Language Learning
In Cyberspace:
Teaching Hindi and Urdu on the Web
Afroz Taj
Professor of Hindi-Urdu Language and Literature
University of North Carolina, USA
Why Hindi and Urdu Online?
Revolutions in technology
Revolutions in pedagogy
The North Carolina Center for
South Asia Studies
Out-of-date materials
Post-9/11 World and
Critical Languages
Revolutions in Technology
Internet
Email and discussion groups
Media-based learning tools
Broadband connections
I-pods and pod-casting
Teleconferencing
Webcasting
Revolutions in Pedagogy
Cultural fluency
Student autonomy
Interactive learning
environment
Authentic learning
objects
Proficiency versus
translation
De-emphasis of text
Background
Established the Hindi-Urdu programs at NC
State and UNC-Chapel Hill (1995)
Taught five years through live teleconferencing
Demonstrated demand and justified new
faculty lines
Incorporated film clips, songs, and Internet
Began to develop distance learning materials
“A Door Into Hindi” began production in 1999
The Post 9/11 World
Course Conception
Comprehensive elementary
language courses
Major grants from US Dept.
of Education IEPS (Title VI)
Urdu and Hindi
Collaboration with other
Urdu teachers
Beta-testing in multiple
universities
Open to all, free of charge
‫ دروازہ‬: Design
Media-intensive learning objects
Filming in India and Pakistan
Emphasis on cultural proficiency
Grammar in context
Scripted and non-scripted material
Multiple layers and flexibility
Classroom v. independent learners
Humor and play
Compatibility with Distance Education
Design for the Web Generation
‫ دروازہ‬: Design
Dialog
Script
Lesson
Vocab
Grammar
Topics
Lesson
Film
Exercises
and Tests
Culture
Notes
‫ دروازہ‬: Objectives
Comprehension
Activation
Aural
Listening
Speaking
Written
Reading
Writing
Cultural
Observation
Interaction
‫ دروازہ‬: Technology Issues
Nastaliq font display, Unicode
Video delivery
Hosting
Technical support
Accessibility
Future technologies
Assessment
Demonstration
Where to Find Us
A Door Into Hindi:
http://taj.chass.ncsu.edu
Darvazah: A Door Into Urdu:
http://taj.chass.ncsu.edu/urdu
Recent Comments from Learners
“I have learned Hindi by myself since last year. The website "A
Door into Hindi" is the main document for me to study Hindi
language.” (Zhang Hua, Nanyang Technological University,
Singapore)
“Without the Teach Yourself method by Rupert Snell and A Door
Into Hindi I would never have made progress!” (Lisa Kumar, SOAS,
London)
“The music and humor in the video clips really makes it really fun
and enjoyable. Kya baat hai!” (Naresh, Texas)
“I have been using your "A Door into Hindi" in the oral section of
my second-year Hindi class here at the University of Virginia. My
students are enjoying your films. Many thanks.” (Holly Donahue,
Instructor, Intermediate Hindi, University of Virginia)
“I'd just like to congratulate you on your website. I think it's a very
useful resource for those learning Hindi.” (Neha, Australia)
“Hi, I've really enjoyed your site, and I expect it to be an
important part in my learning of Hindi.” (Tim, Brazil)
“While trying to teach myself Hindi, found your website A Door Into
Hindi. The videos are really great, I feel they teach language that
I am really going to need in everyday situations, and I especially
love the jokes which make learning Hindi on your web page very
enjoyable.” (Amelia Neumann-Samek, American University, Paris,
France)
“Thank you very much for making this interactive multimedia Hindi
course available. I would like to use it for my introductory Hindi
course, which I am going to be teaching at York University.”
(Shobna Nijhawan, Assistant Professor of Hindi, York University,
Canada)
“I love the Door to Hindi site. What a wonderful resource!
Dhanyavaad!” (Tiernan Ray, Germany)
“The dialogues are useful. The films are interesting and funny.
Furthermore, they show us a glimpse of India.” (Pauline, France)
“I stumbled upon your door into hindi and I just wanted to thank
you so much! I love it! It's definitely the best instruction on the
web.” (Maria, New York City)
“The WiderNet Project would like to ask your permission to include
this web content in the eGranary Digital Library.” (Georgeanna
Williams, University of Iowa)
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Teaching Language and Culture in Cyberspace