WITH MORE and more students showing interest in learning new languages, colleges in the city are adapting to the trend by organising special courses. Whether it is Mandarin or the ancient Marathi script, Modi, colleges are opening up these courses so that interested students don’t have to depend on private coaching centres alone.

In a bid to diversify the courses, colleges have started offering short-term classes on various Indian and foreign languages. For example, Gurunanak Khalsa College in Matunga has started Mandarin and Spanish courses, apart from German.

“So far, 20 students have enrolled in the courses that started around a year ago,” said Kiran Mangaonkar, principal of Khalsa College. Several batches have already graduated, he said. “We hope that more students opt for this facility provided by the college,” said Mangaonkar.

The classes are held in the library after college hours and are conducted by a visiting faculty. “The timings are convenient, as the classes are held after our day is over. A small group makes it easier for me to clarify my doubts,” said Shivam Singh, a first-year BSc (IT) student, who has taken up a German course.

The history department at Sathaye College in Vile Parle will offer a certificate course in Bengali and Urdu starting from June 12. The course will teach students to read and write the script, as well as conversation, literature, and culture of the language. “So far, we have 21 students for Bengali and 18 for Urdu,” said Abhidha Dhumatkar, the course co-ordinator.

The Bengali course will offer a glimpse into Rabindranath Tagore’s works too.

“The Bengali course is a one-of-its kind course in Mumbai and we are trying to get it as a part of Mumbai University’s syllabus as an optional course,” said Dhumatkar.

Prior to Bengali and Urdu, the college has offered a course in Modi, the ancient Marathi script, since 2016. Used by the Marathas and the Peshwas, Modi was prevalent across Maharashtra before the British formalised the Devnagri script. Three batches have completed the course.

K C College will offer a course in Mandarin from the next semester. Though the teaching has been outsourced, the students remain excited about the opportunity. “I am glad the college has given us the choice to learn something outside the stipulated curriculum. With the growing importance of Mandarin across the world, it would help me if I choose to continue my education in Honk Kong”, said Sanjil Rathod, a first-year BA student at the college.