One Trick to Teach Hindi to Your Child (and Have Them Enjoy it Too!)

posted by Reena Bhansali, November 14, 2016

Hindi teacher Reena Bhansali tells the one trick to get your child to learn Hindi and enjoy it too! 

I have been teaching Hindi classes for kids for more than 5 years and in every Hindi class I teach, there is always one activity the kids just can't get enough of. It makes them want to speak and learn more Hindi right off the bat. I have realized that no matter which child you are teaching, it is MOST important for them to enjoy themselves while they learn.

So after years of trial and error, I finally figured out how to get kids to start actually liking, adoring and dare I say loving? Hindi in 10 minutes or less.

If you want your child to eventually learn Hindi so they can chat with relatives, be included when they visit India or just to learn another language, it is key for them to WANT to learn it on their own. They must learn to enjoy learning it. Trust me, this is half the battle!

What Other People Do Wrong

There are traps everyone falls into. I did at first too. One of the main mistakes is teaching kids words to memorize. Expecting kids to remember words makes them start withdrawing from the language. Children want to scream and run away. It makes them think the language is dull, arduous and boring.

This is not time-consuming 10+ step process to language instruction. It takes 10 minutes or less and then the learning takes off WITHOUT you.

So how do you get your child involved, interested and ready to jump head-first into learning Hindi? My trick is always to: 

Use Action Words

Verbs aka action words: words that make one move, jump, sweat, laugh. Do it all!

So this makes sense right? It is unconventional especially as the number one tactic most people use to kickstart teaching Hindi in their homes is nouns. Static, lifeless nouns. Perhaps they label items in the home with Hindi words, or simply teach them names of animals. It may work, but it's definitely not engaging or interesting.

The key here is that their first introduction to Hindi, the groundwork, the foundation into the language needs to be big, jump-up-and-down, go-crazy kind of exciting.

Plus we're talking about kids here! They probably already go to school AND do after school activities AND play a sport. They just want to kick back and have fun. And they should!

So make Hindi playtime. Repeat that to yourself until its true.

And, here's what you should do.

PICK

Pick the action words you want to teach.Start with no more than 5-6 words. Usually I go straight for the most fun words, like "nacho" (to make them dance) or "gaao" (sing) and mix in some easy things like "aao" (come) "jaao" (go), "baitho" (sit) and "utho" (get up).

SHOW

Show kids how to do it. If it's "koodo," jump. If "so jao," then act out sleeping.

You can use whatever your child responds to best.

PLAY

Kids love play time. Have them stand up and do the actions as you call them out. Go fast, go slow, add words, and try to confuse them.

This is the best part. It might take a few minutes at first, but as they get good it takes less and less time. It becomes a fun activity.

Once they master at the first few words you teach -- go back and pick new words. Repeat the process.

Featured Image: Flickr


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