Why I Joined LearnEd – Farheen Raaj

In Believer Stories, Founder Stories, Influencers, Inspiration by Farheen Raaj0 Comments

As a content-creator at LearnEd, I enjoy creating a variety of interesting material to share our thoughts on how you can be a stronger communicator in English. I recently wrote a piece about how excelling at communicating in English is not just about great language ability but also about understanding how to use the language effectively. How did I come up with this genius bit of theory? It took some reflecting on life’s experiences and a serendipitous connection with LearnEd’s founder who’s building a unique training solution to provide contextualized language practice with an immersive game.  

I wasn’t born into English. I was born into Gujarati, and as I grew up, my brain was a happy confluence of Hindi and Gujarati. English was a tertiary influence. Thankfully, I had a sibling who exposed me to read in English when I was very young, and I took to it like a fish to water. I spent all my bus and auto rides going to school and the way back, immersed in one novel after another. Gradually, when English became my medium of instruction at school, my brain began to rewire itself into thinking in English.

Years of schooling in English and an undergraduate degree in English Literature meant that I had well and truly become an English snob. My medium of self-expression had also become poetry and blogging in English, and I also wrote for publications in the same manner. I was the person who turned their nose up at people who faltered while communicating in English, irrespective of their backgrounds.

However, after college, I was placed as a creative producer for a national General Entertainment Channel. My tenure at this leading channel broke my sense of entitlement and the feeling of judgment that I carried with me, beginning at day one. Working on Hindi television shows made me realise that most people who have the ability to reach millions of people through great stories, did not necessarily do it through a mastery of language.

They did it by understanding who it was that they were speaking to.

This idea, that everyone has a story to tell, irrespective of whether they use complex clauses or not, fundamentally changed the way I thought about language.  My love for the English language remains with me, inked on my skin and my brain, but the way I perceive how it is used has changed drastically. I understood that saying what you want to say, effectively, makes much greater an impact than using the most exquisite language without any tangible outcome.

It is LearnEd that has helped close the loop on this understanding, for now.

Meeting Tarana, and the team at LearnEd, put this idea into words for me that excelling at using English was not just about perfect syntax, grammar, and semantics. It was so much more- you need to know how to tell your story. I haven’t been at LearnEd for too long, but this much is already quite clear to me, that telling a story requires well thought-out strategy, along with language ability. While this may initially take a while to consciously do, I am already working at it, and hoping that it soon becomes second nature to me as well. From my learning, I hope to create the right kind of communication and content as a writer for LearnEd, so that every client that works with us is able to experience this same kind of growth and confidence. Being a part of LearnEd’s team has helped me experience how the joy of reading my books, speaking my peace and writing my words can be doubled and tripled, but more importantly, how the worth of listening to others can help bring more value to what I do and say as well!

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