Being a Lingua Ninja

“Ninja” the Japanese term which literally meant ‘a martial artist or a fighter,’ acquired its updated meaning – ‘a person who excels in a particular skill,’ just recently. How can one exhibit linguistic prowess or be a lingua ninja? Quite intriguing… don’t you think so? Well, since ages, how humans developed linguistic abilities has always been an ambiguous phenomenon. Primitive men used signs and peculiar sounds to communicate with each other. Later they might have developed these sounds to words, then to phrases and finally broken sentences. There was no need for a polished language then, as language only served for immediate communication, which was its primary function. As time passed, people were civilized, and the need for a sophisticated and refined language evolved.

Language learning seems to be a herculean task for most of the learners, especially if they learn a peculiar language as a foreign language. English, which is accepted as the universal language, is the most spoken language. It has the most number of both native and non native speakers. Yet, non native speakers strive so hard to acquire the desired fluency of the English language. As we delve into history, we may see how non native speakers of English have always grabbed public attention through their linguistic prowess. The great South African leader Nelson Mandela commented “Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savour their songs.”

We have great writers and speakers in India too who have always surpassed the native literary geniuses like Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda etc.

Language learning requires not only speaking practice but also a great deal of efforts in listening, reading and writing too. The best way to improve language proficiency is listening to the native speakers’ accent and trying to make necessary improvisation in one’s accent. The biggest challenge for a person who tries earnestly to speak English flawlessly is smart shaming by others – it literally crushes their confidence. Remember no one is perfect. English language is so benevolently inclusive and accommodative. Hence, exhibit your linguistic prowess by sharing, learning, earning and respecting a language, thereby becoming a Lingua Ninja!!!

The Power of Positive Affirmations

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”- William James

The waves created by the Global Pandemic is still ebbing and flowing. We feel that they are receding, but beneath this quit calm ocean, there is a sense of temporality and uncertainty which is incomprehensible. We are going through a phase of mixed emotions.. a sense of relief ,newly sprouted hopes lined with unknown apprehensions.. But the abrupt changes and challenges brought by the pandemic have also had a knock-on effect on our self-esteem. The sudden change to offline mode of learning is an overwhelming experience for students. Between the demanding schedules, rules and regulations and nearing examinations , it’s not uncommon for students to experience burnout. Here comes the importance of positive attitude and positive affirmations.
What are positive affirmations?
Positive affirmations can be defined as positive phrases or statements that we repeat to ourselves. Flashes of low confidence, social anxiety, , incessant comparison …these are the challenges in a student’s life in a post covid classroom. Building a positive attitude may seem a herculean task ahead of you. But remember , Rome was not built in a day!
Positivity doesn’t always refer to simply smiling and looking cheerful, however—positivity is more about one’s overall perspective on life and their tendency to focus on all that is good in life. Positive affirmations play a vital role in bringing a positive attitude in you. It can help you start believing in yourself again. They can give you confidence to overcome obstacles and help you reach your academic goals and personal goals of becoming a well-rounded individual. We all need to be supported emotionally. Unfortunately, we don’t always find the healthy support we need in our daily lives. Instead of waiting for other people to be supportive, you can create your support system and positive affirmations are the best tools for this task.
Before you start practicing positive affirmations , engrave this quote deep in your mind.
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” ― Lao Tzu
Affirmations are a self-help strategy used to promote self-confidence and belief in your own abilities. The simple statements you make in your everyday life such as
“I can do this” “I’ve got what it takes.” “I believe in my ability to succeed “– these are actually very powerful positive affirmations. Affirmation can work because it has the ability to program your mind into believing the stated concept.
You can start practicing positive affirmations yourself every day. Start with 3 to 5 minutes at least twice a day. Try saying affirmations upon waking up and getting into bed, for example,
“I Am Not One Who Gives Up”
“I Am Excited to Learn Something New Today”
“I Am Doing My Best”
Repeat each affirmation about 10 times. Make your routine consistent. Be patient. The main motive of positive thinking affirmations for students is that by changing your way of thinking, you can control your emotions and your actions.
Affirmations generally work as a tool for shifting your mindset and achieving your goals, but they’re not a magic bullet for instant success or healing. Affirmations are a powerful and life changing tool, use them wisely.

Back to School !

Schools have been shut since 2020 when Covid-19 led to a global lockdown. According to the World Economic Forum, over 1.2 billion children were out of their classrooms globally due to the lockdown. . At the outbreak of the pandemic, closing schools to protect children, teachers, and parents from a new unknown virus was the right thing to do. But after more than a year, enough evidence has been generated to take a more informed decision. Two primary elements should be at the center of the decision-making: the health risks associated with opening schools versus the education and learning costs of keeping schools the learning journeys and well-being of millions of children.

When and how to reopen schools was one of the toughest and most sensitive decisions on political agendas. Is it safe to reopen schools or is there a risk of reigniting infections? What are the consequences to children’s mental health and to the social development of young children? Are students engaged in remote learning actually learning? And when the time comes, how will schools ensure students return and help learners who have fallen behind during school closures?

The decision is complex because the pandemic continues to evolve, and not in linear manner. There is insufficient evidence on risks of transmission. Everywhere, confinement will be lifted gradually, with many question marks on how the process will be managed, to a great extent because there are many characteristics of the virus that we just don’t know. Yet, even with the current uncertainties, governments can anticipate and prepare to reopen schools successfully, putting the necessary safeguards in place.

As one can expect, the longer the school interruption, the larger the learning loss. Hence, the earlier schools can reopen, the less risk of long-term damage It is hard to imagine there will be another moment in history when the central role of education in the economic, social, and political prosperity and stability of nations is so obvious and well understood by the general population. Now is the time to chart a vision for how education can emerge stronger from this global crisis than ever before and propose a path for capitalizing on education’s newfound support in virtually every community across the globe.