PlanetRead

PlanetRead is a registered not for profit with the simple vision of a reading planet - a planet where everyone can read and has access to interesting and affordable reading opportunities in native and other language(s). We contribute to literacy worldwide by innovating and implementing simple, scalable, and cost-effective solutions, especially using mass media and information technologies.
Jun 11, 2015

PlanetRead featured in "The Economist"

We are excited to let you know that PlanetRead was recently featured in The Economist.

Here is an excerpt from the article: 

MILLIONS of Indians watch Bollywood movies for the broken hearts, lost fortunes, dishy actors and catchy tunes. But beyond mere escapism, such fare may have a role to play in fighting illiteracy. Between 1991 and 2011 India’s official literacy rate rose from 52% to 74%. But about 400m of those counted as literate are only barely so. Bollywood, with its powerful pull among the least-educated, may help the many who can read only simple words.

Brij Kothari of PlanetRead, an NGO, believes that “same-language subtitling”—providing subtitles for the lyrics of catchy Bollywood songs—offers valuable reading practice. Fans keen to mimic their screen idols are drawn to the written versions as they scroll by. The repetitive verses offer a chance to practise more complex words. Children learn well when a ball bounces along the words on screen. Adults generally prefer the words to be highlighted as they are sung.

To read the complete article, please visit: http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21649537-india-tries-cheap-and-cheerful-way-teaching-people-read-bolly-good-read 

Please spread the word and thank you for your continued support. 


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Mar 11, 2015

Final phase of "All Children Reading Program"

Staple entertainment in India - Bollywood!
Staple entertainment in India - Bollywood!

Program Title: Same Language Subtitling on TV: Putting Children’s Reading Literacy on a Path to Lifelong Practice and Improvement

In September 2012, PlanetRead’s Same Language Subtitling (SLS) was declared as one of the winners of All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development, a grant competition during an International Literacy Day celebration organized by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), headquartered in Washington, DC. 

With the help of ASER, Pratham’s research wing, PlanetRead conducted a baseline study in the months of June 2013 to understand the reading levels of children aged 6-14. Various household information relating to these children was also collected. Four districts in Maharashtra, selected based on a gradient of media penetration and reading skills in the children, were surveyed. Two districts in Gujarat, selected to be at a similar level of reading achievement to the Maharashtra districts, were also surveyed in order to compare the performance in a state with no telecast of SLS. 

Since then for the last 2 years, PlanetRead has been working closely with the ZEE TV network in Maharashtra to telecast films with SLS in local language (Marathi). PlanetRead has been adding SLS to 10 Marathi films every week. These movies were viewed by school children on a regular basis.  

Now, in order to gauge the impact of SLS on the reading and writing skills of children, aged 6-14, PlanetRead is getting ready to conduct an end line assessment on the exact same children who were surveyed for the baseline in June 2013. The aim of this research study is to determine their current reading skills after 2 years of exposure to SLS. 

This project has witnessed the highest level of exposure to SLS for one language in one week. We are very excited to have come this far and are eagerly waiting to complete the endline assessment to see how SLS has helped all those children in Maharashtra. We will share with you updates on the endline report as soon they are ready. 

Dancing to a Bollywood song
Dancing to a Bollywood song
Community viewing of SLS programs by PlanetRead
Community viewing of SLS programs by PlanetRead

Links:

Dec 9, 2014

Bollywood Lessons, SBS One, Australia

PlanetRead's Same Language Subtitling (SLS) was covered by Amos Roberts of SBS One, an Australian news channel. Amos travelled all the way to India to film a documentary of PlanetRead's work.He met many people in the field who have benefitted from SLS. The film is available on SBS One's YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOsWToI2PIw along with a brief article of on their website here: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/dateline/story/bollywood-lessons  

Here's an excerpt from the article: 

India has high illiteracy, but a simple idea of showing Bollywood movies with subtitles is having a remarkable effect on reading skills.

One of India's biggest success stories, Bollywood, is being used to tackle one of its biggest failings, illiteracy.

The country has the greatest number of illiterate people in the world, but a remarkably simple idea is gradually changing that. Amos Roberts meets Brij Kothari, who wondered if subtitling the song and dance numbers in films would teach people how to read. 

 

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