Introduction of Tamil language classes welcomed, reports SUJITH KRISHNAN
The Victorian School of Languages (VSL), the largest provider of language education in Australia, has for the first time introduced Tamil classes held every Saturday at the Galvin Park Secondary College in Werribee in the western suburbs of Melbourne. The inspiration behind this project has been Tamilar Inc, a non-profit organisation that prides itself in preserving India’s traditions and culture. A core group of volunteers, Ganesh Jaygan (President of Tamiliar Inc), Feroze, Radhika, Sudha, Arun, Meena and Venkatesh worked diligently, co-ordinating with VSL for months to lay down the foundation for the classes.
A confident Marjory Palmer, Area Manager of VSL said, “Language learning increases our ability to communicate, understand and preserve cultural diversity. VSL has been focussed on providing Australians with opportunities to undertake language and cultural studies, and we are pleased to announce that the first ever VSL-run Tamil classes under the competent care of Sudha and Venkatesh, which will be a resounding success.”
Tutors Sudha and Venkatesh employ the benefits of technology along with worksheets and textbooks to enhance a grasp of the language. Says Sudha, “The course includes a wide range of multimedia content including flash games, audio and video clips. During classes, we focus on improving vocabulary and conversational skills through songs and drama along with fun and games. Moreover, we upload teaching material and assignments on the educational web portal Koodam, to which both students and parents have access.”
President of Tamiliar Inc. Ganesh says, “Our main priority is to make children speak Tamil first, followed by reading and writing. In addition to the classes, it is equally important for parents to communicate with their children in Tamil at home. We would like to thank Mr. Frank Merlino, Principal of VSL and his staff for their guidance in making this project a possibility. Accolades have poured in from all quarters of the community including the Vice Consul, Mr Rakesh Kawra and Victorian Multicultural Commisioner, Mr Chidambaram Sreenivasan.”