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St. Stephen’s announces first cut-off; 99 per cent for English

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New Delhi:  Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College on Tuesday announced its first cut-off list for the 2015 academic session, with the percentage set at a staggering 99 percent for Commerce students for admission in English course.

“The cutoff is determined on the basis of the actual number of applications received. This is then checked in accordance with the seat-to-candidate ratio (4:1),” St. Stephen’s spokesperson Karen Gabriel said.

She said that if the cut-offs are lowered, then the ratio gets disturbed.

According to the list, the cut-off for English was 99 percent in best-of-four subjects for Commerce students, while it was 97.75 and 97.5 percent for Science and Humanities students respectively.

Students would require 90 percent in English Core or 85 percent in Elective English.

The cut-off for Economics was 98.5 percent for Commerce students, while it was 97.5 percent and 97 percent for Science and Humanities students respectively. Students would need 90 percent marks in Mathematics.

“The cut-off for English was very high last year as well followed by Economics since the demand for the subjects is very high and both the departments are very strong,” Gabriel added.

For students under the Scheduled Castes category, the cut-off for English stood at 97 percent for Commerce students and 95.75 percent and 95.5 percent for Science and Humanities students respectively.

For pursuing Mathematics, the cut-off was 97.25 percent for students from Commerce and Science streams, while it was 96 percent for Humanities, with Mathematics included in the best-of-four subjects.

The cut-off for Sanskrit was 75 percent for Science and Commerce students under the general category, while it was 96.75 percent for Humanities students under the general category.

The cut-off for Philosophy was set at 96.75 percent for all the three streams. The cut-offs for Chemistry and Physics were above 96 per cent for students under the general category and over 91 percent for candidates under SC/ST category. (IANS)

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Volunteers in Colorado to Teach English to Immigrant Students

At the Intercambio Community Center in Longmont, Colorado, volunteer Deepa McCauley is teaching a dozen immigrants to talk about health in English

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The volunteer teachers and their students both say the meaningful conversations they have at their Intercambio classes build lasting community connections. Pixabay

It’s been said that to have another language is to possess a second soul. For immigrants to the U.S., that soul can be hard to get, because it’s often confusing and difficult to find English classes, and private lessons can be expensive.

In Colorado, an award-winning group called Intercambio trains volunteers to teach English as a second language to immigrant students from around the world. The lessons take place in classroom settings or in the immigrant’s home. In the process, volunteers and their “students” often become lasting friends, building meaningful connections and a deeper soul for the entire community.

At the Intercambio Community Center in Longmont, Colorado, volunteer Deepa McCauley is teaching a dozen immigrants to talk about health … in English.

“Running a fever doesn’t mean that you’re running,” she said. “Running a fever is the temperature. Yes, exactly. The thermometer moves.” The men and women in her class come from around the world.

McCauley teaches them English without speaking their native languages. She says it’s possible because the training materials are filled with helpful illustrations and because of the training she received from Intercambio. “I don’t have a teaching background, but Intercambio has great training classes,” she said.

Its own training materials

Intercambio’s Executive Director Lee Shainis says the group developed its training materials with the volunteers in mind.

“We found that a lot of the materials out there were not directly geared toward volunteer teachers, and we’ve had 5,000 volunteer teachers since we started, 18 years ago,” he said. “And volunteers are capable of doing an amazing job, but they also need something ready to go and also really practical and relevant.”

Back in the classroom, McCauley listens closely when her students speak up, looking for ways to make their conversations more meaningful and relevant. That includes a lesson in their textbooks about mental health.

McCauley reads from the textbook: “How’s he feeling?” she asks. “Depressed,” the class responds. But then a student from Peru takes a step away from the textbook lesson. She ventures to say that depression can come from discrimination.

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At the Intercambio Community Center in Longmont, Colorado, volunteer Deepa McCauley is teaching a dozen immigrants to talk about health in English. Pixabay

Rather than going back to the textbook right away, McCauley uses this moment to build a more meaningful connection for everyone. Students stop writing and look up and watch as McCauley responds:

“Yep. Depression can come from discrimination. My father, in India, he was an engineer. He came to America, he was collecting carts. In the grocery store. He was depressed.” “Changing life,” a woman from Peru says. “Big change in life,” McCauley responds.

Meaningful lessons, lasting difference

Intercambio’s Shainis says that making language lessons meaningful makes a lasting difference, thanks to volunteer teachers such as McCauley.

“Deepa is awesome. She was one of our many teachers who had zero experience as a volunteer teacher teaching English when she first came in, and we’ve seen huge advancements in her quality of teaching, in her quality of getting her students engaged.” The opportunity to help immigrants learn English in this way has a personal meaning for McCauley.

“One of the main reasons I wanted to teach English is because my parents were first generation immigrants who didn’t speak English, and they had a really hard time,” she said. “And they wouldn’t have had a hard time if they had a place like Intercambio.”

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Intercambio’s Shainis says that making language lessons meaningful makes a lasting difference, thanks to volunteer teachers such as McCauley. Pixabay

Back at the Intercambio classroom, there are many successes to celebrate, such as the advances of a student named Silvia, who came to the United States from Mexico.

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“When I left my country, I didn’t speak at all English. At all,” Sylvia said. “Sylvia was one of my very first students,” McCauley said. “She’s been here for how many years now? Two years. Now she has a job. She’s working. So she’s doing really well.”

The volunteer teachers and their students both say the meaningful conversations they have at their Intercambio classes build lasting community connections. (VOA)