FAQs

GENERAL

A whole bunch of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about Tamil language learning using the latest methodologies and technologies. The list is growing. You can find them here: https://americantamil.org/collaborate/
From the design of a language friendly parrot as our logo, to teaching a language based on vocabulary and pronunciation, we have taken a radically different and new approach to language learning. You can find our nine fundamental principles that drives us and differentiates us, can be found here in the home page: https://americantamil.org/
Sure. Our mission statement says it all: To provide the best collaborative and progressive educational platform for learning Tamil as a second language. Simply put, here is a short story to explain: You ask your child to fetch something from upstairs. She refuses. Later, while playing hide and seek with her friend, she runs up and down at least 20 times. When asked, she replies “What you said is work. What we do is fun.” We are trying to make it fun.
Yes, they are. We are trying to make it completely open source via crowd-sourced resources around the world.
  1. Our curriculum is contextual for present-day English obsessed/international diaspora kids/audience.
  2. The curriculum provides teachers with a number of supplemental materials to make learning fun and multi-sensory.
  3. Evidence-based learning technique - spaced repetition. (1 hr session per week and 6 days of 15 min homework delivered through an app on the roadmap.)
  4. All of this is enabled through the use of technology (mobile / web app). This allows for self-learning, mastering -pronunciation & vocabulary, and building confidence.
Yep. We want to make this learning really fun. Plus, there are plenty of other reasons: a parrot can easily learn and mimic human language; it is native to the birth-place of the Tamil language; it is a favorite pet. A perfect icon for language learning. She is just not a parrot. She has a name: Novel. With her bright and wide eyes filled with curiosity Novel is ready to travel along with you on this incredible fun journey. As we progress, Novel will prod you, motivate you, laugh and sing with you.

Click me to see my evolution

  • Novel in English means a fictitious prose but also means new, original, fresh and unique. So is AITL.
  • நாவல் என்னும் தமிழ்ச்சொல் Novel என்ற ஆங்கிலச் சொல்லை முழுவதுமாக தமிழாக்கிக்கொண்ட பிறமொழிச் சொல். நாவல் is so integrated and assimilated into the Tamil language, that we often forget it came from English.
  • AITL's is original, fresh and unique and is going to make you learn Tamil via English and become very proficient in such a way that you eventually forget that you actually learnt it from English.
Absolutely. 100%. True AITL is registered in the USA adhering to the local non-profit rules. But, anyone anywhere in the world who has a desire to learn Tamil can use this platform.
It should really be Thamizh, recognizing the special letter “zha” that is unique only to Tamil. However, in the western world it is widely written as Tamil. We want the students to get to Thamizh via Tamil.
The platform is geared towards people who want to learn Tamil and don’t know Tamil, through English. It is always better to guide them from the known to the unknown.
At this time, we don’t have plans to facilitate learning Tamil through any other language.

CURRICULUM

We will publish this list per level soon. In the meanwhile, you can learn a lot about each level's objectives and preview the books here: AITL Levels
Our curriculum is based on sound linguistic research.
Lean Syllabus - Focus on the kids. Guiding them from known to unknown.
Pronunciation - Not able to pronounce results in the kids perceiving that they are not speaking Tamil as it is supposed to be spoken. This results in a negative feedback loop resulting in them not having the confidence to talk Tamil.
Vocabulary - Focus on the smallest subset of words required for listening, speaking, reading, and writing - in that order. Learning words by categories (for example, all fruit) in sequential order, as most methods teach, is one of the worst ways to learn. Instead, it’s WAY faster to learn the most frequently used words first.
Build Confidence - The goal of each level is to come out confident with the content at that level. With that in mind, the emphasis is given to repetition and mastery. When a student finishes a level, they will come out confident with the learning objectives of that level.
Not yet. We are working on it.

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION

    Currently we support the following levels:
  • Ilanthalir
  • Mazhalai
  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3
  • Level 4
We are well aware of the challenges in grouping students to a particular level. Each student's family background is different: some families might have both parents speak Tamil at home; some might be speaking a different language but want to learn Tamil; some students might start early and some might be starting late. Considering all of this, the true model should be based on units or modules where the students, irrespective of their background, learn at their own pace and move on to the next unit or module. Until we get to such an approach, below is the suggested age range for each level:

AITL Levels to Grade Mapping

We have 22 lessons and 22 Homework sessions per level.
We will provide question paper template. The school administration has the liberty to update as they see fit.
Not yet. We are working on it.
In accordance with our foundational principle of spaced repetition, 90 min of direct in-person sessions with the teacher followed by 15 min of daily self-study.
We are working on a transition plan document that we can provide upon request.
Yes, as of August 2021, we have books available up to level four: Ilanthalir, Mazhalai, Nilai-1, Nilai-2, Nilai-3 and Nilai-4, with a total of 11 books. Higher levels are being actively worked on.
Nilai-5 by September 2021. We will publish the roadmap for the rest of the levels shortly.
We will provide question paper template for each level. This can be used to assess the student.
Administration is left to the schools. We can provide the materials and question bank. You can use the AITL logo in your certificates with a written consent from AITL.
We have taken a unique approach catering to students of the international diaspora, who are brought up in an English-speaking environment. Aided by supplemental materials like Apps, Quizlets, Songs, and catering to changing times we strive for a better overall Tamil learning experience. Refer to the founding principles on the home page which informs our curriculum and approach.
We have tips for the teachers in each page.
Supplemental materials like - App, word puzzles, Quizlet - are in roadmap.
With 90 min session each, 22 lessons and 3 revisions will each take one session for a total of 25 weeks.
Administration is left to the schools. We don’t have any teachers.
We do store the user name and email address. However, we strictly use it only for AITL purposes. See our privacy policy here: AITL Privacy Policy
Accreditation is more about following a preset process than about a syllabus. It is the school administration's responsibility to define and maintain the process.
Bilingual literacy is more comprehensively achieving as we address all the 4 pillars of language learning viz - Listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
With the above being said, it is quite possible to acquire accreditation or bilingual seal using this curriculum. Please reach out to us and we can help connect you to the right resource to guide you through the process.
Please reach out to us and we can help guide you through the process.

COLLABORATE

Glad to hear that. We need resources like you. We do have our standards. Any work contributed should comply to our founding principles. A collaborator has to dedicate at least 100 hours of quality time before they can make it to the collaborators page. We would love to hear from you. Please send an email to admin@americantamil.org.
  • Supplemental materials for each lesson: crossword puzzles, songs, activities
  • Artwork for lessons
  • Reference materials
  • Remedial materials
  • Animation
  • App / Website / Cloud Infrastructure / Technology related

CONTACT

Not yet. But we are thinking of holding weekly “Ask Me Anything” sessions in the near future.
There is a plan to incorporate a discussion forum in the future. Stay tuned.

INDIVIDUALS

DONATE