Subha Manoj

While I Was Away

Subha Manoj

A 6 year old vs Hindi

A new language in the school curriculum usually presents teething issues for not just the primary class student but also for the parents and teacher. So when ‘A’ was supposed to start Hindi this year (he is in 1st grade) I was mentally prepared. Well, almost!

The positives first:
1. I knew I wouldn’t have to send him for Hindi tuition as my knowledge of Hindi is good enough to tutor him. (thanks to being brought up in Delhi). Honestly I have a mental block against tuition. I feel unless the parents are not equipped to teach a subject, the child can be very well taught at home itself. It needs a tad bit discipline, but quite do-able.

2.  ‘A’ loved his Hindi teacher, and in turn the subject. ( I swear there is a connection with good looking- sweet-natured teachers and boys: they instantly start liking the subject!)

Now for the not so positives:
We are Keralites, so we do not speak in Hindi at all at home. English and Malayalam reigns. Moreover Bangalore is not a great place to nurture one’s Hindi. The kids hardly speak the language even while playing, English being the common language.

‘A’ was good at recognizing the alphabets and even writing them. But I noticed inability to recognize words. While matching alphabets with the words, he was not able to remember the words.
For eg: ‘Kh’ se Khargosh (rabbit). He would either say Kharbosh or Barbosh. or ‘Ga’ se Gamla (flower pot). He would not know what is a Gamla. I knew the problem was that he did not know these words, as he has never really spoken much of Hindi.

This would have been an issue because the curriculum expected him to draw the pictures of the words pertaining to the alphabet. It meant that he would have to write ‘Kh’ – and draw a picture of rabbit. (Khargosh)

After few weeks of struggle, I knew I had to do something extra to make him remember the words and the picture matching the word. And then I did this:

I stuck the chart on his wardrobe door. The chart has all the Hindi alphabets, the matching Hindi words written in English and also the English translation of the words, along with the pictures. I asked ‘A’ to keep looking at the chart whenever he passed by his wardrobe.

What the chart was doing was that when ‘A’ looked at the chart he could understand that ‘Kh’ se Khargosh (written in English) and Khargosh means Rabbit, along with the picture. And kids so young do well with pictorial representation.

Voila! His vocabulary and word recognition improved amazingly well in just one week. I highly recommend this method for any child who is facing issues with any 3rd language. (especially the ones which are not spoken by the child)

I am planning to make another chart with different words now, so it increases his vocabulary. I am also talking to him in Hindi on and off at home. And I have allotted fifteen minutes everyday for Hindi. It really is helping.

I hope this helps you too 🙂

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