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HINDI 101 A: Elementary Hindi

Meeting Time: 
MTWThF 9:30am - 10:20am
SAV 136
Prem Pahlajrai

Syllabus Description:


Overall Goals for Quarter and Year:  The main objective for the first-year Hindi course sequence (Hindi 101-102-103) is to enable students to develop usable proficiency in Hindi in each of a number of distinct skills, namely, speaking, reading, writing, listening, and knowledge of formal grammar. The course of study is designed in such a way as to enable students to develop their abilities with regard to each of these skills in a parallel manner.  The primary text for the course is the Snell and Weightman Complete Hindi textbook and CD package, which addresses each of the basic skills. The book contains 18 chapters plus appendices.  We will complete the entire book by the end of Spring Quarter and Chapter 6 by the end of Autumn Quarter.  We will be using the book in a comprehensive matter, which means we will be covering (and students will be responsible for) all grammar, conversations, readings, vocabulary, etc. 

A fundamental goal of the Elementary Hindi program at the University of Washington is learning to read & write Hindi in the Devanāgarī writing system.  We have found over the years that students’ progress in learning Hindi is enhanced greatly if they learn the writing system as quickly as possible and not approach Hindi through the Roman alphabet (which actually slows down progress in the language).  As a result, the first few weeks of Hindi 101 is mostly spent learning the basic sounds of Hindi and the elements of the Devanāgarī writing system.  We will use Snell's Read and Write Hindi Script in introducing the writing system. After the writing system has been learned that we move on to grammar, reading, writing, speaking, etc.  Once we get going on our “regular” schedule after the first two weeks, class time is divided into sessions that deal with separate activities (i.e., grammar, conversation, drill, dictation, reading, listening, etc.)

Grading:  The final grade for Hindi 101 is based on the following factors: four unit tests and six vocabulary quizzes (25%); two-hour comprehensive final examination (25%); dictations (5%); written homework assignments (25%); preparation for conversations and speaking ability (10%); and class participation (10%).  Your lowest two homework grades and one dictation score will be forgiven.  Opportunities to earn weekly extra credit based on review of material learned (2-5%). There is no midterm examination, the final exam is cumulative, i.e., you will be tested on everything that was taught in the quarter.

Policy on Handwriting: Neatness counts.  You are expected to write all of your Hindi in an acceptable handwriting.  In order to assist you in developing such a handwriting, you are required to turn in all of your work on paper that has been ruled specially for writing in Devanāgarī. This paper is similar to the paper that is sold for pedagogical use in India.  Each student is supplied with a 2-sided sheet of this paper.  Please either print out more copies or photocopy this for doing your homework. Ensure that the lines are not darker than your handwriting. In addition, all homework is to be done in pencil, with no crossovers or crossouts (i.e., errors are to be erased and corrected). Write out the question and then your answer either beside or below it. Homework written in unacceptably sloppy handwriting will be graded down. Students are advised to invest in a good eraser and a mechanical pencil. Please staple together multiple sheets before submitting your HW.

Extra-Credit: To reinforce the grammar and vocabulary being learned, from Week 4 onwards, you have the opportunity to turn in at least ten Hindi sentences (with your English translations) which use the grammar and vocabulary learned in the past week. While these assignments are optional, it will be in your best interest to undertake this exercise as it will provide a good review and practice of what you are learning. From time to time, there will be other opportunities to earn extra-credit as well, these will be announced in class. The extra-credit assignments will cumulatively contribute an extra 2-4% to the overall grade (exact number to be determined at the end of the quarter).

Policy on Late Homework Assignments, Missed Quizzes, Attendance and Related MattersEach written homework assignment will be graded on a ten-point scale.  Missing or unexcused late homework will earn a reduced grade possibly zero.  You are encouraged to always turn in all HWs, even if late: you will learn the language through doing the HWs. Makeup examinations will be given only under exceptional circumstances, such as death in the family, serious illness, etc.  All homework assignments are to be turned in at the beginning of class on the day due.  Classes will begin promptly at 30 minutes past the hour and students are expected to be in class on time and stay through the entire 50 minutes.  Vocabulary quizzes, dictations and unit tests will be administered at the start of class and will be for a fixed time, late arrivals will not be given extra time. Students should take note of the dates of quizzes and examinations (including the final examination). Requests for the rescheduling of examinations are not granted.  NOTE CAREFULLY THE DATE & TIME OF THE UNIT TESTS & FINAL EXAMINATION.  IT IS NOT PERMITTED TO TAKE THE EXAMINATIONS EARLY.  Make your travel plans for the holidays accordingly.

Attendance and Student Responsibility.  Students enrolled in Hindi 101 are expected to attend all class sessions and are held responsible for material covered in those sessions. If for any reason you are unable to attend a class session, it is your responsibility to find out from another student what was covered in that session and whether any assignments or instructions were given out while you were absent.  Attendance will be taken in each class. It is in your best interests to inform your instructor at the earliest possible regarding any circumstances that might cause you to miss class.  While in class, your conduct needs to be such that a conducive learning environment is maintained for all. Students engaging in behavior that distracts other students or interferes in the ability of the instructor to teach will be asked to leave the classroom and will be considered as absent on that day. Use of cell phones and personal audio devices and laptop computers is not permitted during class. Use of such items during tests is grounds for disqualification of one’s score in that particular test.

Enrollment Restrictions:  Because it is quite possible that students enrolled in Hindi 101 may already have some exposure to or proficiency in Hindi, it is important that the University of Washington policy concerning taking language courses at the first and second-year level be understood.  This policy reads as follows:

First-year (elementary) or second-year (intermediate) foreign-language credit is not granted either by examination or by course completion in a student’s native language.  “Native language” is defined as the language, or one of the languages, spoken in the student’s home during the first six years of his or her life and in which he or she received instruction through the seventh grade.

Students who misrepresent the extent of their background so as to gain entrance to a course at the elementary of intermediate level may be dropped from the rolls of that course.  Students who have questions as to whether they are prohibited from taking Hindi 101 according to this policy should speak with one of the instructors so as to obtain a suitable placement in a Hindi course at the appropriate level.

For Graduate Students in Asian Languages & Literature only: If you are a graduate student in the Department of Asian Languages & Literature, you must take this course for a letter grade (4.0 scale).  You may not elect S/NS grading.  (Please see section 5.1.0 of the graduate Policies & Procedures.)  If you elect S/NS grading, you will jeopardize your academic standing.

Issues with Instruction: If you have any concerns about the course or your instructor, please see the instructor about these concerns as soon as possible. If you are not comfortable talking with the instructor or are not satisfied with the response that you receive, you may contact the Chair of the Dept. of Asian Language and Literature, Dr. Paul Atkins, Gowen 225, (206) 543-4925,

Please visit the Hindi 101 A class home page for further information.

Catalog Description: 
Modern literary Hindi. Reading, writing, and conversation. Introduction to Devanagai script. First in a sequence of three. Offered: A.
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:40pm