Foreign Language Courses Attract Students in India

Article from Times of India, June 23, 2012:

JAIPUR: Rajasthan University’s language department is drawing students from different disciplines by offering industry-oriented courses in foreign languages, ranging from certificate to post-graduate diploma courses in French, German and Spanish.

The last batch is well-placed with an average starting salary between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 for post graduates in French and diploma holders in Spanish and German. Some have moved abroad for higher studies.

Professor Asha Pande, former head of department, European Languages credited the popularity of these courses to increased bilateral trade between India and non-English speaking European countries.

”IT, and knowledge process outsourcing companies (KPOs), tourism and travel companies contact us for students skilled in foreign languages,” she said.

Students land up with lucrative jobs in cities such as Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi, she said.

The faculty employs a unique teaching method to help students build a larger vocabulary at a fast pace. Interactive lessons are meant for beginners in all the three languages and focus on grammar, conjugation and word order.

The department offers 70 seats in certificate, 30 in diploma and 15 in post diploma course.

Kavita Singh, a management graduate, has applied for a diploma course in French to pursue higher studies in France. “Proficiency in the language would increase my job opportunities in France,” she said.

Many professionals from media, entertainment, IT are enrolling for these foreign language courses. “A large chunk of them wants to go abroad for work,” added Pande, who is the first Indian women to receive French government’s highest civilian award Legion d’honneur.

Around 400 students apply for these language courses every year. Despite umpteen efforts by the university, the department continues to be plagued by a severe faculty shortage against rising number of applicants.

Apart from the RU department, the city has around 15 institutes which offer degree and diploma courses in foreign languages.

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