Chitkara University, Punjab inaugurated a one of its kind Language Research and Training Centre: “Language Talkies – the native way” under the CLIL@India initiative of Erasmus+ (European Union programme for education) to propagate and promote regional languages (Punjabi and Hindi) in the region.
Dr. Sandhya Singh, Professor Department of Education, NCERT, Prof. Gisella Lange Senior Advisor, Ministry of Education, University Research, Italy and Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice Chancellor, Chitkara University inaugurated the Centre in the presence of Prof. Giovanni Lamartino, Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Milan, Italy and Dr. Luciana Pedrazzini, Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Milan, Italy and Dr. Sumanpreet Kaur, Head of the Department of Linguistics & Punjabi Lexicography, Punjabi University, Patiala.
The objective of the centre is to promote innovative teaching practices, innovative learning practices, mother-tongue-based education and multilingual pedagogy. The centre will also tie up or liaise with local teacher education colleges and schools to help teachers and students learn better.
Dr. Sangeeta Pant, Coordinator CLIL@India project explained that the centres would play a crucial role in improving and building students’ proficiency in two languages with vital emphasis on the mother tongue. As far as Chitkara University concerned, CLIL centre will focus on the Punjabi and Hindi language. In the inaugural address, Dr. Sandhya spoke at length on how languages have suffered and even become extinct over the years in some countries. She also shared few initiatives taken up by NCERT to promote and propagate regional languages in India. Recounting her experience as a student, Vice Chancellor of Chitkara University, Dr. Madhu Chitkara reiterated the need for multilingualism as a way to connect with people, and extended the university’s support to the CLIL@India project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. Dr. Sumanpreet Kaur, HOD Department of Linguistics and Lexicography, Punajbi University touched upon the grave situation of the Punjabi Language in Punjab and appreciated the efforts of Chitkara University and CLIL@India initiative for propagating mother tongue and regional languages.
Senior Advisor, Italian Ministry of Education Ms. Gisella Langé drew on similarities between the Indian and the European Union’s experience in terms of managing the tension between different languages. She expressed optimism for the CLIL methodology to resolve some of the most recalcitrant problems of managing the language question in education. Her sentiments were echoed by Prof. Giovanni and Dr. Luciano from Uniersity of Milano.
Keeping the theme of preserving ones’ culture and heritage through language and Art, Students of Chitkara University organised a unique exhibition “Punjabi Vedha” depicting the culture of Punjab for the dignitaries and also performed “Gatka”, Gidha and Bhangra, which left everyone spellbound.