• April 26, 2012

HUF hosts national workshop on Hindi-Urdu pedagogy

Video: Watch Snell speak on issues and strategies in the Hindi-Urdu classroom
Video: Watch Snell speak on issues and strategies in the Hindi-Urdu classroom

The Hindi Urdu Flagship recently convened a workshop for university and K-12 teachers of Hindi and Urdu. The workshop featured individual faculty presentations on pedagogical strategies, a roundtable discussion on pressing issues in the Hindi-Urdu classroom, and a wonderful guest lecture by Prof. Shamim Hanfi on some highlights in the tangled modern history of Hindi and Urdu (watch it here).

Below is a detailed agenda for the workshop. Full video of the entire proceedings will be posted soon.

Issues in Hindi-Urdu Pedagogy: Curriculum, Assessment, Challenges

A workshop organized by the Hindi Urdu Flagship

Friday 27th, April 2012

This meeting brings an opportunity for a group of experienced teachers of Hindi and/or Urdu to address issues that confront us as we refine the processes through which we teach these languages and their associated cultures in schools, colleges and universities.

Though teaching in language, literature and culture has been offered for decades in institutions across the land, we now find ourselves working in a radically changed environment: we no longer have the old freedom to teach and examine courses without reference to the outside world, but have to be aware of the conventions of Second Language Acquisition as defined in the context of the language-teaching profession generally.

The identification of Hindi and Urdu as being of “strategic” significance to America’s world-view introduces a whole new set of issues to our work. Firstly, it may require us to reconsider the traditional “lang + lit” formula that has served as the basis of Humanities pedagogy since time immemorial. Secondly, as federal funders understandably insist on quantified results on their investment, we have to adopt objective methods of Assessment that quantify proficiency in language use (rather than examining a student’s mastery of a specific syllabus), and to express results in terms of ILR and/or ACTFL proficiency levels. Thirdly, the principles of SLA and its associated Assessment procedures encourage us to develop a curriculum in which each of the four linguistic skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking — bears its own individual significance.

In the context of these and similar issues, our meeting will be framed as follows:

Introduction: outlining the issues | Rupert Snell

Assessment: criteria and implementation | Jishnu Shankar and Naseem Hines

First-year curriculum; and the teaching of speaking skills | Akbar Hyder

Round-table discussion: addressing the challenges | chaired by Rupert Snell

On Urdu and Hindi | Shamim Hanfi