“I decided I would raise my voice through my skill in teaching the English language,” Kakoti says.
“I decided I would raise my voice through my skill in teaching the English language,” Kakoti says.

Politically correct! Teaching English with a twist

Madri Kakoti, a linguistics professor, draws on current affairs to teach grammar in her social media posts.
PUBLISHED ON FEB 19, 2021 08:49 PM IST

Madri Kakoti, 34, an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Lucknow, is teaching English to newcomers to the language, in video lessons that pack a punch.

In her posts on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram (@ms.medusssa), she draws on current affairs to teach grammar. Migrant is used as an example of a noun, followed by a short take on the labourers’ excruciating treks home at the start of the pandemic. The farmers’ protests were discussed in a post about sentence construction, active and passive voice and how words can be used in different ways.

“My first video, in September, was on coordinating conjunctions, and I explained this through the concept of the fanboy, using the example of certain news anchors,” she says. The 3.5-minute video on Facebook has more than 20,000 views.

“I never expected the response I got. A lot of my friends, family and teachers congratulated me. On Facebook I chose the option of ‘only friends’ who can comment on my videos, so there was no trolling,” she says.

The trolling began when the video went up on YouTube in September. “My husband is the filter between the hate messages and me. He absorbs them for me and doesn’t let me read them.”

It all started, Kakoti says, with a strong feeling of survivor’s guilt in April 2020 — she had a steady source of income, a roof over her head, food on her plate, and she could see the migrants still walking home outside.

“We would stand at the station and distribute food and essential items. That was when I decided I would also raise my voice through my skill in teaching the English language,” Kakoti says. “I decided to find a way to address some of what is going on in the country and the world and teach and also reach out to students while doing it.”

So far, she has posted 10 videos on YouTube. “But it is Facebook where I have had the most success,” Kakoti says. “I try to be regular, but I work full-time and this is something that I do when there is a spontaneous burst of creative energy, usually triggered by something going on in the world.”

Kakoti shoots and edits the videos herself. Since the first week of February, she’s been posting a Word of the Day five days a week too. A recent WOTD was ‘coup’, pegged to the coup in Myanmar and also to the coup by the desi version of Twitter, Koo.

“A lot of effort goes into each video because, even though the opinions are personal, from a grammatical point of view it must be flawless. And I want every post to be easy for the Hindi speaker to understand,” she says. She ends each video with a reminder that she believes in firmly: “English is just a language, not a mark or measure of your intelligence.”

Kakoti is now making Instagram Reels as well, making her point in just 30 seconds. These posts are more a showcase of conversational English. In one recent Reel, she pretended to be Rihanna asking Siri who Kangana Ranaut is.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Banksy's 'Game Changer' painting to raise millions for UK health service staff(Instagram/banksy)
Banksy's 'Game Changer' painting to raise millions for UK health service staff(Instagram/banksy)

Banksy's 'Game Changer' painting to raise millions for UK health service staff

AFP
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 10:06 AM IST
  • Auction house Christie's said Banksy's 'Game Changer' painting will go on sale on March 23 and has a pre-sale estimate of between £2.5 - 3.5 million ($3.5-4.8 million, 2.9-4.1 million euros)
Close
Here are some women achievers sharing their experiences and vision
Here are some women achievers sharing their experiences and vision

International Women’s Day: A toast to the fierce, fabulous female

By Digvijay and Sanchita Kalra
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 07:34 PM IST
On the occasion of International Women’s Day today, here’s toasting to each and every incredibly inspiring woman. We get to you some eminent personalities who share their take on the evolving roles of women in the post pandemic world
Close
Women's Day 2021: SA's first female Black helicopter pilot breaks barriers(Twitter/AidaMSykes)
Women's Day 2021: SA's first female Black helicopter pilot breaks barriers(Twitter/AidaMSykes)

Women's Day 2021: SA's first female Black helicopter pilot breaks barriers

Reuters
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:39 PM IST
Read on the inspiring story of South Africa's first female Black helicopter pilot, Refilwe Ledwaba, who broke the race and gender barriers and teaches others to bust the glass ceiling on Women's Day 2021
Close
Google Doodle celebrates International Women's Day(Google)
Google Doodle celebrates International Women's Day(Google)

International Women's Day: Google Doodle celebrates firsts in women’s history

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 08:14 AM IST
  • Google Doodle, for this year's International Women's Day, is honouring women who broke down the barriers and changed the course of history. It is also celebrating the trailblazers of present and future.
Close
The library which was set up in the last week of February by the 18 Rashtriya Rifles of the Army has become an instant hit among the students of Ranipura, Chittisigpura, Kejrival and Devipora villages, officials said. (Representational Image) (Unsplash)
The library which was set up in the last week of February by the 18 Rashtriya Rifles of the Army has become an instant hit among the students of Ranipura, Chittisigpura, Kejrival and Devipora villages, officials said. (Representational Image) (Unsplash)

