I am making educational videos since 2009. Most of my videos are available on YouTube channel named Learn By Watch. Since then I have recorded more than 2000 videos. 99.9% of my videos are available in Hindi. Hindi is not only my mother tongue. It has also been the language of instructions during my schooling. I was 17 when I attended an English only instructions class for the first time. The experience was awful and worst was yet to come.
My experience of studying in an English only medium of instruction classroom was so terrible that I make it my research topic for Ph.D. “How to scaffold a vernacular medium student in a professional course” was my research topic in Ph.D. The result was “a framework for scaffolding to teach programming to vernacular medium students.” The framework is not only limited to teaching programming; this framework can be used to scaffold a vernacular medium student in any professional course.
After working for so many years to teach students in local vernacular and my findings from research led me to a conclusion that doesn’t sound obvious. Here is the statement that doesn’t seem correct but being an expert in this area here is what I am saying –
“Don’t make educational videos in local language for a student who is receiving English medium instructions for more than 12 months”.
Here goes the list to make sense of this statement.
Don’t forget your goal
If a student is studying in a professional course, one of his/her and your goal is to make him/her able to work anywhere in the world. To make a person eligible for global market English is the first requirement. A student will not try to learn English if you keep feeding him/her in the native language. Your task is just to ensure that a student doesn’t drop out of the course just because of the language problem.
Irrespective of whether you provide language-based support to a vernacular medium learner or not if he/she is in a professional course, he/she is being exposed to English, and within a year he will be able to understand English medium instructions.
Your audience is no more only your audience
This point is related to the previous point. Students don’t need any language-based scaffold once he/she complete the transition phase. After the transition phase, a student is capable of learning from English only medium of instructions. You have to understand they are not only your audience anymore. They can, and they will learn from the material that matches with their learning behavior.
No sharing, no audience
It may not be a big thing for you, but it is if you are making free educational videos. Educational video spreads by sharing on social media. If your target audience is already lower than those, who are making videos in English the chances of sharing your video reduces. During my research, I found that students feel it a matter of shame that they don’t understand English. Most of the students will learn from local language material but never accept it in public. That means you will not get publicity and your content will not reach to a large target audience.
An entity that relies on social media sustains if it can influence a large number of audience. These entities get support from advertisers and sponsors. Any sponsor or advertiser will invest if he/she can see the profit.
Advertisers and sponsors don’t invest in it because of the following reason-
- The target audience of any local-language educational content is smaller than the audience of English educational material.
- Educational content is consumed by students, who are less likely to buy any expensive service/product.
- Moreover, The audience who consume educational content in mother-tongue today will eventually start learning from educational content in English.
I will suggest you to stop making educational videos in local language for those students who have successfully passed the first year of a professional course. It is better for you as well as for the students. If you still want to make educational content in local language, select your target audience wisely. In my next article, I will talk about the audience for whom you can make educational content in local language.