The 12th International and 48th annual ELTAI conference, co-organised by ELTAI (English Language Teacher’s Association of India) and the Department of English and Centre for Research, St. Teresa’s College (Autonomous), Ernakulam is being held at St. Teresa’s College on 29-30 June and 1 July, 2017. The Conference was inaugurated by Justice (Rtd.) P. Sathasivam, Honourable Governor of Kerala at 10 a.m. on 29 June 2017.
In his inaugural address, the Honourable Governor congratulated ELTAI on their efforts to promote English language teaching. He commented on the status of English as lingua franca and pointed out that it is a language that is spoken in over 60 countries and one that adds to its vocabulary constantly. He spoke of the status accorded to the language by our Constitution when it was accepted as an official language. The Honourable Governor reiterated that regional languages must be given importance as it forms a foundation for foreign language learning, even while English is given its due. The focus, he said, must be on helping students develop effective communication skills in English. Justice (Rtd.) P. Sathasivam released the conference proceedings and ELTAI journal during the event.
Shri. A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish IAS, Chairman and Managing Director, Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation delivered the Presidential address. He spoke of the relevance of the theme of the conference- English Language Acquisition: Western Theories and Eastern Practices, and pointed out that such initiatives are vital for promoting English language teaching and learning.
The annual report of ELTAI was read out by Dr. K. Elango, National Secretary, ELTAI. Dr. G. A. Ghanshyam Iyengar, National President, ELTAI presented an overview of the conference. Ms. Mei-Kwei Barker, Director, British Council, South India and Dr. Bradley Horn of the Regional English Language Office, Embassy of the USA offered felicitations during the inaugural event.
The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Tessy Anthony C., Associate Professor, St. Teresa’s College. Dr. Uma Sivaraman, Joint Secretary, ELTAI gave the vote of thanks.
National Seminar on Digital Literature
The Department of English and the Centre for Research conducted the National Seminar on “Digital Literature” on 3 September 2016. The welcome speech was delivered by Dr. Tessy Antony C., Head, Department of English while Rev. Dr. Sr. Vinitha, the Director of the College gave the presidential address. The function was inaugurated by Dr. Pramod K. Nayar, Associate Professor, Hyderabad Central University. In his inaugural address he spoke of the advent of modernity in English. Dr. Sajimol Augustine, Principal, delivered the presidential speech and stressed on the need for digital literature in the twenty first century. The vote of thanks was delivered by Ms. Harsha Emily, the Co-ordinator of the National Seminar.
Dr. Pramod K. Nayar delivered the keynote lecture on “Touch screens and Architecture : Tactile Appropriations, the World and the digital uncanny”. Dr. Sreekumar, Associate Professor, Government Arts College, Thrippunithura gave a talk on “Morphology of web-enabled identity in Kerala”. Dr. Rajesh V. Nair, Associate Professor, Maharajas College delivered a talk on “Archiving memory in digital space: family history in a narrative”.
A number of paper presentations on topics like cyber poetry, cyberpunk, cyberfeminsm and nano-Gratoon Literature were made.
International Lecture on Latin American Geography, Culture and Literature
A class on the topic Latin American Geography, Culture and Literature was conducted in St. Teresa’s College, Ernakulam on September 3rd, 2016 at 2pm by Prof. João Vicente Ganzarolli de Oliveira, Ph. D who is a Professor and Researcher of Disability Studies at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro . His Ph.D. is on Poetics and his post doctoral study on Latin American Literature.
During the one and a half hour session he spoke about the unique geography of Latin America, its early inhabitants, their culture and how the landscape had a profound impact on the way of thinking and life style of its people.
A list of books on the history, culture and geography of Latin America. was recommended for the students for gaining more insight on the topic.
There was also an interactive session.
The literary cum cultural fest, Panache, was hosted for a 6th time by the Department of English and Centre for Research, St. Teresa’s college, Ernakulam on 20th August, 2016(Saturday). The fest was inaugurated by the cine artist, Sri. Aneesh G Menon.
Nazrin Mather, the chief coordinator of Panache,2016, Dr. Tessy Anthony C, Head of the Department of English and Centre for Research and Teacher Convener of Panache 2016, and Rev. Dr. Sr. Vinitha, Director of St. Teresa’s college, adorned the moments with their felicitations.
Various literary, artistic and cultural events were held like debate,acapella, quiz, photography, comic strip making, etc. The participation from various schools and colleges across the State, turned the fest into a complete success. The Sister Therese Marie ever-rolling trophy for the overall championship was bagged by the students of National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS), Ernakulam.
