Updated: Jun 1, 2022
Strong motivations, well-structured time, and a few basic tech skills can help you get the most out of your conversational Hindi Urdu online classes.
Why are you wanting to learn Hindi Urdu online?
Your answer to this question will be crucial to your own individual success as an online language learner. Learning a second language takes significant time and hard work. If you do not have strong, clear motivations for facing this challenge, you are unlikely to maximize the effect of either in-person or online classes.
Take the time to write out your answer to this question and read it regularly. Tell someone else why you are wanting to learn Hindi Urdu online and ask them to check in and hold you accountable.
Better yet, find a local Hindi Urdu speaker wherever you are whether it is South Asia or not! Hindi Urdu is the third most spoken language in the world and speakers can be found nearly everywhere. One of the best ways to increase both your motivation and accountability to keep pressing into your Hindi Urdu online classes is to make a friend with a local speaker where you are and find ways to chat with them regularly. You will find an increase in motivation to learn both this language and culture which will provide necessary motivation to keep investing time and energy in online Hindi Urdu classes.
Structure your time in online Hindi Urdu Classes
Whether your class is thirty minutes or four hours, coming to each language session with a plan and some structure will help you get the most out of your Hindi Urdu Online classes. In any conversational approach, you will want to make sure your time includes both periods of listening and speaking. While reading and writing are significant skills in language learning, they are skills that can more easily see improvement through individual study whereas speaking and understanding are best practiced with a local speaker. Guard your time well and be careful to do that which will provide the most impact for each minute of class!
What is the best way to structure your time spent in online classes?
Small Talk (5 minutes): All classes should begin with small talk to keep building your relationships with your Nurturer/Mentor/Teacher.
Prayer (5-10 minutes): South Asian languages are beautiful blends of culture, history, and religion. Listening to the prayers of your mentor can provide powerful insight into their beliefs as well as the unique vocabulary inherent in the prayers common to their culture.
Talking (10-15 minutes): Revisit previous day’s vocabulary by retelling, in your own words/sentences, the story from the previous day’s listening activity.
Listening/New Recording (20 minutes-3 hours): Clarify a recording at your current language level by pausing the recording to ask questions about words, phrases, or sentences that feel new or unclear. Have your Nurturer keep a word log (list) of all new words/phrases. This whole listening time should consist of dialogue between you and the teacher as you make sample sentences to clarify your understanding of these new words.
Take a Break: If your class is 2 hours or longer, take some time to stretch and look at something besides your screen. Let your eyes and your brain take a quick break and then come back ready to finish strong.
Talking for Growth (10-15 minutes): In more advanced levels of Online Hindi Urdu Learning (Phase 3+ in the Growing Participator Approach), spend some intentional time growing your speaking skills by talking about something you haven’t talked about before. For example, you might try to use your Hindi Urdu to describe an object or busy picture, a story from your life, or a movie plot or topic that interests you. Try recording yourself during this activity for one to two minutes. Play that recording back to your teacher and ask them after each of your sentences how you could rephrase your thoughts to sound more local.
Review or Act Out New Words from that Day’s Lesson: Before finishing for the day, invite your teacher to go through new words in random order while you quickly respond by pointing to items on the page or acting out the new actions/emotions or using the word in a sentence. This review at the end of class will help your brain more strongly solidify the contextual connections from that day, expediting your learning of those words and phrases.
Record Word Log: Have your nurturer make a recording of all your new words where he/she says the word, uses the word in a sample sentence related to the context of your lesson that day, and says the word again. Listening to this recording after class will help refresh all the new words you learned and help you learn Hindi Urdu vocabulary more powerfully by connecting it to context. In higher levels of language learning, your teacher may also define the words in this recording as you start to encounter words used less frequently and may want more explanation in the recording to be able to remember the full meaning when listening to this recording later on.
Study: In learning Hindi Urdu as with most things in life, the more you put in, the more you get out. Listening to all your recordings from each day 1-3 times before the next class will give you 1-3 times more exposure in context to each of those new words, phrases, and sentence structures. So naturally, your Hindi Urdu growth will accelerate as well. Revisit your reasons for wanting to learn Hindi Urdu online and let those motivate you to invest as much as you can so you can reap the greatest reward for your time and effort.
For those of us already inclined towards being planners, a list like this provides all the structure needed to have an effective Hindi Urdu online class every day. However, for those who are naturally less structured and more spontaneous, even this can seem ambiguous or daunting. Connect with a language coach or friend who can help you create a schedule that is detailed and clear enough for you to follow so you can get the most out of every day.
Could online language learning be more effective than in-person options? In some cases learners have found that Hindi Urdu online is a smoother experience than in-person. In the heat of South Asian cultures, fans and ACs running full-force can make it difficult to clearly hear your friend sitting just a few feet from you. The audio on most video conferencing apps can eliminate these white noises and provide more clarity. In other cases, the online option simply eliminates the time it takes to travel which in larger South Asian cities can be significant. So while there certainly are drawbacks to learning Hindi Urdu online, there are also several advantages if one is willing to embrace the technology.
Here are a few tips for how to get the most out of the online video conference call you use to learn conversational Hindi Urdu online.
Mute yourself when don’t need to talk
Check your lighting, can you be seen clearly?
Come to class on time
Reach out early for help regarding any technological issues you or your teacher are experiencing
Use a whiteboard function equivalent in your program to draw things that will help with communicating and clarifying.
Conversational approaches often rely heavily on making and playing back recordings. Here are some tips for making the best recordings during online classes:
If your connection is good, have your teacher talk just like normal, and use your phone held close to your computer to make a recording.
Have your teacher make the recordings on their device directly and send them to you.
Find ways to laugh during your online Hindi Urdu language session. You will remain more motivated to stick with it and develop a more positive relationship with your language helper. Technological glitches will likely occur. If you think you can laugh about them later, try laughing about them now. Enjoy the journey!
While automated online language learning programs have been around for a while, many learners are wanting to connect with real people in South Asia to learn Hindi Urdu through conversational and immersive methods even if they are unable to physically cross borders. Online learning programs such as Launch India provide fun and effective methods to connect with native Hindi Urdu speakers online or in-person and grow in understanding of both language and culture, building a deep relationship with your new friend along the way. But whatever approach you are using to learn Hindi or learn Urdu online, there are helpful simple tips to maximize your time and efforts such as frequently revisiting your personal motivations, structuring your time, embracing technology, and having fun.