Do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand

– Isaiah 41:10



IQAC

Best Practices

BEST PRACTICE – I

1. TITLE OF THE PRACTICE

Customized Learning – Streaming of Part – II English Learners.

2. OBJECTIVES OF THE PRACTICE

Streaming of Part – II English students is one of the best and long standing academic practices of Fatima College. The main objectives of streaming of students for Part – II English are:

To place the learner in a homogenous ambience where the teacher teaches based on the comfort level/pace of the learners.

To enable the teachers to cater to the diverse learning abilities of the students.

To produce customized materials according to the level of the streams and to emphasize the joy of learning.

To create scope for equal opportunities for placement by bringing the disadvantaged learners into the mainstream.

To evolve best practices in teaching-learning that would bridge the gap between slow and advanced level learners.

3. THE CONTEXT

Fatima College has a progressive policy of inclusivity and plurality. It is the vision and mission of the institution to empower women through holistic and innovative education. Hence, the college reaches out to the first generation learners who are mostly schooled in the Tamil medium. It is challenging for them to cope with academics when they enter an English-speaking environment. This is reflected in their low scores not only in Part- II English but the major subjects as well, as the medium of instruction is English.

The Management, in consultation with The Research Centre of English, decided that the best way to integrate the slow and average learners would be to stream them in their Part-II English classes.

From 1991 till 2001, students were streamed into three levels: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. Texts available in the market were prescribed. The department, based on a workshop on ‘Material Production,’ prepared customized texts for the three levels. The pedagogic style also changed appropriately and so did the testing methodology.

The result of this experiment was tangible and students overcame their fear of English, performed better in Part-II English and improved their comprehension of Major Subjects taught in English.

4. THE PRACTICE

Making use of its autonomous status, Fatima College adopts numerous learner-centric teaching-learning strategies. The streaming of the students of Part-II English is a successful practice.

An English Attainment Test (EAT) is administered on the first day of the new academic year for the first years. The students take the 100 marks test for one hour. The components include grammar, vocabulary, comprehension and continuous writing. Based on the scores, the students are divided into three streams.

A ten-day Bridge Course follows the EAT. The course not only helps the learners with a fairly smooth transition from the secondary to the tertiary level, it also ensures a familiarity with and orientation to the English Language and the major subject. The schedule for the Bridge Course is three hours of English, one hour of the major subject where basic subject-specific concepts are reinforced in English and one hour of language (Tamil, Hindi & French). After the 10-day Bridge Course is completed, the students continue with Part-II English stream-wise and their Major subjects.

The Research Centre of English has produced customized texts for all three levels, supplemented with work books and audio-visual aids. This has made language learning enjoyable and creative, and learners are instilled with confidence.

The Language Laboratory is put to optimum use to develop their communication skills. Part-II English is taught for two years (4 semesters). Till 2017, streaming was followed for two years for Part – II English. Learners were encouraged to take the upward mobility test and move to the higher stream based on the assessment after their first year.

Since 2018 the streaming practice, is being followed only for the first two semesters. Streaming has been done away with in Semesters III and IV as both Basic and Intermediate level learners show enhanced English Language learning capabilities. Thus the practice is dynamic and result oriented.

Streaming entails not only the production of different levels of textbooks but also the setting of suitable question papers and continuous internal testing components. The Research Centre of English has done a commendable job in carefully designing textbooks based on the suggestions and reviews of ELT Experts.

While keeping the learners motivated to take to the English Language, the teachers constantly work on their teaching styles to suit the learners.

It has to be underscored that the texts are revised periodically, question papers and testing components revamped as it is an unceasing call to the teachers to be innovative in English Language classes.

5. EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS

The success of streaming with customized text books for the learners of Part – II English is evident in their improved communication abilities leading to a better performance in campus drives.

Streaming of students for Part-II English has helped the learners overcome the psychological and communication barriers they faced initially.

As the students learn at their own pace with the help of texts prepared for them, Language acquisition has become easier. The students at the Basic level have a text which incorporates interesting components like grammar games, vocabulary, dialogue, and description, to name a few. They not only improve their communication skills but also imbibe life skills.

The students at the intermediate level have a higher graded text with additional continuous writing.

The advanced learners learn language through literature with all genres finding a place in the text. The tasks are also challenging with creative writing forming an integral component. Students from the Advanced level regularly contribute articles for the College Magazine and Department Blogs.

Institutions where the staff of the Research Centre of English are members of the Board of Studies have requested for workshops to introduce the concept of streaming.

6. PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED AND RESOURCES REQUIRED

Catering to diverse learners with different learning abilities is a challenging task for any teacher.

Bringing the disadvantaged learners into the mainstream requires special dedication, sustained efforts and innovative thinking on the part of the teachers. The Research Centre of English went ahead with producing graded, customized texts for all the three levels with regard to I year students and for the non-streamed II year students as well. This meant walking the extra mile as it did not stop with text book preparation but entailed preparing workbooks, audio lessons and setting multiple question papers as well.

With additional department and college responsibilities, producing texts in a creative, learner-centric manner was a time consuming task. Keeping the students’ needs in mind, the faculty immersed themselves in this monumental task of producing customized textbooks.

As of now, the texts are for private circulation only. With a little fine tuning and the backing of a good publisher we shall soon enter the text book market.

 

BEST PRACTICE – II

1. TITLE OF THE PRACTICE

Milagros: Touching Lives of the Marginalized

2. OBJECTIVES OF THE PRACTICE

It is a healthy, humane practice of Fatima College to assist the economically weak students focus on their academics by taking care of their material needs. “Milagros: Touching Lives of the Marginalized” inculcates the value of reaching out to the less fortunate. This is reinforced in the College Prayer which exhorts the students to “… grow as responsible women caring for every kind of neighbour, especially our less fortunate brothers and sisters.”.

The practice takes care of the financial, material and academic needs of the students to a reasonable extent.

3. THE CONTEXT

It is the firm commitment of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyons to strengthen students’ ethical values through integral education and care for those at the periphery of the society.

Fatima College believes that no student should be left uncared for. Hence, the Management, the staff and students contribute to the Mother Rose Care Fund which helps the disadvantaged girls avail fee concessions. The word Milagros means miracle and needless to say touching lives is nothing short of a miracle in the lives of both the giver and the receiver.

4. THE PRACTICE

The practice of providing fee concession/breakfast and noon meals / clothes / tour expenses for the less privileged goes a long way in helping them successfully complete their undergraduate/ Master’s degree. This makes the practice of touching the lives of students unique as many students face an uphill task in completing their education for lack of financial resources.

This is a well-established practice of Fatima College which inculcates the value of sharing among our students.

The fund is generated through the generous contribution of the Management, staff and students. Apart from concessions in the tuition fee, students are also given a meal token from the ‘Manna Scheme’ which is part of the Mother Rose Care Fund. The class teacher prepares the list of students who are in need of meal tokens. The Heads of departments submit the same to the Vice-principals. The Vice-principals issue the meal tokens to the students. The canteen provides wholesome meals after collecting the tokens from the students.

Apart from the regular contributions to Mother Rose Care Fund, the Staff and Students also contribute to this scheme.

The students are also given clothes during Christmas, Deepavali and College Birthday celebrations. The Management buys sarees/salwar–kameez sets which are distributed to the students identified by the class teacher. Around 150 girls benefit under this practice on an average each year. The Management strives to reach out to more students.

The study tour expenses of two deserving students in each department are taken care of and on an average 40 students are taken care of every year.

Meritorious students from the economically weaker sections are encouraged through the numerous merit-cum-means prizes instituted in the college.

5. EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS

The success of this practice is seen in the way the students reach out tangibly to the less fortunate as they have learnt to empathize with them.

Apart from encouraging and enabling the girls to excel in academics, the students are sensitized to the needs of the underprivileged. This sensitivity is reflected in the moral fibre of the Fatimites who are among the first to respond during times of national calamities. Thus this practice helps in creating ‘Whole Persons’ and not just intellectual beings.

Stakeholders have commended the college for instilling the value of compassion and transforming the lives of the students.

6. PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED AND RESOURCES REQUIRED

There is no insurmountable problem faced by the college in following this practice. It is true that the college needs greater financial support to reach out to more deserving students. To achieve this, the college explores various means/sources to augment the funds generated.

Resources have to be tapped to create an exclusive fund for the sole purpose of reaching out to the needy.

  • Vision Statement

    To empower young women through faith formation and value-based education for societal equality, harmony and care for our common home.