Learning a foreign language is a demanding task but it can also be an achievement that broadens your horizons and exposes you to new opportunities and cultures.
In a competitive world, having knowledge of a foreign language other than English gives you an edge over many others who are only monolingual or those who are still stuck in the mindset that English is the only foreign language that one needs to learn.
With competency in foreign languages, one can find career in foreign ministries, embassies, international organisations, airlines, diplomatic service, publishing industry etc.
There’s also a huge demand for foreign language specialists in BPO and IT sectors. Other options include working as a tour operator, translator, interpreter or teacher. As a case in point, the state-run Kendriya Vidyalas (KVs) are on a teacher-hiring spree to recruit German-speaking individuals in their thousands of schools in the country.
Which language should I learn?
Whatever be your motivation, one question that you’re bound to run into is: Which language should I learn? To help you choose the right one for you, we spoke to a few of those who are actively involved in promoting foreign language education.
Thierry Robert, deputy cultural counsellor, deputy director, French Embassy in India, Institut Français opines that one of the things that Indian students should consider when thinking of learning French is: French culture and ‘art de vivre’.
“About 175 million people around the world understand, speak, read or write French. It’s the official language in 41 countries and the official working language of many international organisations. These figures may seem tiny considering the population scale in India, but the attraction of the French language and culture in India cannot be denied,” he says, adding, “The French language, which has spread around the world through art, theatre, literature and cinema, is not just a language; it’s a key to experience the unique French ‘art de vivre’ (the art of living). Once you start learning this melodious, rich and one of the most romantic languages in the world, you’ll be surprised to discover that over 50% of English words have their origins in French!”
Prof Gunita Randhawa, chairperson of the department of French and Francophone studies, Panjab University says that learning French helps in opening quite a few doors. “A few basic lessons and you’re ready to strike a conversation with visitors from francophone countries. Of course, to become a tourist guide more proficiency in spoken French is required.
Usually, one to two years (6-7 hours per week) of commitment is necessary,” she says. Underscoring the job prospects, she explains, “There are many translation opportunities in media such as content writing, script writing and translating subtitles for films etc. In order to become a translator, emphasis on written French is a must. A mix of both of the above is possible if you want to become a teacher. Nowadays, banks, IT and fashion companies, multinationals, hotels, hospitality sectors, insurance, broadcasting…any domain which deals with Francophone Africa, Europe or Canada are on a look out for young talent with competency in French”.
On the placement prospects, Kevin Muller, CEO of ClickonFrench.com shares that there are more than 700 French firms based in India and, therefore, the knowledge of French language has become a must-have skill. “The trend is likely to accelerate since the market is booming. Statistics show that French-speaking professionals earn between 50% and 300% more than others in terms of salaries. With the recent partnerships between India and French-speaking African countries and the billions of dollars invested, the demand is set to soar. Also, there are more than 50 French-speaking countries in the world constantly looking for French language professionals,” informs Kevin.
Chairperson of the Russian department, Prof Pankaj Malviya says, “Russian is an important language for science and technology. It’s a must for those who want to make their career in the fields of Navy (especially in the Navy’s nuclear energy field), Air Force (The Indian Air Force’s fleet has many Russian helicopters and airplanes), petroleum engineering and pharmaceutical. Having knowledge of Russian also enhances one’s employability in the fields of trade, literature, music, hospitality and information technology.”
Course name: Certifcate Course of Russian Language
Duration: 1 year
Fees: R6,000 approx
Eligibility criteria: 10+2 or equivalent from any recognised board.
Facilities: Language lab, Linguaphone, Audio-visual aids
Start date: July, 2013
Contact: Department of Russian, PU, Chandigarh; phone: 0172-2534273
Note: Panjab University offers one-year certificate, diploma and advance diploma courses in French, German and Russian. To get information about admission procedure, students should contact their respective departments.
Surinder Maken, director of Goethe-Zentrum in Chandigarh, says that German is the language of Goethe, Nietzsche and Kafka, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Freud and Einstein, and you could think of it as a reason to learn it. “German is the most common language in the European Union.
About 24% of EU citizens are native speakers of German. It’s a valuable language for travel and business, technology and literature,” he adds.
Course name: A1 (Basic Course in German)
Duration: 3 months
Eligibility criteria: Knowledge of Latin script, age above 16 years
Facilities: Internet, DW-TV, library
Start date: 20th May 2013, 9 am to 11.30 am, Monday-Friday.
Contact: Goethe-Zentrum, SCO 362-363, Sector 34-A, Chandigarh, phone: 0172-5075781
To practise online, visit: www.goethe.de/lrn/duw/enindex.htm
Course name: Certificate Course in German
Duration: 1 Year
Fee: R8,500 approx
Eligibility criteria: 10+2 or equivalent or three years diploma from Indo-Swiss Training Centre.
Facilities: Computer, CDs, Colour TV, VCP, Over-Head-Projector, Library
Start date: August, 2013
Contact: Department of German, PU, Chandigarh-160014; phone: 0172-2534683
Course name: A1, Grundstufe Deutsch 1
Duration: 4 months
Fees: R20,000 (5,000 per month)
Eligibility criteria: 10+2 or equivalent.
Start date: May, 2013 (Admission is open till May 20)
Contact: Center for German
Studies, #810, Sector 43-A, Chandigarh; phone: 0.9814200382; website: www.germanperfekt.com
Note: The institute offers the Austrian German Diploma (OSD).
FRENCH COURSES FOR SCHOOL PASS-OUTS
Course: Certificate Course at PU
Duration: 1 year
Fees: R8,000 approx
Eligibility criteria: 10+2 or equivalent from any recognised board
Facilities: The department is well equipped with television, Internet, library as well as a reading room.
