The Jindal School of Languages and Literature (JSLL) is the eleventh school of O. P. Jindal Global University and has been established to encourage innovative research and effectively teach languages, linguistics and literature studies for our present hyper-globalized world, when language learning and intercultural communication are more important to human flourishing and mutual understanding than ever before. Some languages today are shrinking while others are expanding in use and richness. Several languages have expanded their reach to include hundreds of millions of speakers, even in far removed corners of the globe. It is common today to find people in India and elsewhere who are bi- or trilingual, who use a ‘global’ language as well as regional or local ones. Using several languages is increasingly part of our everyday cultural experience and helps us literally become known to ourselves and to others.
Language and literature programmes matter in today’s world because they inculcate essential skills of communication and analysis of the human condition. JSLL promotes learning and research in areas of language, linguistics, literature and cultural studies not in order to separate them from other fields and activities of a university but to create an environment in which cultural legacies and the products of human inventiveness receive due attention. JSLL has been established in the spirit described by Cardinal John Henry Newman in The Idea of a University (1852). Newman insisted that a true university “aims at raising the intellectual tone of society, at cultivating the public mind, at purifying the national taste, at supplying pure principles to popular enthusiasm and fixed aims to popular aspirations, at giving enlargement and sobriety to the ideas of the age, at facilitating the exercise of political power, and refining the intercourse of private life.”
JSLL offers two new undergraduate programmes in 2022 – 2023, BA Honours English and BA Honours Spanish. These programmes are part of the first phase of building a school whose activities will help the university develop into a premier institution for learning and research in languages and literature. ‘English studies’ is one of the most vibrant fields in the academy today and the undergraduate English studies degree is one of the most versatile and robust academic degrees available. Spanish is one the five most globalized languages, with about five hundred million speakers on several continents. The ‘Hispanosphere’ has an influence far beyond the predominantly Spanish-speaking countries – not only in the form of language and literature but in film, football and food. Studying Spanish language, literature and culture can therefore open a variety of occupations and life experiences to learners at all levels.
O. P. Jindal Global University has a varied faculty with extensive global and international experience. The wider faculty of the university will join the faculty of JSLL in helping students become comfortable and proficient in their use of language and in their appreciation of cultural value in several geographical areas. JSLL will be guided by an Advisory Council of seasoned educators, researchers and academic administrators from around the world, who shall advise about matters of curriculum and learning and periodically help review the School to ensure its effectiveness. JSLL benefits from an accomplished faculty, trained at the best Indian and foreign universities, who will guide students through their study programmes, and OPJGU enjoys state-of-the art facilities for study of language and literature. The university has more than a dozen thematic research centres through which faculty and students add to knowledge of our world, and several of the centres focus on regions such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The Global Languages Centre and the Centre for Writing Studies at OPJGU work in coordination with JSLL to provide effective language instruction and impart skills to any and all students who seek to learn a language. Student clubs and organizations conduct events and give performances that enhance appreciation of language and the arts.
OPJGU is well networked with foreign cultural institutes and agencies for language learning located in India and elsewhere as well as with international research foundations and agencies. Agreements for learning and research between OPJGU and institutions in more than 50 countries of the world mean that students of JSLL have a vast number of opportunities to learn in a foreign country for OPJGU academic credit. JSLL students will engage in internships with international and multinational organizations. JSLL provides all the ingredients for a stimulating and rewarding higher education journey and a subsequent career.