Young learners forced to be monolingual in school: Mujumdar

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 16 November 2017

Pune: The divide between the home language and the school language distresses the student, said Symbiosis Society Founder-President and Symbiosis International University Chancellor SB Mujumdar. He expressed concern over the pressure put on a young learner, who is forced to be monolingual in school. 

He was speaking recently at the Symbiosis International University's inauguration of the 'Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Resource and Training Centre' at the Symbiosis School on Prabhat Road. 

Pune: The divide between the home language and the school language distresses the student, said Symbiosis Society Founder-President and Symbiosis International University Chancellor SB Mujumdar. He expressed concern over the pressure put on a young learner, who is forced to be monolingual in school. 

He was speaking recently at the Symbiosis International University's inauguration of the 'Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Resource and Training Centre' at the Symbiosis School on Prabhat Road. 

Swati Raje, President of Bhaashaa Foundation, was the chief guest, while BITS Pvt Ltd Founder and CMD Sandeep Nulkar was present. 
The inauguration was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Integrating CLIL Methodology in a Learner-centred classroom’. 

Nulkar said introducing the concepts of ‘practical translation’ and ‘localisation’ as a way to reduce undue stress on the purity of language, results in languages being obsolete. 

Over the course of the panel discussion, concepts of confidence and shame in using languages came up, to which Swati Raje responded by stressing on the importance of folklore and songs that help create a sense of pride and familiarity in learning. She said, “When one tends to disrupt the natural learning processes, students find it difficult to express themselves, even in their home language. This hinders the process of learning concepts altogether. CLIL will allow students to bring their cultural understanding to the class, shifting the focus from the purity of language to effective communication to learn concepts better.” 

This centre is being set up as part of the CLIL at India project, co-funded by the Erasmus programme of the European Union, and led by Manipal University. 

Similar centres have been opened this week in the Indian partner universities at Manipal, Chandigarh and Puducherry. These centres will promote multilingual pedagogy and innovative teaching-learning practices. CLIL@India will also collaborate with local schools and colleges, offering Bachelor of Education courses to train teachers in encouraging multilingual pedagogy in classrooms. 

The project aims to introduce the CLIL educational approach in India as a way to mitigate the challenges facing regional languages in schools, amid stiff competition from English. CLIL methodology aims to embrace the multilingual culture of India and help students ease into classrooms that are predominantly monolingual.

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