Learning foreign languages is new fad in Indore

  • Husain Malvi and Nida Khan, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Sep 24, 2014 18:32 IST

The craze for learning something new, something different from the ordinary always amazes people. The thrill of learning a new language is no different. Not only does it vest the speaker with an edge over the other person, but it also grants them with an added advantage in terms of career options.

As Indoreans can be spotted riding high on this trend, the city also has some reservations attached to it. While French comes out with the largest takers, the other popular languages which feature in the list are German and Spanish.

"French is one language which has the largest number of takers. It could be because of the presence of an official institute in the city since a long time, or people's simple fascination with the language," said Laxman Shinde, Head of the department, School of Languages, DAVV.

A three month certificate programme is provided by the institute in French and German. While the French class manages to get the maximum number of students, the German class is the lesser loved child of the institute. "There are queries for German as well. But the problem is, what will the students pursue after they complete the course," quips Shinde.

But as the vote for the popular language to study is decided, private institutes offering foreign language courses remain the first choice of students. Since the inception of the institute at DAVV in 2012, only 150 students have passed out.

While the situation is entirely different at the private institute of Alliance Francaise, offering French language courses. "Students come to us, because we have an entire chain of institutes around the country. We are the only ones to prepare them for international exams in the language. Authenticity is what we serve," said Sheetal Soni, centre head of the Indore branch of the institute.

Witnessing a hike of 20% student intake every year, Sheetal feels that with every passing year the trend keeps on increasing. "We have a number of levels. From the ones for children to adolescents to senior citizens, a person can learn the language based on the purpose, he has."

Though a little pricey than the its government counterpart, the institute claims of enabling a person with the correct knowledge of the language. "We create teachers. People, who are so fluent with the language that others hire them," adds Sheetal.

Stating that the institute has an edge over all the other institutes in the city, Sheetal also admits on the mushroom growth of private institutes which teach these languages.

"Our students get hired at a number of institutes. From teaching at schools which have French as their third language to professional institutes at IIM and IIT. But an interesting population is also of those students who undertake a simple level of the language and then give private tuitions to those children who are studying the language in their schools. Charging a significant fee, it has become an interesting career option to go with," she said.

Moreover, a similar trend can be spotted with other languages like German and Spanish as well. "When I wanted to learn Spanish, as I had got selected in a foreign university in Spain I realised there were no institutes for this. There were only private tutors. I could learn to speak the language but cannot attain an international certificate like the one given by Allaince Francaise," said Sudeep Dwivedi, a film making student.

So, what stops the other languages to set up things on a similar pattern. "The entire institute is working on the principle of guest faculty and self finance. It is difficult to create a batch for languages we are already offering, these languages are a very far-sighted approach," stated Shinde.

Pointing that a few proposals have been submitted by him to the university, he feels that if a certificate programme is introduced in the institute it is only then that a large crowd will draw itself to the institute.

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