BU in a bind as demand spikes for foreign language courses

BU in a bind as demand spikes for foreign language courses

Plans to remodel MA programme to attract working professionals

BU in a bind as demand spikes for foreign language courses

An increased demand for Portuguese language classes at Bangalore University has left the Foreign Languages department unable to offer the course this year, owing to a shortfall in qualified teachers.

According to sources in the Foreign Languages department, there has been a spike in the number of queries from candidates interested in pursuing postgraduation in Portuguese.

“The reason is a rise in career and business opportunities in Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) nations,” explained Professor Jyothi Venkatesh, coordinator, Department of Foreign Languages.

“Portuguese is widely spoken in Brazil. We have been offering the course for the last three years and there has been an increase in demand. At this time, we have already had 30 queries for the course and since the Portuguese professor in the department quit, we are still looking to fill the position. We hope to find a qualified teacher soon so that we can recommence the programme from this academic year itself.”

Other languages

With diverse global careers and higher education opportunities resulting in a rush to learn these languages, the university is hard-pressed to reconstitute courses and resources in the Foreign Languages department to attract students.

In addition to Portuguese, students have also evinced interest in pursuing Korean, French, German, Mandarin and Japanese — all of which remain the top-preferred foreign languages.

Sources, however, admitted that the university was finding it difficult to fill seats for Russian and Finnish courses.

The department now plans to remodel the MA programme to accommodate working professionals. “The majority of candidates who want to pursue foreign language courses will already be working. We need to reconstitute the course in order to accommodate these types of students,” Venkatesh said.

“We have decided to hold the postgraduate course between 3 pm and 6 pm during the week and the whole day on Saturday. This way, those with day jobs will be able to manage their careers and course work simultaneously.”

The university’s correspondence course in foreign languages is also in demand.
“Bangalore University is the only institution in the country to offer correspondence course in foreign languages,” Venkatesh added.