry. This can be done by 1) policy changes like liberalization of higher education, 2) increased collaboration between industry and academic institutions to take up initiatives such as introduction of BPO-specific curriculum and improving students’ access to funds for higher studies, 3) introducing coursework changes and teacher training at the school level in accordance with future requirements of the BPO industry. There is also a significant opportunity for private players to step in and create a BPO education industry. Such a move should be based on creating longer-term training programs to improve communication and other skills required by the BPO industry. Specific training programs need to be developed to create several intermediate levels of skills and specialisation (between generalists and highly trained specialists), and to bring alternate talent pools (e.g. high school graduates, educated housewives) into the BPO workforce.”

I think educationalists would probably disagree that the purpose of education is to provide employees for the BPO sector, although they would probably agree that teacher training and curriculum development are needed.

What are your views?

Two simple questions November 11, 2009

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What does English mean to you?
What does English mean to the people in your country?

Answers please!

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