India has twenty-two official languages and thousands of dialects. Hindi and English are national languages. In Andra Pradesh, the state where Back2Back India operates, the most common language is Telugu. A child in India first learns their local language then studies that language plus Hindi when they get to school. By 5th grade when they start English, the children are learning three languages! Some schools called English Medium schools, teach in English from kindergarten onwards which gives the children a better exposure to this world language.
The children at Eternal Joy Home, one of the children’s homes served by Back2Back India speak Telugu. When we met them about a year ago, they knew only a few English phrases. Some of the children were given the opportunity to study at an English medium school this year. Although it has been difficult for them to jump into this new language, they are happy to be at that school. They have also received encouragement from American and British friends who came to visit, brought books and educational games and spent time interacting with the children.
Over time, we have seen an improvement in the English skills of the children. They are getting good marks (grades) at school and several received awards recently.
In this video, one of the young girls who spoke no English earlier this year, now sings “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jld-4OpkZ4]
We thank God for the opportunities He provides for these children. Please pray with us for their continued studies and the hope that Back2Back India can help break the cycle of poverty through education.