The Kerala chapter of the Young Communicators Club (YCC) conducted a lecture discussion on Friday, 29th July in collaboration with the Department of English, St. Teresa’s College. The subject addressed was ‘Embracing Change and Challenging Norms: The Young Woman in Urban India’.
Eminent members of the YCC along with other guests took part in the seminar. The dignitaries included Smt. Chithra Krishnan, entrepreneur; Dr. Kalyani Vallath, director, YCC, Kerala chapter; Smt. Sandhya Balasuma, senior media professional; Mr. U.S. Kutty, chairman, Public Relations Council of India (PRCI), Kerala chapter; Mr. T.N.Vinaykumar, secretary, PRCI, Kerala chapter and Ms. Jayashruthi Varghese, chief coordinator, YCC, Kerala chapter.
The students got the opportunity to interact with Ms. Chithra Krishnan, a city-based entrepreneur. Ms. Chithra, with her enterprise ‘Food for Thought’ provides employment to 12 women and has also shown how something as close to the heart as cooking can generate income and teach one to be self-reliant. She further said that she finds each small step as empowerment. Nothing in particular motivates her, but instead finds motivation in each small thing or experience.
Both the students and teachers made use of the forum and discussed with the guest members on crucial issues like woman empowerment, the alarming increase in crime against woman and others. All the issues found active speakers on both sides who also recounted few personal experiences to succour their views.
The seminar also tried to make explicit the need to efface gender divide and also stated the dire need to conscientise boys to treat women with due respect and acceptance. Though there is a plethora of awareness programmes being held for girls, there is a dearth of initiative to conduct such programmes for boys. Right from their young age, they have to learn to view women bereft of prejudices and must also have the courage to stand up for them when needed. The gathering also condemned the myriad stereotypes associated with women and also the paucity of ample awareness on gender issues.
Students and teachers from other departments and colleges also took part in the seminar.
The YCC was initiated under the student and youth wing of the Public Relations Council of India.
The interactive session, headed by Dr. K. N. Raghavan, Customs Commissioner, Kochi, conducted as part of the inauguration of the Department of English and Research Centre of St. Teresa’s College, Ernakulam.
The inauguration of the English Association was conducted on 23 June 2016 at 10:30 AM in the Seminar hall, at St. Teresa’s College, Ernakulam. The Association was inaugurated by Dr. K. N. Raghavan, Commissioner of Customs, Kochi.
Dr. Raghavan addressed the gathering and also led an interactive writing session for the students, where he discussed the writing programs behind his book ‘Dividing Lines: Contours of India-China Conflict’.
The welcome speech was delivered by Dr. Tessy Anthony, Head of the Department of English. The annual report of the activities of the Association from the previous academic year, 2015-16, was delivered by Nazrin Mather, Association Secretary. Devika V. of III DC English delivered the vote of thanks and the event was compered by Christie Rachel Saji, also from III DC English.
After the formal inauguration, the students of the third year literature class staged a drama, ‘Confundo‘, which was scripted by Ann Mathew of III DC English. The inauguration of the Association marks the beginning of all the activities of the Department of English for the academic year 2016-17.
The National Poetry Writing Workshop organised by the Department of English was inaugurated by the eminent Tibet origin Indian poet, Mr. Tenzin Tsundue.
The workshop began with Mr.Tenzin conducting a very interactive session on the most important principles of writing poetry. The students and teachers wholly participated in this session with this man of letters, and learnt in the process that observation, new perspectives and new language are the three most important principles of successful poetry writing.
The Postgraduate students of the Department of English and Centre for Research conducted a National Seminar on Transforming Theater: Non-Conforming Trends in Performing Arts, New Age and its Implications on 9 February 2016.
Prof. B. Anandakrishnan, Professor of Theater Arts, S.N. School of University of Hyderabad inaugurated the seminar. Prof. Chandradasan, Founder Director of Lokadharmi and Dr. C.S. Francis, Head, Dept. of English, S.H. College, Thevara were the resource persons and their sessions were titled ‘The Non-Conformist trends in Theater in the socio-economic and technological milieu’ and ‘Politics and Aesthetics of post-dramatic theater and its multiple aspects’ respectively.
The Seminar examined how theater and performing arts have stood its ground despite being pushed to the periphery by the movie industry.
