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Review of the Available Materials

Like the materials available for teaching LCTL's, lists of materials `available' for teaching LCTL's like Tamil are somewhat ephemeral, and usually out of date. Opinions will differ widely whether materials that might appear on any lists of Tamil materials (wherever or however these lists have come into existence) might be worth considering for inclusion and use in teaching Tamil in this day and age, and therefore for inclusion at a permanent website. My own preference would be in effect to `archive' all materials, whatever their value, starting with those with the most current use, and proceeding to some of the more outmoded or obsolete materials. Even some of the now decades-old audiolingual materials have some life in them, if they could be reconfigured and integrated into more modern communicative approaches. There also exist unpublished materials, in handwritten forms, such as classnotes accompanying a particular text (short story, novel, filmscript) that one or another teacher has used, and continues to use, and could easily share with others.

As an example, in my own case, a short story by the writer Jeyakanthan, Yuka Canti `Ages Meet' is one I have used over and over with students, adding to the comments and vocabulary lists as I go, and it could be pooled with other materials for which I or someone else has produced class notes, exercises, questions, etc. to eventuate in a kind of `Reader', the likes of which we do not currently have. Norman Cutler (Chicago) also wishes to pool such materials; in many cases these are not even available in any kind of electronic form---a xerox copy of the original text is accompanied by a hand-written set of notes and vocabulary.

Harold Schiffman
Mon Apr 1 09:56:50 EST 1996