Khalsa College Report 2007

A team of five volunteers visited Khalsa College, Amritsar from 6th August to 31st August ' 07 under the UNITED SIKHS – Oxford University TravelAid Project. One volunteer, Kiran Kaur, was the UNITED SIKHS volunteer coordinator and four of them, Emily Corran, Maria Patoczka, Laura Watts and Sophie Preuss were Oxford University students. They taught by interacting with several undergraduate students of the college in small convenient groups on all Mondays and Fridays falling within the dates mentioned above.

All the participants attempted to open the communication channels by a mutual exchange of introductions, thereby bridging cultural barriers. During the introductory exchanges, the students were asked to express themselves by referring to their cultural milieu, the movies that they liked, the fairs and festivals that they participated in, the tourist spots of their country that they had visited, their favourite pastime etc.

The visitors were successful in arousing the interest of the students in the learning process while having fun. Language games as one of the techniques used by them was appreciated by the students. Guessing the right word or forming the right word in different types of games educated as well as entertained the students as they joyfully honed their creative and imaginative faculties.

As the visitors had the freedom to choose their resource materials themselves for their teaching exercises, they felt comfortable with their assignments and so were well placed to handle the job in hand. Photocopies of what they felt was interesting were distributed amongst the students. The topics were mainly culled from current events like, "The New Wonders of the World," and, "The Ikanawa Island Controversy." The students were asked to read aloud the supplied passages to improve their reading skills. Further use of the articles was then made by framing comprehension questions, pointing out grammatical and lexical usage and discussing the style of writing. The articles also lead to discussions on the topics.

In that two-way process of cultural exchange and academic interaction, it was felt that that was a welcome change for the students of Khalsa College and for the visitors as well.

D.S. Pannu
Head, Dept. of English
Khalsa College
Amritsar