1 Overview

The Course is meant for all students admitted into the 4-year baccalaureate Programme of the University of Delhi. In accordance with the principles/features laid down for all foundation courses, this course will:

Attempt to be trans-disciplinary and multidisciplinary in content and design.

Have an equal emphasis on classroom / blackboard work and project work in student groups of five.

Allow sufficient freedom to the mentor (teacher) and student to create appropriate project work. Integrate course work with hands-on project work to introduce the student to the fundamental objectives of the course.

Avoid over-burdening the student with excessive study material.

While designing the course, the challenges facing India as identified below will be borne in mind:

  • Economic Development, Rural and Urban linkages
  • Energy, Water
  • Urbanization, Infrastructure, Transport, Sanitation
  • Environment & Public Health
  • Food security, Agriculture
  • Education, Literacy
  • Ethics, Society & Justice

2 Objectives:
The students should be able to

  • Use language in everyday life and situations, and relate it to their own social and academic contexts.
  • Understand and respond to spoken language (announcements, instructions, directions, requests for information, dialogues etc.) and make notes of the lectures.
  • Express themselves and speak on a variety of topics/events; express feelings and opinions, and also participate in conversations and group discussions.
  • Read and comprehend texts of different length and types i.e. articles, short poems, stories, essays, plays, biographical writings, travelogues etc; use different reading strategies to understand/infer ideas and meanings from the context; evaluate different points of view etc.
  • Write clear and organised texts (paragraphs, reports, formal and informal letters, etc.) describing experiences, expressing opinions and giving convincing reasons to support the argument.
  • Enhance their cognitive skills with a focus on creative, critical and analytical thinking.
  • Use these skills to present and write their project proposals and final report. This will help in the project work in all the other courses and eventually, at the work place.


By the end of the course, the students will be expected to:

  • Use language in a variety of social situations, academic as well as professional contexts
  • Develop their listening skills by responding appropriately to spoken language
  • Express themselves confidently and speak fluently in a range of social and professional situations
  • Develop reading skills /strategies needed to read a variety of texts
  • Improve their writing skills in terms of expressing ideas/points of view and organizing thoughts coherently and clearly.
  • Understand and appreciate different kinds of literary genres and expressions.
  • Become creative in expression, thought and presentation.
  • Write and present their project proposals and final reports.

Every Semester, teaching will be spread over 16 weeks including two weeks for review.



14 weeks x 4 = 56 class hours
14 weeks x 1 = 14 student presentations
2 week: Projects review & discussions


The learning materials and tasks will be graded in nature and may be flexibly used. While the texts in the syllabus should be used as basic classroom material, more texts and tasks may be added by the teacher, which may be pitched at a higher or lower level according to the difficulty level of the learner. This will take into account the heterogeneity of language competence in the classroom.
The following is the broad unitised structure. Each unit will also include tasks and interactive sessions.

The number of hours for each item has been approximately worked out keeping in mind the range of tasks and difficulties thereof, and possible review and project time.


a. (Time: 3hrs)
1. ―When Trees Could Walkǁ From Tribal Folktales of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Compiled and Edited by Priten Roy. Delhi: Farsight Publishers & Distributors 2001

2. Ali, Salim ǁ Man and Nature in India: The Ecological Balanceǁ in Exploration of Ideas: An Anthology of Prose by Board of Editors, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan 2009

b. (Time: 4hrs)
1. ―Ganguǁ by Uday Prakash, (Originally published in Hans (Hindi) December 1993.
2. Ghosh, Partha S “Chalo India, Chalo Delhiǁ extracted from ―To and From India, With Loveǁ, IIC Quarterly, Autumn, 2012

a. (Time: 6hrs)
1. An Interview with Milkha Singh. http://www.sportskeeda.com/2012/12/14/interview-with- milkha-singh-we-dont-lack-talent-but-we-lack-hard-work-and-willpower/ (Using only the interview pages)
2. N R Narayana Murthy “The Need for Excellence” A Better India, A Better World. Penguin India, 2010

b. (Time: 7hrs)
1. ―The Thiefǁ The Thief and Other Stories by Ruskin Bond, Delhi: Frank Brothers, 2000.
2. Imtiaz Dharkar “The Ragpickerǁ extracted from The Terrorist at my Table Bloodaxe Books Ltd, 2006

a. (Time: 6hrs)
1. ―Kalahandiǁ DAS, J.P. Kalahandi (Indian Literature: An Introduction) Delhi: Dorling Kindersley(India) Pvt. Ltd Licensees of Pearson Education in South Asia, 2006
2. ―The Refugeeǁ Dolas, Avinash The Refugee (Homeless In My Land: Translations from Modern Marathi Dalit Short Stories) (ed.) by Arjun Dangle, Bombay: Orient Longman, 1992

