Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world. The global movement of Tamil communities has brought the language all over the world. While this is an opportunity to enrich global cultures with our beautiful language, we have also seen the use of the Tamil language on the decline. It is for this reason that Anto Gnanapragasam created Agaram Tamil Teacher, a mobile application designed to teach Tamil in a fun and interactive way.
Anto, a Systems Engineer by profession and a passionate educator at heart, is passionate about helping Tamils around the world connect with their mother tongue, especially children who are more at risk of losing their native language. With the relationship between language and culture so deeply rooted, he decided to combine his expertise in technology and passion for education to help children learn Tamil in a fun and engaging way.
Having moved to Montreal, Canada at the age of 12, Anto describes the experience of moving to a new country as slightly traumatizing. However, even in this traumatizing experience he fondly recalls falling in love with learning because his teachers made sure to make the experience fun and interactive.
“Within a year of moving to Montreal, I was able to learn French. My teachers made the learning process very entertaining and enjoyable. I had a fantastic teacher named Madame Thérèse Gagné who had us do math exams on the computer. These experiences are the foundation for all of the work I do now relating to education and learning”, says Anto.
Agaram Tamil Teacher is an interactive application that includes learning activities as well as educational games. Understanding that design stimulates human beings’ senses, Anto took care to create graphics that use bright and vivid colours that would leave a lasting impression, especially on children. The learning activities and games were carefully crafted by a team of educators and cover a wide variety of topics including shapes, vocabulary, and the alphabet. The team is now already at work to further enhance the learning experience by including additional games and activities, as well as include a reward system to add to the fun.
“The purpose of the Agaram Tamil Teacher app is to be the starting point for a user’s journey in learning Tamil by teaching them the basics such as the alphabet and numbers in Tamil. Agaram refers to the letter அ, which is the first letter in the Tamil alphabet. It signifies the beginning as it is the first thing we learn when we start to learn Tamil. அ, or Agaram, evokes many fond memories for me from my experience learning Tamil", says Anto.
Anto’s passion for his work was clear when he explained what he hopes to achieve through his endeavours. He says, “I want the Tamil community to love the Tamil language and be proud and feel privileged that their mother tongue is one of the oldest languages in the world. It is a language that has evolved over thousands of years and has the most refined glyphs. Learning Tamil is being seen as optional. This is not only true among the Tamil diaspora, but also seems to be the case in Sri Lanka and India as well. My hope is to help change this and help people see the importance in learning Tamil. My hope is that the community as a whole realizes the treasures contained in our mother tongue and learn it with the intention of further evolving it.”
Agaram Tamil Teacher has been made available on Android and iOS. To get more information about Agaram Tamil Teacher, please visit www.agaramapps.com.