Dr. Shobna Nijhawan




This course is designed for students with basic knowledge of the Nagari script (reading and writing) and knowledge of modern standard Hindi-Urdu grammar. Students who have not completed HND1000 but have studied Hindi-Urdu in other contexts (school, home, through movies) must take a placement test prior to enrolment. Native speakers may not enroll.


Course Objective


This course builds on the oral and written skills of modern standard Hindi-Urdu introduced in Hindi 1000. In class, we will focus on conversational skills and learn new grammatical concepts as well as vocabulary for everyday situations. Short writing assignments and (group) projects consist of short presentations on topics of your interest, developing your personal Hindi website or a class version of kaOna banaogaa kraoD,pit. In addition, you will be learning the Nastaliq script, in which Urdu is written. In the Winter Term, we will be reading short texts in Nastaliq alongside Nagari texts. You are then free to turn in your assignments in either script.


Course Structure


Each two-hour session will roughly be divided as follows:

  • Reading (in the Fall Term in the Nagari script and in the Winter Term in the Nagari and Nastaliq scripts) or watching short movies in Hindi-Urdu (20-25 minutes per session) followed by
  • Conversation in the plenum and in small groups (10 minutes)
  • Introduction to the Nastaliq script (Fall Term) and Practice of the Nastaliq script (Winter Term) (20-25 minutes)
  • Grammar lesson (15-20 minutes)
  • Short student presentations followed by discussion (10-15 minutes). The presentations introduce a selected topic (in Hindi-Urdu) and also discuss grammatical aspects (in English)
  • Fortnightly quizzes (no presentations on that day)

Required Texts


Additional course readings (short stories, poetry, excerpts from a novel, a theatre play as well as pamphlets, advertisements and articles from contemporary magazines) will be handed out in class. All these readings are intended to enhance your conversational and writing skills, to exercise grammatical concepts, to introduce new vocabulary and to provide cultural information about South Asia and the diaspora. They form the basis for in-class conversations, homework assignments and evaluations.


You will require a grammar book as well as a Hindi-English or Urdu-English dictionary. I recommend one of the following grammar books and dictionaries:


  • Introduction to Hindi Grammar, Usha R. Jain
  • Teach Yourself Hindi, Rupert Snell
  • A Practical Hindi-English Dictionary, M. Chaturvedi and B.N. Tiwari (eds.)
  • Hindi-English Dictionary, R.S. McGregor (ed.)
  • The Modern English-Hindi Dictionary, I.N. Anand (ed.)
  • Hindi (English-Hindi/Hindi-English), J.W. Raker and R.S. Shukla (eds.)


Course Information

The most up-to-date information for the course including handouts, assignments, grammar notes and a discussion forum is accessible on WebCT (http://webct.yorku.ca).



Requirements and Grading


In language teaching, regular attendance and participation in a relaxed and non-competitive learning environment is most important to the student’s success. There is one written home assignment per week. You will be grouped into learning circles to prepare the assigned readings, writings exercises as well as oral presentations. At the end of the academic year, you are required to submit all your written assignments completed over the course of the Fall and Winter Terms. This file is intended to assess your individual progress in the Hindi-Urdu language as well as both scripts and will count 5% towards the homework assignments.


The final grade will be calculated as follows


Attendance and participatory attitude

(including presentations): 30%

Homework assignments: 20%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 15%

Final test: 15%


Course FAQ