Students Support and Help

The Scrabble Club: Our Tryst With Words

Queen Mary's College has over the past one year experienced a climate change of sorts with Scrabble breezing into the campus. The winds of change were borne on the shoulders of International Scrabble Grandmaster Mr. Ranganatha Chakravarthy when he visited the Department of English at QMC. He impressed upon the faculty the efficacy of the board game Scrabble to create a chain reaction in terms of language acquisition. By the end of Mr. Ranganatha Chakravarthy's Scrabble class the student falls in love with the dictionary. Mr. Ranganatha Chakravarthy has been paying several visits to the college to single-handedly conduct a Scrabble Literacy Programme (SLP). At the end of the SLP, all the students of the college would be Scrabble literate. Alongside the literacy programmes, there are Train the Trainer (TTT) sessions for those who wish to become skilled players and trainers in the game. The enrolment in the Train the Trainer sessions has been overwhelming. Students who participate in the TTTs and Tournaments have exhibited a steep rise in their respective vocabulary graphs. Scrabble, according to Mr. Chakravarthy is not merely about acquiring vocabulary but very much about sharpening the intellect. Since the game calls for optimal use of the tiles in word formation, the game whets both vocabulary enhancement and numerical ability. Decision making skills and critical thinking are also crucial to performing well in Scrabble, says Mr. Chakravarthy. Mr. Chakravarthy, a lawyer by training is currently ranked 4th in the country. He secured the 16th place in International Scrabble. He is the Founder of Madras Scrabble Foundation. His Scrabble Mission has a wider significance than the obvious - vocabulary acquisition. He holds the conviction that Scrabble being what it is - a whetstone that sharpens minds - could transform the nation: if the youth of the nation were to indulge in Scrabble rather than frittering their time away in other meaningless pastimes, India would be a force to reckon with in terms of soft power. Mr. Chakravarthy's vision for the nation's youth has found realization at QMC. He has, like the Pied Piper an entourage of Scrabble enthusiasts. May the Scrabble Mission at QMC continue to empower successive batches of students with the power of expression.