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An Intensive Course in Malayalam (An Old and Rare Book)

An Intensive Course in Malayalam (An Old and Rare Book)
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Item Code: NAK153
Author: B. Shyamala Kumari
Publisher: Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore
Language: Malayalam
Edition: 1981
Pages: 933
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.0 inch x 7.0 inch
weight of the book: 1.4 kg

The Central Institute of Indian Languages was set up on the 17th july,1969 with a view to assisting and Co-ordinating the development of Indian languages. The Institute was charged with the responsibility of serving as a nucleus to bring together all the research and literary out-put from the various linguistic streams to a common head and narrowing the gap between basic research and developmental research in the fields of languages and linguistics in India.

The Institute and its five Regional Language centres are thus engaged in research and teaching which leads to the Publication of a wide-ranging variety of materials. Preparation of materials designed for teaching/learning at different levels and suited to specific needs is one of the major areas of Institute of the Institute. Basic research relating to the acquisition of language and study of language in its manifold psycho-social relations constitute another broad range of its interest. The publications will include materials produced by the members of the staff of the Central Institute of Indian Languages and its Regional Language Centres and associated scholars from Universities and Institutions, both Indian and foreign.

The Central Institute of Indian languages has initiated a Basic Course Series in major Indian language to provide suitable and comprehensive material for earning and teaching the language concerned for Indians. In a language teaching situation, the teacher is expected to combine the roles of a psycholinguist, socio-linguist, linguist, language pedagogue, a creator of materials, a literary critic and a testing and evaluation expert. Most of his competences are naturally reflected in the materials, which simultaneously are graded from simple to complex, known to the unknown and contrived to the natural. This is a very difficult task. After research and experimentation we have come out with more questions than answers at each stage of the material. For example, how basic is basic? What is grading? In what way can linguistic and cultural matter be graded? Is question with which most learning begins, simpler than statement? How does one move from a purely language based competence to creating literary sensibilities? How does one build into the material conceptual prose? How are lessons to be presented? Should the translated discourse structure be made to look similar to the Original discourse structure? Question such as these have been answered differently by different teachers and researchers. This search is a continuing phenomenon. Therefore, these materials represent our unfinished education in this area.

ii. An Intensive Course in Malayalam

The format for the basic course is the result of a consensus arrived at by the lecturers and principals of the five Regional Language Centres of the Institute engaged in the teaching of major Indian languages. This is the product of almost eight years of teaching and research. This format is flexible and has left much scope for individual authors to innovate. If these courses help the desirous to learn and stimulate those interested in applied linguistics, with special reference to the teaching of Indian languages as second/foreign languages, then the institute would feel rewarded.

I congratulate the teachers, the trainees, the supervisors and the press and publication people who have brought out the publication in a creditable manner.



An Intensive Course in Malayalam is meant for the adult learners who would like to learn Malayalam as a second/foreign language. This book, in its many versions, has been tried out with several batches of learners belonging to different mother tongue groups, and has assumed the present shape after a long process of designing and redesigning, writing and rewriting, and editing on the basis of learner reactions and response of a varied sort.

In the preparation of this book, I am indebted to a number of people who include my supervisors, students, colleagues and dear ones. I am most grateful to Dr. D. P. Pattanayak. Director, Central institute of Indian Languages, for his guidance in every step during the organisation of the format and content of this book, for the stimulating discussions I had with him with regard to various pedagogic and linguistic strategies that underline the preparation of this book and for his constant encouragement in taking up this work and completing it.

I owe a deep sense of gratitude to Dr. M.S. Thirumalai, Deputy Director, Central Institute of Indian Language, who with his unfailing perseverance, guided me in the various stages of preparation of this book starting from the very beginning up to the proof reading stage. But for his persuasion and timely guidance, this book would not have seen the light of the day.

