Ms. Aysha Shahzad Durrani, an English teacher at United Charter School (UCS) in Lahore, Pakistan, was introduced to MangaChat and the Responsible Digital Citizens cross-cultural exchange program (RDC) by her colleague during the spring semester of 2023. She decided to implement MangaChat in her classroom for a month before the semester concluded.
Before allowing her students to use MangaChat, Ms. Durrani personally explored the platform and was immediately impressed by its user-friendly interface. She found it intuitive and quickly grasped its functionalities. The social aspect of MangaChat, akin to Facebook, made her feel at ease while navigating the site.
Ms. Durrani incorporated the platform into her third-grade English classes, instructing her students to produce two journals per week on MangaChat. She observed remarkable improvements in their writing skills and vocabulary as a result of this bi-weekly exercise. The platform’s engaging nature made writing enjoyable and less burdensome, motivating her students to write more. Some of the more advanced students even took the initiative to write additional journals voluntarily.
Apart from enhancing their writing abilities, using MangaChat and participating in the RDC program led to a notable improvement in her students’ online etiquette. The platform exposed them to diverse experiences and perspectives, fostering empathy and tolerance for individuals and cultures that might be uncommon in Pakistan. Ms. Durrani emphasized the importance of teaching her students how to interact respectfully both online and offline, and MangaChat provided a valuable platform for them to practice these skills.
Ms. Durrani was delighted to witness her students’ increased empathy during the school’s debate event. In previous years, some students had openly laughed at others who struggled to express themselves in English, as it was not their first language. However, this year’s debate contest proceeded smoothly, with no incidents of ridicule or laughter directed at anyone. Ms. Durrani attributed this positive change to MangaChat’s role in exposing her students to diverse ideas and experiences, promoting tolerance and understanding.
Although Ms. Durrani has since moved on from United Charter School, she expressed eagerness to incorporate MangaChat in her future teaching endeavors. Furthermore, she hoped that her students would continue to use the platform independently, as she recognized its immense potential in nurturing their love for reading, empathy, and online etiquette.