2013 Language Institute: Lucknow, India
Note: Information below refers to the 2013 CLS Institutes and is subject to change.
The CLS Urdu Program in Lucknow, India is flexible, learner-oriented and tailored to the needs of the participants. The goals of the program are language acquisition and cultural immersion. Language classes cover the concepts of grammar, conversation, pronunciation, journal writing, and dictation that hone the four skills of language development – listening, speaking, reading and writing. The CLS Program works with students to set both short and long term learning goals, and the faculty works collectively and individually to help students achieve these goals throughout the summer institute.
In addition to formal evaluations such as tests and quizzes, student–teacher meetings are held every week to discuss student progress and language-learning goals. Classes are held five days a week from 9am until 1pm. In the afternoons, students complete homework, in addition to participating in tutoring, cultural activities, and language partner activities. Weekly activities supplement the formal classroom instruction and include local trips, guest lectures, monolingual guests, and music and dance performances. Each student works with his or her instructors to complete an independent project during the CLS institute. Students present their research and projects to the group during the final week of the program.
CLS participants live with host families to maximize language learning and the cultural immersion experience.
The American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) is the host of the CLS Urdu Program in India. AIIS is a consortium of 71 American universities with South Asia Studies Centers and is recognized by the Government of India as an institution of higher learning and research. Lucknow is the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India and is a city that has been the center for Urdu literary and cultural life since the eighteenth century.
In 2010, the CLS Program adopted the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) as an additional measure of the effectiveness and quality of the institutes overseas. Before the program, students take a diagnostic OPI test; at the end of their 8-week course of study, they take an ACTFL-certified post-program OPI assessment. The scores on these tests give students a concrete, widely-recognized measure of their speaking skills. In addition, students’ writing and reading abilities are assessed throughout the program in a variety of ways.
CLS Blog Entries for Urdu
Institute at a Glance: Lucknow, India
|June 18 - August 18, 2013||American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS)|
- Beginning: No previous knowledge or study of Urdu, up to 2 years of study or equivalent.
- Advanced Beginning: Minimum requirements: completion of one year of college-level classes, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program. Students should arrive in country comfortable with the script and sounds, basic vocabulary, and basic grammar.
- Intermediate: Minimum requirement: completion of two years of college-level Urdu, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program.
- Advanced: Minimum requirement: completion of three years of college-level Urdu, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program.
In 2011, Jessica Evans and Rohit Singh volunteered with the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA-Lucknow). SEWA organizes and empowers women artisans and self-employed women to establish sustainable livelihoods for poverty reduction and rights based sustainable development.
Behnaz Raufi (Urdu 2009) is the programs and publication assistant at the South Asian Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Behnaz joined the Center after working as a research assistant for Professor Saba Mahmood of the Anthropology Department at Berkeley. Behnaz works to promote the South Asian Center’s activities. Her Urdu language skills and cultural knowledge is integral to her current role.
Travis Glynn is a current CLS Alumni Ambassador who participated in the 2011 CLS Program in Lucknow. You can read about Travis’s experiences in India both on his blog and also on his CLS Alumni Ambassador profile page.