Army converts bus stand to 'street library' for JK children

PTI, Anantnag
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:15 PM IST
In a novel initiative, the Army has converted a dilapidated bus stand in a village in South Kashmir into a 'street library' to help students of neighbouring areas to prepare for competitive exams and higher studies.
Close
Women police personnel with all women PCR van at Rajpath in New Delhi. (Photo:Ravi Choudhary/HT)
Women police personnel with all women PCR van at Rajpath in New Delhi. (Photo:Ravi Choudhary/HT)

Women cops taking over the city this Women’s Day

By Ruchika Garg, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:28 PM IST
Maximum possible women personnel are deployed in the city to celebrate the women’s day. This is to enhance the visibility of women cops in the Capital.
Close
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, (R) her Los Angeles home she shared with her ex-husband.(Instagram)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, (R) her Los Angeles home she shared with her ex-husband.(Instagram)

Inside Meghan Markle's old $1.7m marital home before she married Prince Harry

By Alfea Jamal, Hindustan Times, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:26 PM IST
Currently, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reside in a $14 million estate in the secluded neighbourhood of Montecito, which is home to other celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise and Ellen DeGeneres.
Close
Sydney's Mayor Clover Moore, bottom right, marches in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Saturday, March 6, 2021. The annual event has been forced into a sport stadium due to Covid-19 restrictions.(AP)
Sydney's Mayor Clover Moore, bottom right, marches in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Saturday, March 6, 2021. The annual event has been forced into a sport stadium due to Covid-19 restrictions.(AP)

Sydney's LGBTQI Mardi Gras goes ahead, with Covid restrictions

AP, Sydney
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:49 PM IST
Sydney’s annual iconic Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras went ahead on Saturday, only in a different format due to coronavirus restrictions.
Close
The global population is ageing, and so are their eyes. In fact, the number of people with vision impairment and blindness is expected to more than double over the next 30 years.(Unsplash)
The global population is ageing, and so are their eyes. In fact, the number of people with vision impairment and blindness is expected to more than double over the next 30 years.(Unsplash)

Study shows that mortality is associated with vision impairment

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:30 PM IST
Researchers recently during a meta-analysis found that blindness and impairment of vision are closely associated with increased mortality risk. This has prompted a need to address global eye health disparities.
Close
Stories in Hindu epics help us envision a better India, he said. (Representational Image) (PTI)
Stories in Hindu epics help us envision a better India, he said. (Representational Image) (PTI)

Yogi Adityanath launches Global Encyclopedia of Ramayana

PTI, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:31 AM IST
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday launched the Global Encyclopedia of the Ramayana and said that this epic and the Mahabharata give the best life lessons.
Close
Sridevi in a scene from English Vinglish(Screengrab)
Sridevi in a scene from English Vinglish(Screengrab)

Women's Day 2021: Celebrate spirit of womanhood with these Bollywood films

ANI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:49 PM IST
From English Vinglish to Thappad, here is a list of movies that are not just a full-package of entertainment but will also leave you with an aftertaste of inspiration and some encouragement to believe in yourself.
Close
Italian Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini's rare art to go on sale in France(Twitter/Walks)
Italian Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini's rare art to go on sale in France(Twitter/Walks)

Italian Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini's rare art to go on sale in France

Reuters
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:46 PM IST
After being discovered six months ago in Compiegne, Italian Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini's rare drawing 'Academie d'Homme' to go on sale in France on March 20
Close
New Delhi art exhibition features 40 masterpieces by 20 Indian greats(Twitter/artzestdxb)
New Delhi art exhibition features 40 masterpieces by 20 Indian greats(Twitter/artzestdxb)

New Delhi art exhibition features 40 masterpieces by 20 Indian greats

PTI
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:26 PM IST
New Delhi's two-month long art exhibition features artworks by eminent artists such as FN Souza, Ram Kumar, Sakti Burman, K Laxma Goud, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Thota Vaikuntam, Manu Parekh, Seema Kohli, Neeraj Goswami, Manoj Dutta and more
Close
Artisans from Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Dungarpur, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand and Udaipur attended the programme.(Pixabay)
Artisans from Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Dungarpur, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand and Udaipur attended the programme.(Pixabay)

Artisans from various districts in Rajasthan attend event to learn about GI tags

PTI, Udaipur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:37 PM IST
Over a hundred artisans from six districts of Rajasthan on Friday attended a one-day programme in Udaipur organised for sensitisation about the advantages of geographical indication.
Close
Featuring influencers, creators and industry experts, the event will have panel discussions on topics like careers, celebrating sisterhood, adulting, entrepreneurship, women education, body positivity, fashion, self-awareness, global issues and more.(Pixabay)
Featuring influencers, creators and industry experts, the event will have panel discussions on topics like careers, celebrating sisterhood, adulting, entrepreneurship, women education, body positivity, fashion, self-awareness, global issues and more.(Pixabay)

Online festival to empower young women, celebrate womanhood

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:21 PM IST
'It's a girl thing', a global festival that empowers young women to break stereotypes and express themselves, will host a three-day virtual finale summit in the International Women's Week starting Saturday.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP