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



Best Practices

Best Practices

BEST PRACTICE – I

1. TITLE OF THE PROJECT

Customized Learning – Streaming of Part- II English Learners.

2. GOAL

Streaming of the learners of Part- II English is one of the best 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 needs of the students.

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

To produce materials according to the standard of the streams and to facilitate the joy of learning.

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

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, innovative education. Hence, the college reaches out to first generation learners who are mostly schooled in the Tamil medium. It was challenging for such students when they entered an English speaking environment. This was 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. Prior to this students were streamed into three levels Basic, Intermediate and Advanced but the same text was prescribed for all. The department was trained through a workshop on ‘Material Production’ and customized texts for the three levels were prepared. The pedagogic style also changed and so did the testing methodology. The result of this experiment was tangible and students overcame their fear of English.

4. THE PRACTICE

Making use of its autonomous status, Fatima College adopts numerous learner-centric teaching-learning practices. The Streaming of the students of Part-II English has proved successful.

An English Attainment Test (EAT) is administered on the first day of the new academic year for I DC students. The question paper is for 100 marks and the duration of the test is one hour. The questions are of objective type for 95 marks and 5 are allocated for continuous writing. Based on the scores, the students are divided into three streams:

Advanced

Intermediate

Basic

A ten-day Bridge Course follows. The Bridge Course not only helps the learners with a fairly smooth transition from high school to the tertiary level, importantly it ensures a familiarity and orientation with the English Language and the elected major Subject. The schedule for the Bridge Course is three hours of English, one hour of the elected major 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 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 fun & creative and learners are instilled with confidence. Part-II English is taught for two years (4 semesters). Till 2017, streaming continued for the two years of Part – II English. Learners are encouraged to take the upward mobility test and move to the higher stream based on their assessment after their first semester. Since 2018 the streaming practice has been followed only for the first two semesters. In Semester III and IV streaming is done away with as both Basic and Intermediate level learners show enhanced English Language learning capabilities.

Streaming entails not only different levels of texts books but also question papers and continuous internal testing components. The Research Centre of English has done a commendable job in carefully designing text books. Based on the opinions, suggestions and reviews of noted 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, questions papers and testing components revamped as it is a perennial thought process of the teachers to be innovative in an English Language class.

5. EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS

The success of streaming with customized text books for the learners of Part – II English is evident in improved end Semester results due to enhanced communication ability leading to better career opportunities. This is the tangible outcome. Streaming of students for Part-II English has helped the learners overcome the psychological and communication barriers faced initially.

As the students learn at their pace with texts prepared for them, Language acquisition has become easier. The students at the Basic level have a text which incorporates interesting components like tales, grammar games, vocabulary, dialogue, description, to name a few. They not only improve communication skills but life skills are also imbibed. The students at the intermediate level have a slightly higher graded text with continuous writing being added. The Advanced learners learn language enough literature with all genres finding a place in the text. The tasks are also challenging with creative writing forming an integral component. It is the students from the Advanced level who contribute articles for the college magazine and also take up online jobs. This is not to underrate the value of the Basic & Intermediate learners. As mentioned, not only have they performed better at job fairs but have developed a taste for moving to higher Studies & Research.

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 the 3 levels of I DC students and for the non-streamed II DC students. This meant walking the extra mile as it did not stop with preparing texts but entailed setting multiple question papers as well. Financial constraints and the time consuming task did not deter the faculty members. As of now the texts are for private circulation only. With a little fine tuning and the backing of a good publisher we shall enter the text book market. The team effort has paid off!

BEST PRACTICE – II

1. TITLE OF THE PROJECT

Milagros: Touching Lives

2. GOAL

The goal of this practice is to ensure that the basic needs of students from the economically weaker sections are attended to. The practice enables the tuition fee, noon meal and clothes to be taken care of.

3. THE CONTEXT

As part of its vision, the college admits a sizeable number of students from the weaker sections of society. In its collective wisdom Fatima College believes no students should be left uncared for. Hence, the management, the staff and students contribute to the mother Rose Care Fund through it and help the girls lead a dignified student life. The word Milagros means miracle & need less to say touching lives is no less a miracle.

4. THE PRACTICE

The practice of taking care of the tuition fee/food/clothes for the less privileged goes a long way in helping the student successfully complete their undergraduate/ Masters degree. This makes the practice of touching the lives of students unique in the Indian Higher Education Scenario. This is a well established, age old practice of Fatima College which inculcates the value of sharing. The fund is generated through the generous contribution of the Management, staff and Students. Apart from the tuition fee being paid, students are also given a meal token from the ‘Manna Scheme’ which is part of the Mother Rose Care Fund. The ‘Manna Scheme’ fosters the healthy practice of sharing one’s joy through giving. Apart from the regular contribution to Mother Rose Care Fund the Staff and Students also contribute to this scheme during their special occasions. The girls are also helped through clothes offered to them during Christmas, Diwali and college Birthday celebrations. The Management, Staff and students donate 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.

5. EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS

The success of this practice is seen in the tangible way the girls reach out to the less fortunate. 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 fiber of the Fatimities who are among the first to respond in times of national calamities. Thus this practice helps in creating ‘Whole Persons’ and not just intellectual beings.

6. PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED AND RESOURCES REQUIRED

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

  • Vision Statement

    WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT THROUGH EDUCATION To empower women by developing human capabilities through quality education based on Christian values, making them responsible citizens who can work for the advancement of the society and promote communal harmony in the multi-religious and multi-cultural reality of India eventually evolving into women of communion.