b. (Time: 6hrs)
1. P Vatsala ( trans from Malyalam by T N Sushama and Antara Dev Sen) “The Girl who Walked with the Sun” The Little Magazine: Favourite Fiction II ed. Antara Dev Sen, Vol VI, Issue 6, 2007
2. Sunani, Basudev ―Prayerǁ from Cast Out: Poems of Anger and Angst, Translated and Edited by JP Das, Bhubaneswar: Rupantar 2008

a. (Time: 8hrs)
1. Pilliya, Hage ―The Legend of Abo-Tani: The First Man on Earthǁ IIC Quarterly Winter, 2005
2. ―A Pilgrimage to Tawangǁ from The Tribal World of Verrier Elwin: An Autobiography, Oxford University Press, 1964

b. (Time: 8hrs)
1. Sen Amartya, “More than 100 million women are Missingǁ, New York Review of Books, 1990
2. Ray, Satyajit “Film Makingǁ extracted from Our Films Their Films, Orient Blackswan, 1983


  • Printed material
  • Digital and online material

A detailed unit-wise note on pedagogy will be provided to the teachers to enable them to fulfill all the aims and objectives specified above.
Teacher Orientation: The teachers will be oriented through a short course on English Language and Literature Teaching (ELLT).


  • To be executed in groups of at least 5 students.
  • Project topics will be available in the learning materials. However, the students will have the flexibility to design their own projects in coordination with the teacher/mentor.

Projects will be executed in three stages:
Stage 1: Listing aims/objectives and writing out a proposal
Stage 2: Using appropriate methodology and working towards a mid- semester presentation in which hands-on experiences will be shared and some analysis will be presented.
Stage 3: Final presentation and a written report will have to be submitted.

Suggested Project Topics:

1. Develop a script of a Skit of about 15 minutes on the theme of literacy/education. Get student and teacher feedback to improve your script. Rehearse and enact it as the final presentation. The sub themes could be: girl-child education, public versus private education, the concept of education as reflected in cinema e.g. ―The Three Idiotsǁ, ―Aarakshan etc.

2. Do a project on improving your Listening Skills. Listen to at least 5 English programmes/news/chat shows on the television or radio, and use other freely available resources such as the YouTube to improve your English. Record snippets of announcements, dialogues, songs etc. that you have found useful and share it with the class. Report the journey of the development of listening and comprehension skills with your friends.

3. Do a project on ―Peoples‘ aspirations to learn English. Develop a questionnaire for conducting interviews of at least five people in your locality and find out the reasons behind their desire to learn English, their limitations and recommendations of easy ways to learn English. Collate all the data and make a presentation.

4. ―Is English Killing Other Languages? In groups of five with preferably three language groups represented, investigate this question through questionnaires and interviews. On the basis of the data collected make a final report presenting your conclusions.

5. Under the broad theme of ―Energy and Waterǁ create a blog on the benefits of ―Rain water harvesting in Delhi. You can include interviews, real life case studies of your neighbourhood etc.

6. Do a project titled ―Be the Teacherǁ. Brainstorm in your group to design a course to teach English and basic numerical skills to five neighbourhood children in need of quality education. Record some of your classes and click some pictures to document the teaching. Write a report of the whole process and record what progress your students have made and present it to the class.

7. Under the broad rubric of ―transport, infrastructure and ecological concernsǁ conduct a case study of the new transport system in Delhi titled: ―Delhi: Before and After Metroǁ. Use on-line materials to prepare posters on the topic to be displayed on the college notice-board. Spend two- three days talking about your posters and collecting responses of at least ten different students. Make a presentation of the entire experience to the class.

8. Under the broad rubric of ―Public Health and Hygieneǁ make a case study of the owners of roadside stalls and wayside restaurants. List their problems, study their conditions in which they live and cook. Decide in the group in what ways you can help and improve their conditions.

9. Visit any sports institution or club and find out what goes into making a good player. What happens to those who do not get desired success in sports? How do they lead their lives? There are many darker aspects of a sportsman‘s life behind the glossy picture that we see on television. Interview at least two aspiring sportspersons and try to get the real picture.

10. Prepare a list of travellers that visited India in the medieval times. Why was India a favourite destination? How did they travel? Discuss the means and ways of their travel.

ASSESSMENT: As per University norms for Foundation Courses

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