The Central Institute of Indian Languages was established at Mysore on 17rl1 July 1969 with a primary objective of fulfilling the Government of India's resolution that envisaged a set of concrete measures for the development of the major languages of India. The Institute is also charged with the responsibility of conducting research on all the minor and lesser-known as well as endangered languages of India to bring out grammars, dictionaries, style manuals, standardized writing and spelling patterns, language pedagogy materials, and language technology tools for such languages.
In order to implement the Institute's goal of developing the major Indian Languages and bring them into our teaching and research scheme mainly meant for the school teachers, the Institute has set up seven Regional Language Centres in the various linguistic regions of the country to help and meet the demand for trained teachers. This was thought in order to implement the three language formula and the assurances given to linguistic minorities. These centres are charged with the responsibilities of developing need based materials and methods of teaching Indian languages as second/foreign languages, train secondary school teachers in languages other than their mother tongues with a view to providing more language choice to young students in Secondary schools and thus heighten the awareness of the diversity which goes into the building of the mosaic of Indian Culture through their activities such as inter language translations, original writing in an another language etc.
The principals and Lecturers of all Regional Language centres of the Institute had prepared a conducive and scientific format which became the point of reference for producing language teaching materials. In this series, the present book entitled 'An Intensive Course Reader in Marathi' was created by Dr.Vijaya Chitnis. The material has been in use in our WRLC centre at Pune since 1979. Subsequently Dr.Suman Belwalkar revised this in the year 2003 by incorporating new materials and techniques on the basis of the experience gained. We appreciate the effort and academic input Dr. Suman Belwalkar had put ~n while revising this book, and hope it will be a welcome addition to Marathi teaching material already available in some universities.
It was in the year 1966 that Dr. S. M. Katre, the then Director of the Deccan College, with his foresightedness and organising ability, got the necessary funds from the Asia Foundation and established a language laboratory in the Deccan College. That year, in response to a request from Mr. Rae, a British missionary, he agreed to set up a Marathi Course for foreigners and entrusted the designing and supervision of the course to Dr. N. G. Kalelkar, an eminent linguist and Marathi scholar. It was my good fortune to be associated with the teaching and material production in this course and a subsequent advanced course. All the lessons prepared for the course were recorded in the recording room of the American Institute of Indian Studies (located at the Deccan College), which by then had established a major Applied Linguistics programme, with special reference to' the teaching of Indian languages as foreign languages. The then chief linguist, Dr.D.P.Pattanayak, helped us in the techniques to be followed for the recordings. The course was taught jointly by Dr. Kalelkar and the present author. A booklet dealing with our actual experience, ' ParabhAshA shikshNAcA shAstriy prayog' (A scientific experiment in the teaching of a foreign language), written by the present author, was published by the Sadhana Prakashan of Pune, at the end of this course.
Subsequently, the 14 week (Intermediate level) course for the under- graduate students of Associated Colleges of Mid-West, U.S.A., Refresher Courses (Seminars) for the Peace Corps Volunteers, 5-week Intensive Courses (basic and advanced) for foreign as well as Indian Christian workers etc. provided an opportunity to revise the courses from time to time in view of the need of the particular group and in the light of our previous experience.
1969 proved to be an eventful year. It witnessed the establishment of the Central Institute of Indian Languages with its four branches in four parts parts of the country. One of the programmes of this institute was to impart training in a non-mother tongue language to secondary school teachers. The four branches, the Regional Language Centres, started teaching Indian languages to secondary school teachers with a view to implementing the three language formula and providing more language choice to young students in secondary schools. The author of this course was appointed as Principal of the Western Regional Language Centre in 1970 and she brought all the materials which she had already prepared for the courses conducted in the Deccan College. Of course, the whole material had to be revised because now the learners were Indians. The Centre's programme was designed to give instructions equivalent to almost ten calendar months within a year. This required much more material. Hence the course was revised as per the needs of the Centre. The other two languages, viz. Gujarati and Sindhi, prepared their courses almost entirely on the lines of the Marathi Course. Programmes organised by the Centre, such as a 4-week course of the fresh non-Marathi IAS probationers posted in Maharashtra, Marathi and Gujrathi courses for the officers of the State Bank of India, a 4- week refresher course in Madhya pradesh for the Marathi and Sindhi teachers in that State, helped improve the quality of all our courses.
