Arts and science colleges are not sure about their scope to conduct bridge course for newly admitted students for 2021-22 under online system of teaching-learning.
Last year, colleges had to skip the bridge course, but language teachers handled ‘professional English’ as add-on in commerce, sciences, physical sciences, life sciences, arts and management. The course helped students to learn meanings and usage of terms relevant to their subject, thus increasing their professional vocabulary.
“Of course, the offline experience cannot be replicated in online system. Yet, the bridge course is a necessity as it will benefit at least the studious section of students,” K.T. Tamilmani, Head, Department of English, Nehru Memorial College, Puthanampatti, said.
Many teachers believe that the bridge course, encompassing specific hours of interactive sessions, is a necessity for enabling transition to the rigour of degree programmes. It also helps to make students feel comfortable with the new environment and set out on a path of self-exploration.
The syllabus for the course covers basic knowledge on subjects that students will be learning through graduation. The course is of particular importance to students from rural and semi-rural background, the teachers emphasise. For, the students will have to adapt themselves to a classroom atmosphere in which English is the medium of instruction.
Bridge courses lay emphasis on all aspects of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Some colleges even hold a test two weeks after starting the course to determine the progress of learners.
“Conducting bridge course for the next academic year will hinge on the decision taken by the higher education department under the new dispensation,” a senior English teacher of a government arts and science college said.
Most of the teachers agree that conducting bridge course under online system does not create the desired impact. But then, it cannot be dispensed with altogether, as the exposure will have a bearing on their career, they say.
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