The Indian Institute of Geographical Studies (TIIGS) was set up in response to many needs in geography education in India.
Among these, we found that many geography students at college and university level need considerable inputs to develop and enhance their geography communication skills.
Lack of clarity, precision of language, understanding of style etc. in written and oral communication are clearly areas where interventions are needed. College and university geography students need to be empowered to communicate geographic ideas and their own work clearly to both geographically aware and unaware audiences.
At TIIGS, we feel communication skills are vital for young geographers setting out on their career paths.
Now we are able to respond to this need!
Sri Sunil Ganu, an expert in English, French, and Marathi languages, has devised a module to address the communications skills needs of geography students.
He has graduate degrees in English (Baylor University, TX), French (University of Cincinnati, OH), and is ABD in French (University of Amherst, MA). He lives in Pune and over the past two decades has been teaching and translating among the three languages. He is an acknowledged teacher and has won significant recognitions for his work. His expertise as a translator is in high demand.
He has joined TIIGS as Communications Associate. As part of his work at TIIGS, he will be conducting this and other modules (to be developed) specifically for geographers.
This module, a pioneering effort, runs for 30 hours. Over 15 Sundays, two hours each, the group will gain reading, speaking, and writing skills to be better able to convey geographic knowledge. They are emailed several documents with deadlines by which to read them. In class, they discuss the readings, and participate in discussions and activities to hone their communications skills.
Our first group consists of students from the Geography Department, S P College, Pune.
The first session was held in Pune on 15 September 2013. Mr Ganu’s brief report on this session follows. (Scenes from that session are on the right. Photo credit: Sri Jayant Sonawane)
Sri Sunil Ganu, the course instructor reports:
Twelve participants were present at the first session of the 30-hour Communications module. We started them off with a simple expression exercise : each of them, working individually, had to clearly write their objectives in joining the module. They were allotted 8 minutes for this first exercise. The paragraphs they produced are being graded for clarity and precision, and shall be on file as the “before” examples of each student’s personal record.
The other exercises tested their ability to comprehend the main idea of a passage and capture it in a phrase which they want to suggest as the title to the text. It was clear that they grasped bits and pieces of the ideas, but needed help in homing in on the right idea! More work to be done in this domain.
A spin-off from this exercise was their “key words” search : 3 key words to be found by re-reading the same text. Most missed the idea of key words, although they had been explained the concept in some other workshops! Once they found the key to finding key words, they did an adequate job.
The last exercise required each participant to explain a geographical term / concept to the group. They were grouped under Physical, Human, and other branches of traditional Geography. The participants chose English or Marathi as their language of expression. As the module moves forward, all activities will be restricted to English, for that is the thrust language as decided by TIIGS. The presentations made that day showed them their own quirks and personal choices in arranging material, making connections, and being able to express their ideas on material they know so well already!
This module will be developed into a full course
and offered in Bangalore and Pune
Details are being arranged.
Please contact us for information.
To be put into a database for direct information mailing, please send us an email with:
- Subject line: Geo-communication course query
- Body of the message:
- Your full name
- Academic status (year, BA/BSc, MA/MSc, MPhil, PhD, faculty)
- Name and location of your academic institution.