We often get questions like:
“How do I teach my kid Hindi in New Jersey?”
“My daughter loves Bollywood. How do I help her learn Hindi?”
“What is the best way to have kids learn Hindi?”
Today we talk about ways by which Indians living abroad can help their kids learn Hindi and about the Indian culture – to help them stay connected with their roots as well as bond with their extended family.
First off, you should motivate the child to learn Hindi. The child should not feel that this is another ‘class’ that he/she has to take. Explain him/her the importance of knowing Hindi, and why it matters to you. Generate curiosity about the Indian culture right from the beginning.
Now, let us talk about the ways (physical and online) by which you can have your child learn Hindi
Physical methods to learn Hindi while living abroad
First, we look at some physical (face to face) options that can help your child learn Hindi and learn more about the Indian culture
- Private tuition – You could hire a coach who could come to your house to take Hindi lessons for your children. While hiring a coach, keep the following points in mind:
- Ensure that the coach is a native Hindi speaker and has spent a significant time in India before moving abroad. This will ensure that the teacher will be well versed with Hindi and the cultural norms.
- Make sure that the coach comes with teaching experience. A lot of times, people who speak Hindi may offer to teach Hindi, but they may not be equipped to teach the language in a structured manner and this may confuse the child.
- Pros: The lessons will be completely personalized to suit your child’s learning needs. He/she will get 1on1 interaction with a native speaker
- Cons: Limited availability of expert Hindi teachers outside India – the ones available are quite expensive. India itself is so culturally diverse, that finding a tutor from the same region as where you come from becomes very difficult
- Extended family – If you are busy yourself, then extended family (like grandparents) can be a big help in getting your child to learn Hindi and getting him/her closer to the culture
- Pros: Nothing will get them more connected to the culture than your own family.
- Cons: There’s often limited availability of the extended family, unless they live with you.
- Community schools – A lot of places outside India have Indian community schools which offer Hindi language courses (such as HindiUSA in USA which has a lot of community schools across NJ, Connecticut etc. : http://www.hindiusa.info/)
- Pros: Will help your children interact with other Indian children, make new friends, and learn as a group
- Cons: Lack of personalization of lessons, and low scheduling flexibility
- Culture aware nannies – If you are looking to have your kids learn Hindi in their formative years, then having nannies who speak Hindi and are well versed with the Indian culture can help
- Pros: Will promote continuous interaction in Hindi and will help start early
- Cons: Limited availability of such culture-aware nannies, may be expensive to find. Only suitable for very young kids.
- Meetup groups – On http://hindi.meetup.com/ you can find meetup groups near you. These meetup groups are basically social gatherings where people come together for a common objective – like learning Hindi and learning more about the Indian culture. People would usually also watch Indian movies together, go for cultural performances, etc…
- Pros: Fun way to connect with fellow expat Indians, can broaden cultural understanding
- Cons: May not be as structured as tutoring sessions if your key aim is just to learn Hindi well. Meetup groups usually have more informal or indirect approaches to pick-up Hindi
With busy lifestyles, some of these physical learning methods may not be as convenient and flexible. Also, some of the most effective and personalized options (like Private tuition) may be very expensive.
So, what are the options then – well why not have your kids learn Hindi online? Let us look at some options
Methods to learn Hindi online
- Live 1on1 Skype lessons with Indian teachers – Thanks to technology, it is no longer impossible to connect with people across boundaries. So why not have your child take 1on1 Hindi lessons from an expert from India!
- Complete personalization
- Great scheduling flexibility – the lessons can be scheduled at convenient hours and can be taken from the comfort of home!
- Affordability – A Skype session with an Indian coach would be significantly less expensive than hiring a private Hindi tutor outside India
- Authenticity – An expert teacher from India would be the best to teach Hindi as well as help your kids understand the culture – both traditional and current
- Cons: This method would not work with very young kids (less than 8 years of age) as they would need constant help from an adult to operate a laptop or an iPad
- Online Hindi lessons (self-study) – there are both free and paid self-study lessons available online and as mobile apps. Pick the lessons carefully. Go for a course that has enough material – don’t pick a mix of YouTube videos as they will break the consistency in learning
- Pros: Children can study themselves, whenever they like, and go at their own pace.
- Cons: Quality control – parents will have to be very careful in picking the lessons and ensure they are high quality, consistent, and have enough depth
India or abroad, Indians love Bollywood and Hindi movies! YouTube is full of Hindi movies and songs that your kids can watch and pick up Hindi from. You can find some with English subtitles as well.
- Pros: It is fun and engaging
- Cons: Again, this is not a very structured approach to learn Hindi. This can be a supplement to other methods
1on1 Hindi Lessons with Expert Teachers from India
CultureAlley offers 1on1 Skype lessons with hand-picked, expert teachers from India. The lessons are completely personalized to suit the kid’s learning needs, starting level, and learning pace. Each teacher is experienced in teaching Hindi and well versed with the Indian culture.
The lessons cover – conversations, grammar, vocabulary, accent practice, cultural norms and tips, and practice with quizzes, games, music, etc.
The lessons take place over Skype and can be scheduled as per your convenience.
To book a Skype session just fill this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1N2UMr1Cver8uBRlQ-MQ6QKIpmNH_rGYjJeiMKavO2ss/viewform