For greater proficiency in foreign languages

We had in these columns during the past weeks listed 19 universities/ centres that provided good facilities for the study of foreign languages in India. Let us now look at a few more of them.

Alliance Francaise
Web site:
Alliance Française has a large network of more than a thousand associations in 136 countries, delivering French language courses to a total of 4,60,000 students. It also aims at cultural interaction among French-speaking peoples.

There are 16 Alliances Françaises in India (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Karikal, Kolkata, Mahe, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pondicherry, Pune and Trivandrum).
The DELF and DALF examinations certify the students' levels in French. Teaching of the French language at the Alliance Française is progressive. They offer all levels of learning starting from level 1 (A1) to level 6 (C2).

The student is invited to actively participate in the class and to develop his powers of observation, thinking, and communication, and also use the four skills: oral and written comprehension, written and oral production. After every level, he continues his learning in the next higher level if authorised by the teacher. He can also have his skills validated by an internationally recognised diploma: the DELF and the DALF.

Sessions of 160 hours (Levels 1-3), 200 hours (Level 4) or 240 hours (Levels 5 and 6) to attain the objectives of each level.

Address of the Chennai centre: Alliance Française de Madras, No.24, College Road, Chennai 600 006; ph: 044-28279803, Web site:
Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IICCI) is a non-profit organisation recognised by the Italian government, whose main objective is to promote and enhance trade and economic relations between India and Italy. It conducts classes in the Italian language at its different centres. Web site:

Head Office: IICCI - Head Office, Mmbai, Bengal Chemicals Compound 502 Veer Savarkar Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400025; Ph: 022-24368186, e-mail for language lessons:
Italian language courses at Mumbai:
Level I: Beginners Level, morning classes for two hours, three days a week. Duration: two months
Level II: Intermediate level, morning classes for two hours, two days a week. Duration: two months. Similar programmes are available at other centres. There is a third level (advanced) also. Contact details:
Bangalore: Ph: 080-26620318, e-mail:
Chennai: Ph: 044-28242399;
Goa: Ph: 0832-2438946; e-mail:
Kolkata: Ph: 033-32944677;
The key objectives of the three levels are as follows:

First level, beginner: Understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases. Introduce themselves and others. Ask and answer questions on personal details. Interact in a simple way, provided the other person talks slowly and clearly.

Second level, intermediate: Understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (eg. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Communicate on simple and routine tasks requiring direct exchange of information. Describe in simple terms aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

Third level, advanced: Understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered at work, school, leisure, etc. Deal with usual situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or that are of personal interest. Describe experiences and events and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

Students are examined at the end of each level. After the completion of the entire course, the Italian Embassy will award a Diploma.

Indo-Japan Chamber Of Commerce & Industry, No.21, K.B. Dasan Road, Teynampet, Chennai 600 018; Ph: 044-24352010, e-mail:; Web : This promotes educational, cultural and commercial activities between Japan and India.

The Chamber conducts Japanese Language Classes throughout the year to prepare students for the different levels of the Japan Foundation's Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). Further, there are need-based conversation classes, both short-term and long-term, for the benefit of corporate houses. Special Japanese Language Classes are also conducted for students of professional colleges on request.

Distance education programmes are being conducted for the benefit of outstation students, even for appearing in JLPT. The course, among other things, effectively enables students to acquire basic skills in Japanese conversation. Interested candidates have the option to join a four-month advanced intensive Japanese conversation program, with four contact classes on Sundays.

JLPT lays stress on knowledge of Japanese including vocabulary, grammar, and competence in practical communication. These are measured through tests in language knowledge (vocabulary / grammar), reading and listening. The JLPT is offered in five levels (N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5). The easiest level is N5 and the most difficult level is N1. Levels N4 and N5 measure the level of understanding of basic Japanese mainly learned in the class. N1 and N2 measure the level of understanding of Japanese used in a broad range of scenes in actual everyday life. N3 is a bridging level between N1/N2 and N4/N5.

N5: Ability to read and understand typical expressions and sentences written in hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji / listen and comprehend conversations on topics in daily life, and to grasp information from short conversations spoken slowly.

N4: Abilities in N5 at some more depth.
N3: Ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations / read slightly difficult writings encountered in everyday situations / listen and comprehend coherent conversations spoken at near-natural speed

N2: Ability to read and comprehend materials written clearly on a variety of topics, such as articles and commentaries in newspapers and magazines as well as simple critiques, and comprehend their contents / comprehend orally presented materials such as news reports, spoken at nearly natural speed.

N1: Ability to read and comprehend writings with logical complexity and/or abstract writings on a variety of topics, such as newspaper editorials / comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations, news reports, and lectures, spoken at natural speed

The Japan Foundation, 5-A, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar-IV, New Delhi 110 024 Web:, is an organization for international cultural exchange. It promotes Japanese language education, through various activities including teacher training.

The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, School of Languages, Golpark, Kolkata - 700029; Ph: 0332464 1303; e-mail:,

Web site:
Junior courses of one year each, in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Latin, Ancient Greek, and Persian
Senior Certificate courses of one year each, in French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Latin, and Persian
Advanced Certificate courses of one year each in Chinese, Japanese, French and Spanish.
Senior and Advanced Certificate courses, each of one year, in German.
Communicative Certificate courses, each of six months, in Chinese, French, German, Korean, Russian and

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