What to expect from Foreign language courses in DU?

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Foreign language courses are a great way to begin learning a whole new language or to sharpen your existing linguistic skills. The University of Delhi offers many such part-time courses in a lot of colleges across its two campuses. 

While our previous article covers all the nitty-gritty details of these courses and colleges, this article takes a deeper look into the experience of these classes 𑁋 which is subjective to my time at the Hansraj College where I opted for a Certificate (beginner) course in French. 

EXPERIENCING THE ADMISSION PROCEDURE

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The admission process during the pre-COVID was offline. This year the college websites have uploaded notices with a link to google forms that record the applicant’s details.

KEEPING CHECK OF NEW NOTICES

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After successfully completing the admission process, the administration of the chosen college will put up notices on their websites regarding the commencement of the course. It is easy to miss the commencement date if you don’t manually verify the details, so be careful! 

TEACHING METHODS IN CLASSES

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Professors are subjective in how they conduct their classes. However, most language courses may see either of the two standard methods of teaching:

  • DIRECT LESSON PLANS – These professors follow traditional teaching methods. The units in the syllabus are the core structure of their lectures. For example, grammatical sections that are given in the curriculum will be strictly compartmentalised in each class.
  • FLUID LESSON PLANS – These professors teach language in a less traditional way.  They use a hands-on-basis approach that couples basic communication skills with theoretical grammar. 

The classes’ duration is usually for 2 hours on alternative days in the evening (or mornings on weekends). Usually, students are not given a choice on the alternate days since their batches are pre-split according to roll numbers. 

However, a request letter addressed to the college’s principal can be written to request a transfer to another preferred batch.

CLASHING TIMETABLES

If you’re already an undergraduate student in DU, language courses can clash with the regular classes 𑁋 usually Generic Electives (GE) or Tutorials as they happen later in the day. These discrepancies can occur even if your main and part-time course is in the same college.

THE PATTERN OF EXAMINATIONS — Annual testing mode

Exams in foreign languages are held annually. Students are evaluated at the end of the term by the following parameters:

  • Comprehension Passages are given in the examination paper, where Multiple Choice Questions like True or False assess your comprehension abilities. 
  • Grammar Section assesses your grammatical concepts depending on your course level (Certificate, Diploma, Advanced).
  • Cultural Section assesses the lifestyle, ethnic, historical knowledge of the chosen language.

DEMOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY IN CLASSROOMS

The demographics of students in language courses are starkly different from regular undergraduate courses. Language students range from typical college teenagers to homemakers or people working in corporate settings. Ultimately, it is a very different but refreshing environment.

Some other tips and tricks 

  • Regularity in classes – Learning a new language can be really overwhelming, don’t make it more challenging by skipping lectures. Professors help a lot with your enunciations skills too. Consistently attending classes will keep you in touch with the language and make it seem less foreign. Irregularity in classes can make you easily miss important announcements like the issuance of Admit cards and Examination forms. Negligence of these procedures may bar your eligibility to give exams.
  • If you’re already in a college on the DU campus, taking a language course from the same college is a lot cheaper.
  • Certifications from the Embassy of the country whose language you are learning can also be a great way to build your skills, Résumé and contacts.

Lastly, don’t limit yourself to the classroom 𑁋 branch out! Translation classes, foreign language events in embassies, apps like Duolingo and online open resources are available to supplement language students, so keep an eye out for them. 

Learning a new language is scary, frustrating, and a really tough commitment. Fortunately, it is also a lot of fun too. So, happy learning!

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Vanshika Yadav
Vanshika Yadav found out her passion for Literature through Enid Blyton and Ruskin Bond. Fascinated and intrigued, she found herself pursuing a Bachelor’s in English Literature at the University of Delhi. For now, she fuels her insatiable obsession with words by writing about culture, politics and news. Find Vanshika’s other writings at www.vanshikayadav.in

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