Learn   Through English www.learntamil.com


The human brain is hard-wired to learn language from birth. Young children have an innate ability to absorb and internalize the language(s) being spoken around them. As children get older and become teenagers, their ability to quickly learn new languages diminishes greatly. Whereas a language immersion environment is all that is needed to “teach” language to a young child, the older child and teenager needs to learn new languages through a more structured approach. The lessons found at this website will provide the structure for learning Thamil through English.  By learning the grammar contained in the lessons, learners will be able to use their knowledge of English to produce sentences in Thamil.

These lessons are based on the highly effective method used to teach Thamil at universities and colleges in the United States of America. The method was developed by linguists fluent in English and Thamil, and it makes use of the student's fluency in English to teach written Thamil. This knowledge of written Thamil can then be very easily applied to learn the spoken language. I was born and raised in the United States and never spoke Thamil until I was nearly 18 years old. I was first introduced to this method during the summer of 1997, and I had achieved fluency in the written and spoken language by the summer of 1999. To get an idea of my level of language proficiency, read my articles in Thamil.

A prerequisite for using the lessons is knowledge of the Thamil alphabet. Students should be able to sound out and read unfamiliar words (ezuththuk koottip padiththal). Students should also be able to read and write in English. Thus, the lessons are recommended for learners ages 10 and up. Lessons l-4 contained below have been successfully tested on second-generation Thamil students in the age range of 10-12. The only major problem was in the students’ difficulty pronouncing long or unfamiliar words. While using the lessons, it is important for students to read the Thamil words out loud to practice pronunciation.

Younger learners who are in middle school and high school will most likely require a teacher for the lessons. Also, for the younger learner, the practice exercises given at the end of each lesson may not be sufficient to reinforce the concepts covered in each lesson. Therefore, teachers may need to supplement the exercises with practice exercises of their own. Older learners who are in college and beyond can use the lessons to learn independently. After teaching themselves the concepts contained in the lessons, the older learner can then practice these concepts with native speaker tutors.  The terms younger learner and older learner are meant to reflect differences in language learning ability. This ability tends to correlate with the age of the learner.

The current lessons are written to teach Thamil Nadu Thamil. If anyone is willing to help modify the lessons to teach Eelam Thamil, please contact me.

I would appreciate any feedback, comments, questions, or suggestions from students and teachers who are using these lessons. If you like these lessons and want me to continue writing more, please send me an e-mail.

Sendhil Kumar Cheran 


  Spoken Thamil
  College Credit