Kannada Gottilla? Soon, you may be able to say Kannada Gottu!
October 1, 2020
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela
What’s in a language? You will have to learn one to find out. As cities are increasingly becoming more cosmopolitan with an amalgamation of different languages and cultures, command over a local language might seem redundant. However, knowledge of the native tongue is not only useful, but can also help us broaden our connect with people, and cities at large.
This term, the National Law School of India University introduced spoken Kannada classes for students to familiarise themselves with the local language. The University has engaged with the city-based KannadaGottilla Academy to teach conversational Kannada in an effective and easy manner. The University began the conversational Kannada classes for 30 students pursuing the Master of Public Policy (MPP) Programme who were interested in learning the language.
Why language classes?
Explaining the reason behind the introduction of these classes, Students Affairs Officer Apoorva Gupta said: “NLSIU has a diverse student population and any good institution will ensure respect for the heterogeneity on campus. As a step in this direction, the University wanted to introduce language courses for our students, and we started this initiative with the language of the local region. Since the University is housed in Bengaluru, students end up spending a lot of time in this city where the native language is Kannada. So, we felt exposure to the local culture and language could be encouraged. Some students were also very responsive to the idea of spoken Kannada classes.”
The University saw a good amount of interest toward the Kannada classes from MPP students including those from second year.
“MPP students are usually involved in a lot of fieldwork during which they may have to interact with clients who communicate in the local language. Working knowledge of the native tongue is definitely a helpful skill and often exposes students to various opportunities,” said Apoorva.
Based on the success of these sessions, the University plans to extend the classes to students from other programmes as well.
Since physical classes are a no-no during the pandemic, the KannadaGottilla team decided to take tutorials online for students in the present circumstances. Their usual online teaching techniques include use of Zoom sessions and social media platforms like WhatsApp based on the requirement of the client.
NLSIU students are learning Kannada through the WhatsApp mode where learning groups have been created. Arpith Kumar, Director and Mentor at KannadaGottilla Academy, said that multiple learning groups on WhatsApp can be created but each group has been limited to 25 students for effective teaching and learning.
WhatsApp my lessons please:
Each learning group on WhatsApp involves 20-25 students and 3 mentors. The lessons are sent before 11 am every day and learners can practice them anytime during the day as per their convenience. In case of doubts, students can reach out to the KannadaGottilla mentors by sending a message to them.
“These are not live classes, which is an advantage for students to learn their lessons without having to adjust their usual schedule. We send lessons and voice notes on the WhatsApp group every day which they choose to read and listen to whenever they are free. The lesson plan is for a maximum of 10 minutes per day,” said Ranju Krishna, Creative Head and Mentor at KannadaGottilla Academy.
Every 7 days, the team also conducts simple assessments to ensure that students have grasped what has been taught over the week. These assessments are not the tedious kind but designed as fun exercises of 2-3 minutes where students practice pronunciation or complete assignments in ‘fill in the blanks’ or ‘match the following’ templates. The team also recommends short films in Kannada which students can watch to pick up spoken Kannada and understand framing of sentences better.
The lessons are planned across different levels. Level 1 Classes run for 25-30 days (except for Sundays). Starting with the basics, simple words and phrases in Kannada are being taught to students before progressing to 3-word sentences. The lesson plans then continue to the next levels which involves more grammar.
About KannadaGottilla Academy:
Operating since 2014, the Academy is the brainchild of IT professional Anup Maiya, and has received over 22,000 student registrations. The team has done over 50 workshops across Bengaluru including programs for apartments, corporates, colleges and cultural exchange programs for the British council. They have also conducted Kannada classes internationally for candidates across 12 countries. For more details, visit https://kannadagottilla.com.