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A Programmed Course in Tamil

A Programmed Course in Tamil
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Item Code: NAW201
Author: G. Sankara Narayanan
Publisher: Central Institute Of Indian Languages, Mysore
Language: English and Tamil
Edition: 1994
Pages: 424
Other Details: 9.00 X 7.00 inch

The Central Institute of Indian Languages has reached 25 years of age and it is a time for reflection about its origin, development, achievements and shortfalls.

The study of Indian language with the objective of preparing them for the new roles of national reconstruction and development was the concern of many from the independence of the country. The major responsibility to support such a study was to be taken up by the State. The Kher Commission of the Government of India recommended the establishment of three Central Institutes for this purpose. The Official Language Resolution of 1968 made the Central Government also responsible for the development of all Indian languages in addition to Hindi. These and other developments led to the establishment of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) in Mysore on July 17, 1969.

The primary objective of the Institute is the development of Indian languages ensuring coordination between the various developmental activities at the governmental and non governmental levels and also by orienting linguistic research for the development of Indian languages. The Institute is also to contribute towards the maintenance of multilingualism of the country through language teaching, and translation and to strengthen the common bond between the Indian languages.

The work of the Institute consists of research, training and production of teaching materials. The results of these activities can be seen in its more than 300 publications and 6879 teachers trained in its Regional Language Centres. The Institute has been able to make an impact in language teaching in schools making it skill based and function oriented. It has brought audio visual and computed technology to aid the teaching of Indian languages. It has helped many tribal languages to be codified, described and used in education. Its research and training programmes in social, physiological and folkloristic aspects of language and culture have introduced new dimensions to research on Indian languages. The International Institutes organised by the Institute in sociolinguistics, semiotics, phonetics and other areas have helped the development of human resource in these areas.

The major problem of the Institute is that it cannot meet all language needs of the whole country. It has to play the role of a catalyst and model setter. The other agencies are to take over the universal implementation of the innovations. This has not taken place to the desired extent.

In the coming years, the Institute plans to consolidate the earlier work and expand the work in the areas of translation, computer applications and production of audio visual materials. It wishes to strike new grounds in language evaluation and storage and dissemination of language information. The Institute will move into anew Campus to carry on the work with new vigour and vision.

One part of the Silver Jubilee Celebration is the publication of 25 special volumes. The present book is one of these volumes.


Language learning is a complex as well as time consuming activity. [t involves Several variables like the learner, the teacher, the material and the method. Of all these variables the instructional! material plays a vital role in the process of teaching and learning a language Systamatically, A Programmed material not only makes learning more interesting and effective but also minimises the wastage of time and energy employed in learning a language.

The attempt to Prepare language teaching materials in a systemetic manner applying linguistic and pedagogic Principles is recent in the history of language teaching. Different aspects related to language learning/teaching have attracted the attention of scholars from different disciplines like linguistics, psychology, sociology and education. Consequently, there has been a great deal of rethinking and experimentation in the field of language teaching resulting in the development of different techniques, methods and approaches, Simultaneously, Preparation of instructional! materials have also been attempted adopting the newly evolved methods and techniques. One of the most effective and widely used language instructional materials are those which follow the method of Programmed Instruction (hereafter PI). This method is also referred to as Programmed learning or Automated Instruction.

PI refers to a Process of Systamatically arranging sequences of instructional material to be learned in a series Of very short logically and Psychologically related Steps or frames. The principles of Pi were first identified with regard to Linear Programming formulated by B. F. Skinner (1957). The Principles of PI imply the rules and systems by which a programmed instructional material is constructed.

There are five fundamental Principles which constitute PI, They are: 1. Principle of small Step 2. Principle of immediate testing: 3, Principle of active responding 4. Principle of immediate confirmation and 5. Principle of Self-pacing.

Each of these five Principles js briefly described below.

1. Principle of small step

The principle of Small step is related to breaking the content of learning into Smallest possible frames-steps and Sequencing them in a linear order. Small frames function as stimulus and make the learner learn one frame at a time and gradually move to the next one. Small Steps facilitate the leaner with Proper comprehension yielding maximum number of correct responses.

2. Principle of immediate testing

By the principle of immediate testing the learner is made to respond immediately. and continuously to questions pertaining to the frames being learnt. This implies the philosophy of ‘learning by doing’. A programme is usually a series of teaching frames "including prompts or questions to which the learner has to respond. The Jearner’s response may contain a word filling in a blank or a statement of reply to a question. The learner can go ahead only after responding. Al! the frames in a unit are ‘‘teaching frames" . except the last few which are ‘‘tes’ irames’’. The test frame does not give any new information but asks questions pertaining to the content in the previous frames. The learner learns best by answering questions rather then by merely reading and memorizing the content.

3. Principle of active responding

The principle of active responding is related to the encouragement provided by the material to the learner to actively respond to all the steps involved in a program. By constant responding the learner remains attentive and active and acquires new knowledge.

4. Principle of immediate confirmation

A programmed instructional material always indicates the correct response then and there so that the learner can immediately confirm whether his response is correct, This confirmation serves as a reward, reinforcing learning and making the learner highly motivated. Immediate confirmation which leads to ‘success experience" is a vital factor in reinforcing and motivating a learner in any learning process.