A National Workshop on Creative Writing was organised by the department on 14 January 2016. The Bestselling writer Ms. Preeti Shenoy was the resource person at the workshop.
As part of its Staff Enrichment Programme, the Department of English of St Teresa’s college organized a one day National Seminar on Autonomy: Prospects and Challenges on 20 October 2015 at the college Seminar Hall. The resource person for the seminar was Dr Kalyani Mathivanan, Former Vice- Chancellor, Madurai Kamaraj University. Also present on the dias were Dr Sajimole Agustine, Principal of the college and Dr Tessy Anthony C., Head of the Department of English.
The first session commenced at 9.45 am after prayer. Dr Tessy Anthony C. who welcomed the gathering highlighted the significance of the seminar in light of the fact that St Teresa’s College had become an autonomous institution only recently. She also introduced the resource person Dr Kalyani Mathivanan, the first lady Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University to the gathering. The welcome address was followed by the lighting of the ceremonial lamp. The principal of the College Dr Sajimol Augustine delivered the Presidential address. She spoke on the topical relevance of the seminar and congratulated the department on taking up such an initiative. The key note address was rendered by Dr Kalyani Mathivanan who was all praise for the remarkable achievements of the college over the years including the commendable A grade NAAC accreditation. She observed that although autonomy entailed academic freedom, it also required a lot of hard work and as a women’s institution the college was better poised to lead the way.She stated that change is the only constant in life and our success depended on how we adopt to it.The academic independence given to the institution can be fully utilized to update , revise and keep abreast of developments by incorporating and revising the syllabus as and when needed, contrary to waiting for the University to revise the same after the stipulated years . Flexibility in schedules should ensure implementation within realistic sessions. The college should not compromise on the quality of faculty and infrastructure in their attempt to implement changes in examinations and syllabi . Inspiration can be drawn from proven world class autonomous institutes like IIT, NIT, IIMS etc.
The knowledgeable student generation of today are an asset to the society and should be given a chance to get involved in the process, especially in the preparation of the syllabi. Experienced teachers who have proved their academic dedication should also be a part of the committee to implement positive changes in the academic scenario.
The second session of the seminar was an interactive one during which the faculty and students posed several questions to the resource person. When the students and the faculty expressed their apprehensions about autonomy especially regarding the fact that the institution still has to adhere to the rules of the university, Dr Kalyani urged them to consider the best from the past, see what is needed in the present and have a vision for the future. Regarding the fact that there is a time constraint for implementing the programmes, Dr Kalyani observed that it all depended on effective planning and streamlining of activities with utmost sincerity and passion. The higher the aspirations the higher will be the responsibilities. Women in power could be targeted and what was important was the support from fellow women. Cooperation from all sections to implement change is vital . The institution should be above everything. She also stressed that people may come and go but the dignity of an academic institution should be preserved under all circumstances.
The seminar came to a close with the vote of thanks proposed by Ms. Preeti Kumar of the department.
The International Workshop on English Skill Development was organized by the Department of English Literature in collaboration with Rainbow VolunTours as part of the TROP on 12 August 2015 at 2:00pm. Anagha Mohan of III DC English welcomed the gathering. The Director of the college, Dr. Sr.Vinitha, gave the presidential address and later the principal of the college Dr.Sajimol Augustine was invited to do the felicitations.
It is the first International workshop organized in connection with the TROP and extension activities in St.Teresa’s college. Ridhi Patel, the founder of Rainbow VolunTours, introduced the students to the activities of the organization. The U.K based organization places volunteers from all over the world in schools, orphanages and other projects in India and in the Maldives. It gives opportunities for students and tourists who are in between their jobs and career breaks to do internship which promotes and enhances the spirit of communal service. A volunteer from England, Ethan Coupland, took the first session of the workshop. Dismantling the myths of using native languages, he talked about the diverse teaching techniques in an interactive session. He even demonstrated a game of charades that helps to communicate to the children without the use of language.
The second session was by Amy Walsh, an Irish volunteer, on student-teacher interaction. Amy stressed on the significance of eye contact and gestures and also of the usage of simplified English. In the feedback session, Maia Lyngseth, A volunteer from Spain, Michael Domen ,a Belgian, who is the Kerala programme manager of Rainbow VolunTours, Anne and Anagha II and III year Literature students shared their experiences of the volunteering works that they have undertook. Students found the workshop very resourceful as they could inculcate the techniques for their domain of service. It was a platform for resource sharing. The workshop was brought to a close with a vote of thanks proposed by Arya S. of III Literature.