Web Assisted Learning and Teaching of Tamil

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Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania's Website for Learning and Teaching Tamil. This is a project of the Penn Language Center and is funded partially by a grant from the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning, with the joint participation of Tamil-teaching faculty at the Universities of Chicago, Cornell, and Pennsylvania.

(Visit our new site with videos filmed in many authentic Tamil speech contexts - funded by the South Asia Language Resource Center (SALRC).
Contents of this site is also available in book and Dvd, which may be purchased at Amazon)

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This site displays Tamil font dynamically from most of the pages, and you don't need to install Tamil font in your computer to view Tamil. However, you need to use the browser versions Netscape 4.0 or higher or Internet Explorer 4 or higher to get this effect.

An introduction to this site

Introduction to the Tamil Alphabet This module can be used to practice making the various characters that make up the Tamil alphabet.

Preliminary Lessons This module provides lessons starting from very basic Tamil sentences to complex sentences gradually introducing all the frequently occurring vocabulary items.

Exercises based on Reader lessons (A Basic Tamil Reader and Grammar) This module gives some exercises devised by Prof. Norman Cutler at Chicago to use with the Basic Tamil Reader compiled by K. Paramasivam and James Lindholm. This is an elementary graded reader with a complete glossary and grammatical notes, and may be ordered from Prof. James E. Lindholm at 923 Michigan Ave., #3, Evanston, IL 60202. Phone number: (847) 328-0805.

Some simple Conversational Exchanges (Beginning level) This module presents mini-lessons at a beginning level in both spoken and written Tamil. The lessons consist of short conversations such as one might hear between two mother-tongue speakers of Tamil.

Tense formation in Tamil - Beginning level - It contains a series of multiple choice tests with information on how to make tense forms of Tamil verbs. Tamil verbs are classified into six different groups based on how they form tense. This section can be used to test your knowledge of Tamil tense markers.

A Grammar of Spoken Tamil by Harold F. Schiffman This is a reference grammar of Spoken Tamil, with examples given in Tamil script and in transliteration. It is not a pedagogical grammar; it can be useful in looking up matters of grammar about which you might have questions, but it does not provide a step by step program for the acquisition of Tamil grammar, which should instead be done using our pedagogical modules.

Tamil <-> English vocabulary search engine This is a module which can be used to search for vocabulary items, grammatical material, and other information such as grammatical paradigms of verbs etc.

Vocabulary Drill (Beginning Tamil)

Enjoy some jokes with pedagogical aids - (Under development)

Tell A Tale(Beginning and Intermediate Tamil)

Learn some of the differences between spoken and written forms of Tamil This module gives a number of contrasting pairs, showing some of the differences between Spoken and Written Tamil.

Cloze tests for proficiency in use of Tamil verb forms (Intermediate level)

Indian Folk Tales for reading comprehension (Intermediate level). These short, simple folk tales are in Written Tamil, but because of some of the grammatical forms used, must be considered to belong at a low-intermediate level.

Proficiency test (Intermediate level) (Unicode version)

Modern Short Stories for reading comprehension.
This module will eventually contain a number of modern short stories by Tamil writers, and each will be provided with grammatical notes, a glossary, and some exercises to complete. For now, this module contains one story by Jayakanthan, an important modern writer. He writes in a rather difficult style, but his stories address real-life issues and contain some spoken material in authentic dialect form. You can read the story, which is provided with an English translation, a glossary, and grammatical notes. Complete the exercises (below) and send them to your teacher. (Advanced level)
Answer questions based on your comprehension of the story æ´ ¶ÿ»Õ (Yuka Canti) , and email them to your teacher. (Advanced Level)

Corpus based approach to learning Tamil (Tagged Tamil sentences - Advanced level)

Radio plays (Tagged corpus with sound). These radio plays were recorded on AIR and made into teaching materials; you can hear the sound, see the transcription of it, you are provided with a glossary and tagged items (cultural notes) and exercises based on the story can be completed. In authentic, rapid-fire Tamil; not for the weak of heart. (Advanced level)

Movie clips from the Tamil movies Karnan and Roja (Advanced level)

Download our software for learning Tamil

Dr. Sirkali Govindarajan's songs. (Real Audio streaming).

Pictures related to Tamil Language and Culture.

Download and install a Tamil font to view non-gif Tamil documents at this site. A transliteration program is also provided here to make your Web pages in Tamil.

Welcome to sign our guestbook  Read our Guest Book
Other related links.

A Project of Penn Language Center

funded in part by

The Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning
Project members
Prof. Harold F. Schiffman
Dr. Vasu Renganathan

visitors since February 2, 1998
(8950 visitors between January 7, 1997 and February 2, 1998)