I should record my profound thanks to my husband Shri K. V. Srinivasan, University of Mysore, who from the point of view of a linguist as well as that of a second language learner of Malayalam helped me a lot with his comments and criticisms in deciding the form and content of this book.

I have to specially acknowledge my several batches of Malayalam student on whom these materials were tried out and who taught me a great lot while they learned Malayalam from me.

I am also thankful to my former and present colleagues of the Regional Language Centres and the Central Institute of Indian Languages whose opinions Centres and the Central Institute and comments helped me considerably in preparing this book. Among them I would like to specially mention the names of Dr. U. P. Upadhyaya. Dr. Reginald Soloman and Dr.S. Rajaram.

I must now thank my teacher Dr. V.R. Prabodhachandran Nair. Professor, Department of Linguistics. University of Kerala who reviewed this book in its manuscript form and gave several constructive suggestions. I am also grateful to Dr. E. Annamalai, Deputy Director, Central Institute of Indian Languages and Dr. K. V. V. L. Narasimha Rao, principal Southern Regional Language Centre for the discussions I had with them during the preparation of this book.

I also feel indebted to my former and present colleagues of Malayalam faculty of the Centre. Dr. R. Veera Manikanthan Pillai, Dr. (Smt.) L. Vimala, Dr. P.T. Abraham, Dr. K. Regu and Shri Saratchandran Nair who used these materials to teach Malayalam to the learners in the Southern Regional Language Centre and enriched me with their comments.

I am greatly indebted to my parents, brothers, and sister and my teachers of Malayalam and Linguistics who always inspired and encouraged me to have a deeper insight into Malayalam language and literature. I must also thank the scholars and writers of Malayalam whom I chanced to meet and with whom i had many useful discussions relating to the teaching of Malayalam to non-Malayalis, during my visits to several parts of kerala, while accompanying my students for their Language Environment Programmes.

I immensely thank Smt. K. Vasanthy and Kum T. Radhamoni, former and present Malayalam typists of the Southern Regional Language centre for coping and typing the manuscripts of this book several times on all occasions of revision and finalisation of the press copy.

I also thank profusely Shri T.S. Venkataraman, manager of the Press, Central Institute of Indian Languages, the Publication Unit of the Institute, and the Government of India Press, Coimbatore for the efforts they took in bringing this book out.

I am grateful to Sri N.H. Itagi, Central Institute of Indian Languages for designing the jacket.

Most of all, I am in great debt to my loving sisters-in law Smt. Chaya Satyanarayan and Kum. K. V. Anasuya who shouldered all my responsibilities elated to my household and my three kinds, while I was immersed in the Preparation of this book and its field testing for more than eight years.

I shall be extremely grateful if the casual readers second language learners/teachers, professional linguists, materials producers and critics, who would read this book; send their comments and criticism along with suggestion for further improvement of this book.



Learning a Second Language Acquisition of one's mother tongue is a natural phenomenon for a human being. When a child acquires his mother tongue, the acquisition is a slow and gradual process, and it happens quite automatically. The child is not aware that the process is taking place. He does not at all feel any burden or uneasiness. But this is not the case when an adult has to learn a second/foreign language within a specified duration of time. The problem becomes more acute when the learning has to take concerned language. in such a context the learner becomes conscious at every step that he is acquiring something new and finds himself in a difficult plight. It is because of this that many people are tempted to make the statement that a second/foreign language cannot be learned within the four walls of a class room, and that it has to be acquired in the natural environment.

Exposure to language environment, no doubt, is the most ideal situation for the acquisition of a language, but equally important are proper motivation on the part of learners and carefully prepared instructional materials. It is in this direction an attempt is made in this book to provide the adult second language learners of Malayalam with, what could be termed, systematically organised learning materials. The three principles, namely section, gradation and presentation, which a materials producer has to bear in mind, while preparing a text book, are taken note of and applied with meticulous care in the preparation of this book. The teachable items are presented on the basis of sound pedagogic principles, namely, a progression of items from simple to complex and from known to unknown, and the relevance of the given linguistic situation. Thus the learners would find themselves being led to the language teachers in a graded manner. This bock would also help the second language teaching of Malayalam in their efforts to transfer Malayalam language habits to adult language learners.


