Dr Seetha Lakshmi is an Associate Professor of the Asian Languages and Cultures Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. Appointed as a trainer in 1997, she has led in the teaching and research, primarily on Standard Spoken Tamil, Curriculum Review and Innovative Pedagogy at NIE.
Her earlier stints were at Tamil Murasu Newspaper as the Sub-Editor (1991-1992) and as Teacher for Tamil language at Mei Chin Secondary School (1993-1997). Dr Seetha was the Coordinator of the Tamil Studies of the Special Training programme (Mother Tongue) in 1997-1999; Head of Tamil Language and Culture Division and Assistant Head, ALC (Tamil) at the Asian Languages and Cultures Academic Group between 2002-July 2007. She is currently the Programme Leader for Practicum, Timetable and the Enhanced Academic Workload at divisional level (Tamil Language). She also provides counselling service to trainee teachers, especially female trainees.
Dr Seetha served as a Visiting Scholar at the Penn State University, Pennsylvania, USA., (01 September 2015 - 30 September 2015), San Jose State University, California, USA., (01 October 2015 - 31 October 2015) and University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (11 November 2015 - 10 December 2015) as part of her Academic Leave.
Dr Seetha, has successfully led five educational research projects as the Principal Investigator together with several other Co-Principal Investigators and collaborators. She has also been involved as Co- Principal Investigator in four other research projects. She has published her research papers in nearly 40 conference proceedings and her research articles in national and international research journals.
To-date, Dr Seetha has sole authored nearly 15 books and monographs including three creative literary and translated books. She has delivered keynote / special / plenary / valedictorian addresses at more than 20 conferences held locally and internationally; she has presented nearly 40 conference and seminar papers locally and in 14 other countries.
Dr Seetha has served as the advisor of the Tamil Language Society (2002-2007), National Institute of Education and initiated the highly recognised Inter-School Tamil Drama Competition ‘chinnajchiru maedai’ on developing Spoken Tamil among the 10-year-old Tamil Language students.
She has supervised as Main / Co Supervisor for one MA (Visual & Performing Arts, 2008), Eight MEd (course work in Tamil Language) students and currently supervisor for one PhD Scholar.
Dr Seetha has served as higher degree external examiner for Universities in Singapore, India and New Zealand. Her research contributions also extend to conference programme committees as Member, Conference Programme Committee, Tamil Internet Conference (2010, 2014), Conference advisory board, Member, Task Force Committee, Prof Gopi’s Research related Symposium, STTU.
Leveraging on her expertise, she has served as a Member, Editorial Committee, Pamukkale University Journal of Education, Turkey(2009-2010), International Journal of Educational Research, Development and Extension(IJERDE),Centre for Educational Research(2009-2011); Consultant to provide guidance in the areas of using Spoken Tamil, second language curriculum planning, pedagogy and teaching materials production to the California Tamil Academy (2010-2011). She is currently a member of the editorial committee in four educational journals in Malaysia and India.
Dr Seetha, is the first woman in Singapore to obtain a PhD in Tamil Language in Singapore. She has extensive experience in teaching Tamil Language and related academic research. Having endeavoured to provide pedagogical assistance to schools, she is committed to conducting school-based workshops, in-service courses and new areas of teaching through academic and pedagogic research studies. She has served as Course Conductor / Consultant to Si Ling Primary Cluster N7 (five Primary Schools)’s Action Research In-service Course based Tamil Project (2007-2008), Jurong Primary’s PLC Journey of Tamil Department (2010-2011). TLLM and Dictionary Skills to Cluster S5(2015-2016) and Tamil linguist for The Star Challenge Competition 2008, AStar Research Unit, National University of Singapore(2008-2009), She has been invited to conduct workshops on teaching and Action research for Tamil Language teachers in a number of school clusters.
Besides, she has been invited as a member of the judging panel for Language and Literature Book Prize competitions at National and International Levels. She has contributed to literary competitions as Member, South East Asia (SEA) Writer Award 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016; Singapore Literature Prize (Tamil Language – Fiction Category), Chief Judge(Tamil Panel), Singapore Literature Prize 2008; Member, Judging Panel, Singapore Literature Prize (2010, 2012). She is also a Member of the Singapore Writers’ Festival 2009 Steering Committee; Selection Panel for the MOVING WORDS 2011; Judging Panel, Golden Point Award Competition(Short Story-Tamil)(2009, 2011, 2013); Cultural Medallion and Young Artist Award (Literary Arts) Panel (2014), NAC.
She has held various key positions at the Singapore Association of Applied Linguistics viz., Treasurer (Oct 2010-Sep 2012); Secretary (Oct 2012-Sep 2016); Exco Member (Oct 2016-to date). She is also a Member of the School Advisory Committee, Northland Primary (11 May 2011-to date) and Vice-Chairman with effect from 17 March 2017; Member of the Talent Advisory Board, People’s Association since 2004.
To give back to the community, she volunteers her service at the Tamil Language and Culture Society as the second Vice-President (2007-2009), first Vice-President (2009-May 2011), Chairman, organising committee of the Bharatiyaar-Bharathidasan Vizha celebration (2010, 2011), Member of Advisory Committee (2005-2007) for the two major Literary Festival celebrations of the Society. She has received commendations for her literary talents and her volunteer service (2005-today) for being the chairperson / Chief Judge / Advisor of the competitions for school students in conjunction with the Thirukkural, Bharathiar-Bharathidasan Celebrations and Avvaiyaar Vizha celebrations in Singapore.