Monday, November 5, 2012

Language Laboratories in Engineering Colleges

The following post focuses on the importance of language laboratories in engineering colleges

Apart from being the country’s commercial capital, Mumbai is a major center for learning in India. Established in 1857, the University of Mumbai is one of the premier institutes of the country. One of the most sought-after courses, there are numerous engineering colleges in Mumbai, one of them being the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

As India witnessed an IT revolution in the last years of the twentieth century, there was a huge demand for engineers. Students from all over the country started opting for engineering courses in various disciplines.

However, it was realized that mastery over only technical education is not enough to excel in the real world of the corporate  A strong communicative power is very much essential that would enable students to face the world with much confidence. This requirement led to the gradual introduction of Humanities and Social Sciences in engineering colleges.

IIT Bombay is one of the first engineering colleges to introduce a proper language laboratory, commonly termed as language lab in order to impart strong communication skills to its students. The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences opened up its first full-fledged language laboratory way back in 1986.

One of the oldest language labs of all the engineering colleges in Mumbai, it is used to impart language tutorials to the students. It offers a variety of functions such as recording, high speed copying, test preparation, intercom, student monitoring, teacher-student conference and so on. The lab is well equipped with CDs, cassettes and books meant all levels of learners. It is used by students belonging to the Preparatory Course as well as seniors. Some students voluntarily opt for Remedial English Classes. Exercises and lessons are recorded on a weekly basis. This helps students to get a better exposure to a variety of listening and speaking skills. Students who have a limited command over English end up benefiting a lot from these kinds of activities.

The language laboratory sessions include debates, extempore, word games, quizzes, skits and other activities. These activities are aimed at improving the communicative skills as well as the body language of the students with the overall aim of preparing them to face the real corporate world.

Teaching sessions include course in English Pronunciation, Listening and Reading, Pronunciation Practice, the English Language Laboratory Drills, and so on. The course also includes a section on Literature in English where students are taught English with the help of dramatized excerpts from literary works such as Othello, Macbeth, Pride and Prejudice and others.

Students at the language lab are also imparted training in Communicative English through online activities. These include online tests, reading comprehension, language polls, English idioms, phrasal verbs, grammar glossary and articles on languages. Spoken English classes are held at regular intervals that ensure that students are gaining mastery over the language.

Language laboratory is a huge phenomenon which is fast gaining grounds in the engineering institutes all across the country. Following the trend some engineering colleges in Mumbai have also opened up their respective language laboratories.


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