“English has gained importance next to one’s own regional language as it is considered as an effective communication tool in today’s globalised world. So learn English for employability reasons and at the same time uphold the dignity of our mother tongue,” said Chennai Mayor Saidai S. Duraisamy in his valedictory address at the seventh International ELTAI Conference on ‘English Teaching’ held at Velammal Engineering College in Surapet recently. Senior Associate Editor, The Hindu, V. Jayanth reiterated the need to work on improving the language skill of students. College chairman, M.V. Muthuramalingam and the CEO of Velammal Group, M.V.M. Velmurugan, emphasised on English in Indian Education.
The three-day conference on ‘English Classroom: Experiences and Experiments’ saw the participation of about 1,000 delegates comprising English-teaching fraternity from different parts of the country and international scholars from countries including Philippines, Iran and Nigeria. ELTAI (English Language Teachers’ Association of India) is an association that has been conducting conferences for over 43 years, providing a platform for interaction on best practices in teaching and learning of English. Over 500 papers were submitted in the meet wrapped up by featured sessions, workshops and plenary sessions. Abstracts of the paper presentations, conference proceedings and special issue of the ELTAI journal were released. The conference delved into the dynamics of the classroom and the dynamism of the teacher leading the learning process. It focused on improvement in teaching-learning methodologies with respect to changing trends and enhancement in communication skills for employability. There were panel discussions on ‘English- A Deal Maker for Employability’ and ‘How I became a Professional?’ among other interesting topics.
Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University Kalyani Mathivanan, Former Director of IIT-M, P.V. Indiresan, US-India Field Director, Worldteach, Jenna Frydman, CEO, ICTACT, TN, Sivakumar, Cambridge ESOL, T.K. Arunachalam, ELT experts N.S. Prabhu and Robert Bellarmine, were among the key speakers. There were voices from industry too, Sujith Kumar, Location Head Infosys, Anbu Thambi of ICTACT and Benedict Arokiasamy from CSS Corp also presented panel discussions. Sanjay Arora, National President, ELTAI, proposed a vote of thanks.