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GPA Online: What do our clients have to say about learning Hindi Urdu online?

At Launch India, we are passionate about helping people develop deeper relationships in Hindi, Urdu, Pujabi and other South Asian langauges through growing in understanding and speaking. We use an approach called the Growing Participator Approach (GPA) because it is effective and fun! You can see more about this approach here but overall, GPA is both an attitude and a methodology used all over the world based around the idea of growing as a participator in another langua-cultural world through an increasing number of deep relationships. One of the unique things about our program is that from day 1, the entirety of your classes are run in the language you are learning without translating into or from English. The use of structured, visual activities appropriate for each level make this possible and make a huge difference in learning another language!


How does Launch India adapt the GPA Phases for Online Learning?


Before we share our client feedback on what they say are the pros and cons of learning language online, let's just give you a little overview of how we even do the activities of each Phase online.


  1. Phase 1 is 100 hours and it is where you start the journey of connecting to your nurturer and begin understanding the tangible "here-and-now" words of people in South Asia by engaging in structured play activities.


We use a combination of Zoom and Miro for our Phase 1 program online. Zoom allows the Nurturer and the participant to have consistent video and audio throughout their session. It allows for the participant to be able to see their Nurturer as they say each word which is a helpful part of seeing how new sounds and words are made in Phase 1. Miro is an innovative and collaborative online workspace that we have adapted at Launch India so that Nurturers and participants can play games and learn new words in an interactive, visual and fun way.


Each participant and the Nurturer have a cursor on Miro that is visible to all others online. This allows everyone to see what the others are pointing to. All the pictures are able to be moved, enlarged, minimized, copied, etc. Images are easily able to be added to the boards to add new words of interest to the participants. Miro is constantly updating and adding new features which make doing Phase 1 online more and more effective. We have been able to effectively adapt 100% of the activities recommended for an in person Phase 1 to an online setting.


If you're curious to hear more, please reach out today for a free trial class or a consultation! We have also helped people working with other language programs in other parts of the world adapt our online Phase 1 programs for their own needs using our Miro Online GPA Development Services. Let us know how we can help you!


2. Phase 2 is a recommended 250 hours. For this phase, we simply use the Screen Share function of Zoom to share picture story books. Zoom's annotate features allow participants and Nurturers to easily mark the wordless picture book with the new words they found in each recording. We use Google Docs for our wordlogs of new words so that students can see their Nurturer update it with new words in real time in a clear, legible version of the script they are learning to read.

3. Phase 3 is a recommended 250 hours. During this phase, we give our participants access to hundreds of recordings in Hindi and Urdu via shared Google Drive Folders. Here they can easily download and listen to Bridge Story recordings during their language sessions.

  • Bridge stories are stories familiar to a participant in their home language that they now listen to in their new language.

  • The Cartoon Activity of Phase 3 is done simply by having participants share their screen while a silent video is being played so the Nurturer can make a recording describing all that is happening.

  • The Shared Experience Activity of Phase 3 is the trickiest one to do virtually as it is way easier to do something with your Nurturer when you are physically in the same location. However, we have had creative participants cook something in their own kitchen while their Nurturer does the same in theirs. We have had participants and Nurturers do Yoga together or play Ludo or Chess or some other common South Asian game virtually. So long as there is some experience that can be shared and then recorded for learning new words and phrases, even this activity can be done online.

  • The Script of Life recording of Phase 3 is sadly an often overlooked activity. But it is one of the most powerful activities for learning language and culture. We have our online participants use a free program called Mural to illustrate various steps of a simple every day activity as their Nurturer describes it in the new language.


4. Phase 4 is quite simple to do online as the primary activity is interviewing someone about their life story and life experiences. Zoom and a recording device are about all that is needed for adapting this phase to an online setting.


5. Phase 5 is about listening to native to native resources. This is also easily adapted to an online session with Zoom and screen share.


Which Tools Faciliate Helping Grow Deep Relationships in Another Language/Culture?


Overall, transferring the activities of the Growing Participator Approach to an online setting simply require awareness of the original intent of the activities along with some creativity in applying current tools to make them effective. Online/digital tools are always changing, upgrading, and expiring. So transferring any of these activities to an online setting really cannot rest on any one tool but rather on the desire to help people form deep relationships with people from another language and cultural background.

We love learning about new tools and programs to help make this process more effective and fun for our participants! But we also try not to overthink it. We want to keep the focus on forming deep relationships and not waste too much time finding the "perfect" tool for adjusting for online learning as we think that even some very basic tools can provide powerful learning platforms.


Pros of GPA Online from Participants


Over the last two years, we at Launch India average 72% of our sessions being online each month. By far, our participants are electing to take their sessions via our online platform rather than coming to do sessions in person in Delhi.


We were curious to hear from the participants themselves so the following Pro's to online learning come from interviews with some of these participants.


  • Provides access to target language in GPA at times when you cannot be physically where trained Nurturers are

  • Moms with kids love it for its flexibility to be able to take sessions from home

  • Setting up Phase 1 boards is easy- felt like they maximized their hours

  • All participants could see the pages clearly

  • Miro allows for a lot of GP participation

  • GPA is conversation based so it transitions well to online formats

  • Saves hours of commuting in big cities


Cons of GPA Online from Participants


We asked our clients to be very candid about the challenges of doing GPA online. These is the main feedback we received regarding what makes this challenging.


  • Relationally limited

  • Nurturers need a decent understanding of technology

  • WiFi issues on either end


Launch India loves when people grow towards their goals no matter how that happens. We understand that each client brings in unique goals and challenges for reaching those goals. Sometimes our in-person sessions are ideal and other times online is better! We have found that even in Delhi, participants are more and more electing to do our online sessions though they are not far from our in person center.



We encourage participants using the GPA approach to learn Hindi Urdu to be proactive in connecting with local speakers of those languages in your community wherever you are. The above graphic shows some suggestions for where you might meet South Asian speakers when not physically in South Asia.


Conclusion


Learning the language and culture of another people can be one of life's most challenging, rewarding and transformative experiences. Hindi and Urdu are respectively the third and tenth most spoken languages in the world. Speakers are scattered around the globe so whether you are learning Hindi/Urdu culture in the same location as your Nurturer or not, hopefully you can be intentional to be spending time with native speakers wherever you are. Forming deep relationships will likely be the most difficult part of doing GPA online. But honestly, this can be a challenge for people doing sessions in person as well. It requires courage and humility to try to connect with people of another language and culture. So no matter where you are in the world, if you think GPA could be a helpful approach for you, we hope that you will check it out!

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