Friday, Mar 01, 2002
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By K. Ramachandran
But using Information Technology to teach Tamil has been a prime concern everywhere. Here is one success story from the Singapore Ministry of Education to utilise the power of IT to teach basic Tamil.
The Singapore Ministry has developed jointly with two private companies three CD-ROMs and four audio CDs as educational materials for teaching Tamil to pupils in Primary 1 and 2 and Secondary 1 classes. ``These IT resources mark a beginning of a series of resources to be developed to support a new syllabus being implemented in schools'', says Rajeswaran Boopalan, one of the three Project Development Specialists in the Ministry's Educational Technology Division.
The CD-ROMs, Arumbukku Virundhu 1 and 2 (for primary schools) were developed to complement the syllabus requirements. Mascots accompany users as they surf the various locations. The 10 module CD has animated songs, stories, activities and games designed to help students' Tamil language abilities.
Vaanavil 1, a CD-ROM developed for secondary pupils, has six theme-based modules of reading and activities. Animations, video clips complement a virtual keyhod that helps pupils type their input using the mouse.
Mr. Boopalan notes that the Ministry has launched its web site (www1.moe.edu.sg/namnaadi) that targets Tamil leaders in the 10-12 year age group. It has entertainment, language, news, culture and intelligence sections each offering activity based learning modules.
``The objective of these efforts is to improve the thinking, listening, speaking, reading, writing abilities by using Tamil'', he adds.
Mr.Boopalan, who came to Chennai to participate in an international seminar on Tamil computing, says he is promoting the concept developed by his Division, so that these IT resources can be used by Tamil learners anywhere. ``One need not spend time duplicating the efforts we have already done and the readymade resource can be useful even here''.
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