This Intensive Course is meant primarily for the teacher trainees of Southern Regional Language centre of the Central Institute of Indian Languages, who do not know the language earlier. This is the prescribed text for the Basic course of the three phase ten-month course of 1100 hours of instruction. The other two phases are intermediate and Advanced courses. The Basic course extends over a period of 14 weeks with 450 instructional hours. At the end of this course the learners are able to achieve the following objectives:

1. To perceive and reproduce the sounds and their meaningful sequences which means identification of the sounds in their meaningful sequence. Discrimination of the sounds in their meaningful sequence. And oral reproduction of the sounds in their meaningful sequence.

2. To form orally sentences from given patterns and lexical items.

3. To converse with the teacher and with fellow trainees on specified topics under controlled situations.

4. To narrate specified events and topics orally.

5. To read simple and graded passages with comprehension. Which includes the writhing of the letters of the alphabet in isolation and in sequence, and the comprehension of passages containing simple sentences.

6. To write simple sentences and guided compositions on specified topics, which means the writing of the letters of the alphabet in the initial stage followed by words and sentences and the writing of guided compositions on the basis of the cues provided.

Of the above objectives, this Intensive Course is meant mainly to achieve objectives from 2 to 4. To realise the first objective, the learner has to rely on separate phonetic drills tailored to meet the requirements of second language learners. Such drills are available in Malayalam Phonetic Reader (1972. Published by Central Institute of Indian Languages) which is a companion volume to this book in learning teaching Malayalam songs. Similarly-to achieve a part of the Objectives 5 and 6, namely, learning/teaching Malayalam script, the learner/teacher may make use of the C. I. I. L K. V. S. Mother Tengue Series APNI BOLI Malayalam I evel I set which consists of a script Book, a Copy Book. A text book and a teacher's Manual. Though the above books are prepared for children learning Malayalam as a Mother tongue in Central Schools in India. They could be effectively used by adult second language learners also because the Malayalam letters are presented.

Script Book and Copy Book on the basic of Similarity of shape of these letters and the hand movements in writing them. The learners would do well to learn the Malayalam script before they commence using this book or learn it simultaneously while using this book. In the Regional Language Centres of the central Institute of Indian Languages script is taught simultaneously with the spoken language from the very beginning and it is found that the learners are able to read and write the letters in isolation and in sequence within 15 to 20 hours of script teaching.

Since many Indian learners of Malayalam are familiar with the Devanagari script, first few lessons in this book are provided with transcription in Parivardhita Devanaguri using extra symbols to represent the different Malayalam sounds so that they can read from the first day of their learning, the sentences they orally practice. The help of a teacher or a native speaker may be sought to realize the exact sound value of the symbols used to indicate Malayalam Sounds. As regards Malayalam, the script use is the conventional one and not the revised script. The modifications made in the conventional script to derive the revised script are indicated while presenting the Alphabet after this introduction.

Structure of the Book

This Intensive Course Consists of 25 units with contain a total of 75 lessons. Each unit, except the last one, revolves around a bundle of related grammatical features which form a major structural chunk of the language. Each lesson, in its turn, deals with one or more sets of teachable items which are the structural bits that make up the whole, called language. This book is, thus based on a structural syllabus in which the structural bits from the basic for gradation. Both morphological and syntactical features are taken care of by the term structural bits. The number of lessons may very from unit to unit depending upon the structural bits that are focussed in the lessons. Once a set of related grammatical features are presented through some lessons, a review lesson is also added, either as the last lesson of a single unit teachable items, but only reinforces the items thus far included in the lessons reviewed. The 25th unit of this book contains only review lesson with free style conversations.

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