In 1972 a workshop of principals and Lectures was held at Bhubaneswar Centre, when a general format for the basic course was prepared and it was decided that all the languages should follow this format for preparing basic courses, making necessary changes as per the needs of that particular language.
Accordingly the author wrote the whole course again. The period fixed for teaching the basic course was of 14 weeks. The structure of the book is broadly as follows:
(1) Body of the lesson.
(4) Vocabulary items occuring in the lesson.
(5) Grammatical notes.
(6) Review lessons
(7) Tests etc.
The Unit explains the total structure of the language in parts and the lesson in each unit explain the pattern. Thus , one lesson broadly gives one teaching point at a time. The mothertongue readers may perhaps find the lessons somewhat contrived and dull. The drills might be considered lengthy at places. But this artificiality is bound to be there in teaching inflectional languages like Marathi. One may be tempted to start a lesson with. 'Namaskar! What is your name?' because it looks very attractive and students may recite the first lesson like a parrot beginning with. My name is Mohan.' But in languages like Marathi, where there are three genders, variable possessive adjectives, agreement between the variable adjective and noun, subject or object and verb, the oblique forms of the nouns etc. and the time at the disposal of the teacher is limited, it is not helpful to start with this kind of lesson. The material producer has to control himself in preparing the lessons and he should go step by step. At least the five to six steps up to the sentences in the present tense should be strictly observed. These steps are nouns, obliques of nouns, adjectives, invariable and variable, oblique of the adjectives etc. When a sound foundation like this is laid, it becomes easier to cross the following hurdles. The success of a course further depends on the co-ordination between the material producer and the teacher who handles the class. The teacher has to do a lot besides these lessons. He has to attend for instance, to the conversation, role-play, dictation, reading etc., (The centres devote 5 12 hours a day to teaching). There he may take some freedom in vocabulary items etc. but he must give the same kind of explanation as given by the material producer. Complete harmony between the teacher and the material producer is absolutely necessary. He/She may discuss any problems or doubts with the material producer, but not before the learners. The learner, particularly a beginner, is there to acquire the new language and not to listen to the differences of opinions between the material producers and the teachers.
This course is the outcome of a trial and error method followed in teaching over a long period. In spite of it, the writer does not claim that the present work is completely free from drawbacks. She is very much grateful to all those who helped her. in completing such a difficult task. Dr.D.P.Pattanayak, the then Chief Linguist of the A.I.I.S. and at present Director of the C.I.I.L., has always given great encouragement in the preparation of this basic course. He afforded her a number of facilities in bringing out the book. He always appreciated her efforts, allowed her to take every necessary freedom (the writer's freedom) from the format. The author is unable to express her gratitude towards him in suitable terms.
I am very much thankful to Dr.M.S.Thirumalai, the Deputy Director, C.I.I.L. who went through the whole manuscript and gave me valuable suggestions. Dr. Thirumalai's attitude towards all the Centres is always very helpful and he always encourages us to accept any new challenges in the field of applied linguistics.
I am thankful to all my colleagues for giving me encouragement in writing this course. My colleagues from the Marathi Department made useful suggestions also. Our office superintendent, Mr.N.V.Bhate, took great labours to bring out this course in this form. Because of his enthusiasm, the work was done so speedily.
The State Government Press, Kolhapur, and the Photo Zinco Press, Pune, gave very hearty co-operation in printing the book. All the members of the staff accepted this work as something of a challenge and only with their kind co-operation, this course is brought out so nicely.
Lastly, I want to express my gratitude towards Dr. N.G.Kalelkar, who showed me the importance of description and analysis in the scientific approach to a language. Because of his guidance I am able to look at my own language so objectively. I always enjoyed the discussions of my doubts with him. Every time, I got new ideas in the field of descriptive linguistics. I'll never forget these discussions about the Marathi Language. I offer this first effort of my work to him as a token of my gratitude.
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