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Teaching Hindi to young learners: The need for a pedagogic change

An interview with LEAD’s Hindi Academic Director

Hindi has been taught in most English-medium schools across India as a second or third language for over fifty years now. It was introduced as a link language due to India’s vastness. However, language classes have neither adequately engaged nor educated students from all parts of the country for many years now. Overall average percentage in final exams, especially board exams, have also been impacted due to poor performance in Hindi.

LEAD’s academic excellence and strategy teams delved deeper into Hindi’s current curriculum and their research throws light on some pressing issues. The Hindi curriculum has not been revised and the teaching methodology too has remained the same for many years now. This has been a matter of concern for educators and parents alike.

Children continue to learn the language as a mere subject. They do not learn the nuances of the language, its syntax, grammar or application. This results in not only a poor foundation but also a lack of ability to be able to apply their classroom knowledge in the world outside. Poor grades and a weak foundation have also negatively impacted the confidence of many students.

This research’s findings pushed the LEAD team to rethink the way Hindi is taught in schools. To bridge the gaps in the existing curriculum and in order to make learning and teaching Hindi a more enjoyable and effective experience, LEAD introduced the ‘Sampoorna Hindi’ program. The Sampoorna Hindi program is an integrated program aimed at developing Hindi language skills, General Awareness and Values in students across India.

In this article, we will be talking about the uniqueness of the recently launched Sampoorna Hindi Program with LEAD’s Hindi Academic Director, Dr. Meena Mehrotra.

Students have not been able to score well in Hindi even though in some cases, it is their mother tongue. How has the Sampoorna Hindi program been designed to help strengthen students’ foundational skills? 

Hindi is one of India’s widest spoken languages. Nevertheless, the biggest challenge being faced by most of the students is with the correct pronunciation. In many Indian schools, Hindi has been taught as an exam-focused subject. They do not focus on skill development, resulting in students losing their confidence. 

The Sampoorna Hindi program is focused on teaching Hindi as a skill rather than an exam-focused subject, similar to our English Language and General Awareness (ELGA) Program. 

LEAD's Sampoorna Hindi program

The entire program is based on a unique 5C framework. Every lesson is designed to help children learn the fundamentals of the language and to be able to connect the lessons with their real life. Through the curriculum, LEAD is trying to teach students to Learn Well, Think Deep, Do Good and Be Leaders. 

Attempting to change the status quo has always been our biggest struggle. Do schools have to make big changes to implement the Sampoorna Hindi program?

Hindi has been taught in a certain way for a very long time now. But it is time to make changes for the larger good. The Sampoorna Hindi program currently follows the CBSE curriculum. It is designed in such a way that most schools can implement this program easily to improve student learning outcomes without making massive changes to their teaching plans. 

We want to make teaching just as fun as learning via this program. The excellence team is also working closely with schools to train their teachers and to help them successfully launch the program from the new academic year 2021-22.

Exams and grades continue to play an important role in our education system. Will this program help students score better in exams? If yes, how?

Yes, this program will help students score better in exams because it will develop their overall understanding of the language with a special focus on grammar, comprehension, and expression. Students will be able to convey their thoughts in Hindi well as this program makes the language application-based. Hence the Sampoorna Hindi program will improve the overall grades scored by the students in tests and exams.

Language is best learnt in an immersive manner. When they continuously practise and speak in a language, children tend to learn them better. How can students learn Hindi better at home? Please share a few tips.

Students can learn Hindi better by listening to Hindi news on TV, reading Hindi storybooks, childrens’ magazines and newspapers. Moreover, they can watch Hindi Documentaries and shows as well. There is a lot of children-friendly content available on YouTube and other OTT platforms these days. Hindi should be a part of their everyday life. 

Even if it is not their mother tongue, they could try to practice it at home by writing their shopping list, maintaining a diary, penning down some short stories or poems, completely in Hindi. It might be difficult at first, but slowly the language will come naturally to those who practice.

As a language and subject, Hindi has evolved a lot in the last few decades. What is the future of Hindi according to you? How is the language evolving in India?

Hindi is no longer spoken only in India. With globalisation, Indians have settled across the globe and Hindi too, has become popular everywhere. The simplest and most colloquial form of Hindi is prevalent in society today. Hindi is being studied not only in the country but also abroad. The scope of Hindi speaking areas is becoming wider and wider, with endless possibilities.

Hindi literature is very rich and plays a huge role in our Indian culture and has a great influence on the world. As per a KPMG report, it has been found that Hindi is qualitatively the largest growing language in the Internet world. Hence, there is a definite need to learn Hindi and most importantly to learn it well. 

Join the Education Revolution

LEAD offers an integrated learning system to its partner schools to improve student learning outcomes and prepare them for the exam of life. We believe in empowering every stakeholder in a child’s life to provide them with an ideal learning environment that helps them thrive.

If you want to provide your students with the Sampoorna Hindi Program then contact a LEAD representative today on +91 868 200 0998.

If you are a parent and wish to enrol your child in a LEAD Powered School, then Find a LEAD School near you and start the admissions process without further delay. 

About the author

Manasa is a Branding and Communication Manager at LEAD. She is an Asian College of Journalism alumnus and a former Teach for India Fellow. Manasa has also completed her MBA in marketing from Deakin University. She strongly believes that education has the power to shake the world and is excited to be a part of LEAD’s transformational journey.

Manasa Ramakrishnan

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