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Summer Intensive Teacher Training Program Hindi and Urdu

STARTALK@New York University in June


This teacher-training workshop, funded by a STARTALK grant from the National Foreign Language Center, University of Maryland is an intensive two week online and one week residential program designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of school, community and college teachers of Hindi and Urdu. Participants learn the most up-to-date student-centered, project and performance-based, standards-based teaching methodologies in a learning-by-doing environment. They are required to develop, observe and critique classroom procedures, strategies and teaching techniques.

The program includes a cultural component whereby participants learn how to use the resources available in the community environment. The program is based on a state-approved course which is a part of the regular curriculum of the Master’s program in Foreign Language Teaching at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, modified for the needs of the seminar. It is offered as non-credit option.


Academic Director: Dr. Gabriela Nik. Ilieva, C. Professor, Coordinator, Hindi and Urdu Programs, Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, NYU

Lead Instructor: Dr. Tasha Darbes, Foreign Language Teaching, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, NYU

Language Experts:
Dr. Jishnu Shankar, Senior Hindi Lecturer, Hindi Urdu Flagship, University of Texas, Austin
Dr. Bindeshwari Aggarwal, Hindi Lecturer, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, NYU
Tahira Naqvi, Senior Urdu Lecturer, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, NYU
Nusrat Sohail, Urdu Educator
Rajni Bhargava, Adjunct Hindi Assessment Coordinator, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, NYU


The program admits a total of twenty participants with language proficiency at the Advanced to Superior level on the ACTFL scale. Applicants need to submit:

  1. STARTALK application form
  2. C.V.
  3. Filled-out questionnaire
  4. A statement of purpose in English and in Hindi or Urdu.

Forms available at


The program is held usually in June, 2 weeks online and one week on site. The online segment includes reading assignments and reaction/journal entries, viewing and critiquing video-recorded classes, development of tasks and activities. It is asynchronous with 2 live chat sessions per week. The on-site component runs for five hours daily (9:00 am — 3:00 pm). Every session consists of interactive presentations and modeling of best practices by a second language acquisition specialist and of hands-on language-specific applications supervised by language experts. The language-specific activities address communicative ways of teaching literacy skills, register use and use of authentic materials, as well as the designing of culture-based authentic and quasi-authentic activities.


The program provides fifty contact hours, equivalent to a one-semester course. Participants can take it as a continuing education course. All participants receive a final grade and a transcript from the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, NYU. The program aims to recruit and support instructors at small colleges and departments, and community schools and organizations. It provides training and network information to members of the heritage community with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and superior or higher language skills considering a career in the language-teaching field.

It is also an opportunity for practicing school teachers of South Asian descent who teach other disciplines to consider developing an additional skill in teaching their native language and eventually to pursue a foreign language teaching certificate. The continuing education course tuition is $900, of which the STARTALK grant covers $700. Participants are responsible for the remaining $200, plus a $20 registration fee.


Classes are held on the NYU campus in Greenwich Village in classrooms equipped with audio-visual aides and internet-connected computers loaded with language specific fonts. Out-of-town participants in need of accommodation will reside at the NYU residence halls, which are conveniently located on campus. Accommodation, learning materials and textbooks, breakfast, lunch and coffee break expenses are covered by the grant.

More info

STARTALK, 50 Washington Square South, 2fl., New York, NY 10012


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