5. Principle of self-pacing

The principle of self-pacing allows the learner his own pace that is, he can go at his own rate. This suggests the significance of individualised instruction. In programmed materials the lessons are sequenced in such a manner that the learner can learn each step slowly or quickly according to his/her convenience.

Redundancy is adequately maintained in each lesson to facilitate slow learning in the case of average learners. Bright learners can skip the redundant steps or frames. The principles of P! described above are all mainly concerned with leading a learner from his Initial behaviour (hereafter 1B) to a desired Terminal behaviour (hereafter TB). IB refers to the previous knowledge and skills of the learner and TB is the behaviour or knowledge that the learner is expected to acquire at the completion of a programme. In any programming specification of TB is a primary step. The present material is meant for adult second language learners. This material presupposes the learner to have acquired knowledge of Tamil script as well as a working knowledge of English as a medium language.

The course is organised in 798 sequentially arranged frames distributed among 24 units, Each unit dealing with a set of related linguistic items consists of teaching and tasting frames.

Each unit begins with a Specification of the Objectives. The teaching frames immediately follow the specification of Objectives, In teaching frames information Pertaining to the objectives are introduced making use of the principle of small step which implies gradation of the Structural content from Simple to complex and known to unknown, Every teaching frame Being a small Step introduces 4 piece of new structural information followed by immediate testing with prompts. Through immediate testing the learner is kept active by constantly responding and hence learning, Prompts serve as stimulii and the learner is made to respond continuously on the basis Of analogy. On the left side Margin of each Succeeding frame the correct response is provided in order to facilitate the learner with immediate confirmation as a reinforcement factor. The Prompts include structural! cues, visuals and translation equivalents. Visuals are-used Only at the earlier Stages.

Certain frames in a unit are redundantly accommodated to provide Self-pacing so that the slow learner can make use of them for his comprehension and proceed with further frames at his own convenience, Teaching frames are followed by testing frames in every unit. Testing frames are constructed without Prompts in order to evaluate the learner for the desired TB, The English equivalent given for Tamil words and Sentences are of free translation.

The functors and words which are redundant to the sentence of Tamil and English languages have been given in brackets. It Should be stated here that English translation has been attempted to explain fully the target language structure and in this process sometimes the Sanctity of English Structure could not be maintained,

In order to Provide the learnar exposure to a wider context of language use and adequate Opportunity to develop further levels of ability in reading, writing and translation the programmed instructional! material is Supplemented with interspersed review lessons. There are in all ten review lessons in this material. The structural] content of each review lesson conforms with the structures dealt with in the Preceding units. The review lessons include different discourse forms like description, narration and dialogue. The nuances Of language use in different areas like story writing, newspaper and advertisement have been given due attention.

Each review lesson is followed by elaborate exercises for reading, writing and translation, Reading passages are meant mainly for oral Practice and therefore they have been chosen freely from poetry, film songs. riddles, Proverbs, titbits, jokes, golden sayings, Pamphlets, film reviews, advertisements, letters to the editor, news paper headlines, vignette, interviews, reply to readers, questions, slogans, invitations, greetings, Summary of an essay, short story reports and book reviews, all without keeping in view the control of structure. The learners, however, will find these reading materials more interesting and useful if they try to comprehend them with the help of a dictionary and other relevant materials.

Writing exercises include fill in the blanks, matching, objective type questions, transformations and open ended questions. These exercises are based on the structure and vocabulary used in the corresponding review lessons. Translation exercises involve translations from English to Tamil.

Tamil is a diglossic language with a wide disparity between the written and spoken varieties. The present material is chiefly concerned with the modern Written Tamil. However, the spoken variety is found to be mixed in conversation in some of the selections in the review part. In such cases the equivalence in Written Tamil is provided. Additional information pertaining to stylistic variations, cultural points and grammar are given in the form of ‘note’ in the programmed material.

The material before finalisation was tried out for its effectiveness and appropriateness with adult second language learners of the Southern Regional Language Centre both individually and in group. A questionnaire was used for the purpose. On the basis of the comments and opinions expressed by the learners the material was modified and revised to the present form.

At the completion of the course the learner is expected to have attained the ability to comprehend, read and write modern Written Tamil used in T.V., Radio and print media and in simple essays, short stories, letters, advertisements, applications, invitations, greetings and songs.

The course is expected to involve approximately 100 hrs of learning.

Guidelines to the learner

1. The present Tamil auto instructional material, as already mentioned presupposes knowledge of Tamil scripts. For this purpose, the learner is suggested to make use of the book ‘An Introduction to Tamil Script’ Published by the CIIL, Mysore (authors D. P, Pattanayak & M. S. Thirumalai).

2. The learner may note that in the present programmed material each learning frame is serially numbered. The frames should be learnt in that order.

3. Learning a frame means understanding the given structural item and responding, to the blank(s).

4. The learner while going through the learning frames is requested not to refer to the correct response given on the left hand margin of each succeeding. frame. It is advised that the correct response is concealed with a paper and checked only after writing down the response on your own In a separate sheet Of paper.

5. If the learner finds his/her response wrong while checking he/she is suggested to reread the frame for proper comprehension.

6. It is necessary that the learner goes through all the instructions and notes given.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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