Start date: August, 2013
Contact: Department of French and Francophone Studies, Panjab University, Sector 14, Chandigarh-160014; phone: 0172- 2534681
Short-term courses @ Alliance Française
Alliance Française de Chandigarh — the official centre for conducting DELF, DALF and TCF exams — is a state-approved organisation offering a range of courses, including short-term courses of three months’ duration. The batch starts on June 17. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission process will start by mid-May. The course fee is R10,800 (subject to change).
Part-time: three days per week
(6 months). There is an option for weekend classes also.
Contact: Alliance Française Le Corbusier de Chandigarh, Sector 36-A, Chandigarh;
phone: 0172-2668627, website: http://chandigarh. afindia.org/
Online courses @ ClickonFrench.Com
Offers courses of 3-6 months’ duration. Fee for ‘basic package’ is R3,990. The course offers lifetime access to: course content, audio files, learning kit and exercise book. The certificate is awarded by Institut Français-French Embassy.
Bachelors in Journalism & Mass Communication
If any enthusiastic student dreaming of seeing his or her name on print publications, face on television screen, voice on radio, name in the credit list of a serial or film then it is the right course to pursue. It is a course in which the art and craft of media is taught.
Apart from English, general awareness and current affairs are stressed upon. Courses such as reporting and editing, media laws, introduction to communication, radio, television, advertising and public relations, development communication, folk and traditional media are dealt in different semesters.
At Chitkara University, this three-year course is divided into six semesters. There are radio and television as compulsory specialisation; students can also opt for print or advertising in their fifth semester. The last semester is devoted to internship in media organisations.
The course requires persistence, passion to work 24X7, observation skills and nose for news. After the course, some opt for further studies like master of journalism and mass communication.
“Media is about understanding freedom of expression, so before going for actual practice it is must for the students to understand culture, society and the requirements of the system. To give the essence of all these attributes we have constructed our pedagogy with core theoretical and practical courses. In the era of back-pack journalism it became necessary to craft media pupil who is a hardcore professional who should be capable in all mediums, and here at Chitkara School of Mass Communication we do so,” says Dr Ashutosh Mishra, dean, School of Mass Communication, Chitkara University, which is situated near Rajpura in Punjab.
“The course offers immense exposure. Also, the sequenced and planned infrastructure and exam schedules make the learning a fun business. Not just hands-on experience but internships and cultural fests keep on nurturing our skills and turning us into hardcore professionals,” says Divya Sahni, BJMC final-year student
Famous alumni: Late Kalpana Chawla, astronaut; Sunil Saigal, dean, Newark College of Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA; Vanya Mishra, Miss India 2012; late Jaspal Bhatti, satirist and filmmaker and Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon: Punjab politician Hostel facility There are four hostels for boys and two for girls.
The institute has signed MoU with various industrial organisations. Some of the famous companies to have visited PEC are Amazon, Accenture, Bank of America, Deloitte, General Motors Ltd, Google India and Goldman Sach.
PEC Fest, the three-day annual cultural festival not only attracts huge participation from students across India, it is also sponsored by big brands.
The institute has playfields for sports such as cricket, hockey, football, handball, volleyball, lawn tennis and badminton. Facilities for yoga, weightlifting, wrestling and kabaddi are also provided. There is a gymnasium, swimming pool and two squash courts. The institute also organises rowing activity at the Rowing Centre, Sukhna Lake.
Students enrolled in BE (I) have the option to opt for physical education as an audit course.
Campus-wide networking is provided at the Computer Centre of the institute. The backbone connectivity initiating from this centre caters to more than 2000 nodes (wired/wireless) across the campus. The campus and hostels are wi-fi enabled. PEC is a partner of National Knowledge Network, a state-of-the-art multi-gigabyte pan-India network.
The Robotics Club is amongst the most active groups of the college, created especially for the ‘techno-freak’ students who are interested in making robots.
The yearly fees for a day boarder is: R50,750 (average)
For hostel facility: An additional sum of R43,100 is payable
There is a 50% reservation under the Chandigarh quota and the all-India quota.
Faculty strength: 130
ggd sd college, sec 32
Undergraduate degree courses
BCom (Honours in e-commerce) 280
Business (Economics and Business Finance & Accounting) BA (General and Honours in English, Economics and Hindi 600
BSc (Hons) Biotechnology 25
BSc (Hons) Bioinformatics 25
BA or BSc in Biotechnology/ 60 each
Biochemistry/Industrial Microbiology/ Industrial Chemistry/Information Technology/ Computer Application/Computer Science
BSc Medical 150
BSc Non-Medical 150
Faculty Strength: 148
Number of Seats: 3,600
Famous alumni: Justice Rajesh Bindal, Punjab & Haryana High Court Mandeep Singh, IRS Rajan Vishal, IAS JJ Valaya, fashion designer
As per Panjab University, Chandigarh
Available for boys and girls separately.
The cell claims that more than 500 students were selected by various organisations in the academic year of 2012-13 through campus placements.
PANACHE - Management fest
Phoenix - IT fest
BioRhythm - Science fest
Virasat - Cultural fest
Athletics, chess, cricket, table tennis, judo, fencing, gymnastics, boxing, rowing and lawn tennis, handball, baseball, wrestling, badminton, cricket, squash, basketball, archery, taekwando, boxing, swimming, water polo, table tennis and shooting.
The college campus is wi-fi enabled; the library has INFLIBNET (Information and Library Network) N-LIST, apart from an e-learning Resource Centre.
As per UT Administration, Chandigarh