Our Weekly ‘Literary Rendezvous’ for this week was at Dr. K. Elango’s house in Nungambakkam. Aunty welcomed us all with her usual cheerful and pleasant smile, and made us feel at home the very instant we stepped in.
After our customary poetry reading sessions, and sharing of anecdotal jokes that had us all in splits, Dr. Elango proceeded to share a few thoughts on his latest endeavors in the field of ELT.
As Secretary of India’s oldest ELT Organisation ELTAI, Professor Elango retired this past year as Head, Department of English, Anna University, Chennai, and coincidentally this was our first meeting with him post-retirement.
Professor Elango was all enthusiasm when he shared his experiences on his pilot project with a Corporation Middle School in Chennai. The project titled ‘Read and Lead’ was meant to inculcate the habit of reading in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.
As a prequel, the Std VI, & Std VII text books were completely audio recorded in a recording studio at Mylapore, with volunteered ‘voice-over’ from students of Ethiraj College.
Then, student volunteers from city colleges including Loyola (which have a mandated requirement, that involves all the 2nd year students of the college, in the integrated empowerment of the community, labeled LOP – Loyola Outreach Programme) do activities that will inculcate and instill the habit of reading amongst the VI and VII graders.
In concurrence with Dr. Kalam’s vision of setting up a home library in every house, parents of the VI & VII grade students were invited to meet up with the team members, and they were persuaded to set up Home Libraries that would encourage reading habit among family members.
Dr. Elango lamented the fact that the art of reading is on the wane among students, and it’s time we did something about it.
He said, they have come out with the concept of a Reading Journal and a Word Journal, that systematically chronicles the practice and hard work put in by each and every student.
Student volunteers do a graded assessment over a period of time, and then give them their scores.
Although we had initially planned this rendezvous over a Coffee, Dr. Elango, was so bowled over by the insightful insights, lively discussions and meaningful interactions, that he gently persuaded us all to a wonderful dinner in his honour for all his literary friends.
Dr. Elango also gave offers on Library/Journal access to Institutions. ‘Now, it’s just Rs. 3000/- for a ten year subscription for Institutions to access their awesome library repertoire’, he said.
Well, our next weekly ‘Literary Rendezvous’ will be held as per the original schedule in Ms. Rebecca Mathew’s house on 24 August 2016.
Agenda of a Literary Rendezvous includes,
Debate/Discussion on a given topic,
Reading your creative work,
Sharing your thoughts on any aspect of Literature that interests you,
Announcement on Literary Events,
Books that interested you, which you would also recommend members to read,
Group activities, Games, and a host of impromptu programmes, etc.
PG Students and Professors/Teachers of English, are welcome to be a part of this wonderful literary rendezvous. Just mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your designation and mobile number, to be a part of our WhatsApp group which will give you regular literary updates on Book/Journal publications, Conferences, Seminars, Debates, Discussions, etc.
If you are interested in hosting a Literary Rendezvous, [preferably within city limits], mail us your willingness rightaway! We shall get in touch with you soon!