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 What change of medium means to these students  
Special measures on to orient Tamil medium students to the atmosphere in engineering colleges


New campus, new friends, new faculty members and most importantly a new language for students from Tamil medium schools who have secured admission to engineering colleges.
Around 46 per cent of the students admitted to various streams in the Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA) 2011 are from Tamil medium schools.

Rate of integration
How well are these students integrated into courses conducted primarily in Tamil?
Having studied in a Tamil medium school, K. Balaji, a first-year student of College of Engineering, Guindy, initially found it extremely difficult to grasp the concepts taught in class. “It has been two weeks now. Though it is a little difficult to understand lectures and comprehend the textbooks, I am managing better,” he says.

There are some coaching classes in the college conducted in English to help students understand classes better. “I plan to attend these classes so that I can get doubts cleared ,” he says.
In many instances students who are unable to adjust to the course and the urban culture tend to get disheartened, note professors.

D. Shireen, coordinator, Velicham, an NGO that works with students, says that there are many students who score above 1,100 in the class XII examinations, but once they join an English medium course, some of them drop out. “It is more common in professional courses, since such students form a minority in these institutions,” she says.

Communication skills
As part of the one-week induction programme for students, the Anna University of Technology (AUT), Chennai, trains students in communication skills.
“A large section of the students comprises first-generation learners who come from the Tamil-medium schools. But since students in our institutions are academically bright, it is easy for them to pick up the language quickly,” says C. Thangaraj, Vice- Chancellor, AUT. At the Anna University, the faculty members help out the students from Tamil-medium schools when they have a difficulty.
“There are no bridge classes, but we expect the students to pick up the language from the English classes conducted during the first two years. The language teachers guide the students,” says M. Sekar, Dean, College of Engineering, Anna University.
Special coaching classes to help students understand the subject better are conducted in colleges. “The classes are conducted in English but the faculty members clear our doubts there,” he says.

Preparatory material
It is not just English language bridge course that institutions focus on.
The AUT-Chennai also has preparatory material in mathematics which will be distributed to the constituent colleges.
“This material has been prepared by faculty member of Anna University and IIT-M. It will help students understand the application of basic maths in the engineering course. Self-financing colleges can also procure them from the university,” says Mr. Thangaraj.


  • “Students who are unable to adjust to the course and urban culture often get disheartened”



  • Induction classes and special coaching classes help students adjust to medium




  • Thanks : The Hindu 

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