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Campus Jottings

Plan to revise Linguistics syllabus

Buoyed by the results of the recent campus recruitment drive conducted at the Department of Linguistics, University of Kerala, by Google, the academics at the department are thinking of reorienting the syllabi for their courses.

Google, the company that runs the Internet search engine, had shortlisted six students of the Department during the three-day recruitment programme that began on October 7. Though the department initially thought that Google wanted candidates well-versed in the linguistics of Indian languages, the company's representatives made it clear that they were looking for candidates proficient in grammatical and syntactical nitty gritty of English.

"That was when it occurred to me and other teachers in the Department that it was time we included the linguistic aspects of English in our syllabi," Head of the Department of Linguistics N. Rajendran told The Hindu . "Till now we were teaching the morphology of such languages as Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam. There was no English component. Now Google has changed all that. We realised how important it was for our students to be intimate with English grammar and syntax. We never knew that such knowledge could fetch jobs, that too well paying ones."

Dr. Rajendran said he planned to put down on paper the changes he intends in the syllabi and then submit the same to the Board of Studies of the University. The next meeting of the Board is scheduled in November. The fact that six of their peers have received campus placements has motivated the other students of Linguistics. Dr. Rajendran said the subject, that has traditionally had problems in attracting bright students, may just have been flagged as a job-fetcher in the academic community. "Google has promised to come again next year. Maybe then they will find more, better candidates," he added.

G. Mahadevan

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