Chinmaya Mission STARTALK Summer Hindi Online Camp (CMSSHOC) - 2021

Free Chinmaya Mission STARTALK Summer Hindi Online Camp - 2021 (CMSSHOC-2021) took place ONLINE July 12 to July 30, 2021, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (central time) offering 90 instructional hours over the 15 day camp (M-F daily each week for three weeks) to introduce forty eight 8-10 year old learners to conversational and written Hindi at novice mid (proficiency) / novice high (performance) and novice high (proficiency) levels, with the theme: "Incredible India – अद्भुत भारत".  

NO FEES were charged to participate in this camp, as it was funded by the STARTALK grant. We had 48 learners from 8 states and 10 teachers from 3 states.

STARTALK is a national project funded by the National Security Agency. STARTALK’s mission is to increase the number of U.S. citizens learning, speaking, and teaching critical-need languages, with programs nationwide for students (K-16) and teachers. 

Learners learned / demonstrated Hindi script reading and writing (varNamaalaa, maatraaeN, curriculum vocabulary words) beginning in the first week of June. Weekly one hour online Hindi literacy pre-camp classes were held for six weeks (Fridays June 4 to July 9 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CST) to prepare learners with basic Hindi reading / writing skills before the three week camp began on July 12. While attending these classes was not mandatory, learners completed the reading / writing assignments given each week to demonstrate their basic Hindi reading / writing proficiency before the camp begans. Learner oral / written Hindi proficiency (assessed via info provided in the enrollment form / phone interview / assignment submissions) was used to determine class placements of learners.

In the three week camp, learners explored Indian cities online by first learning in Hindi about the culture, food, tourist attractions, geography, history, and local traditions of Delhi, Goa, and Jaisalmer, as these three are unique in their location, weather, topographical features, food, and traditional customs. While virtually exploring Delhi, Goa, and Jaisalmer in their zoom classrooms, learners exchanged information in Hindi about themselves (name, age, where they are from and their family) with fellow learners. They were able to ask and answer questions regarding their preferences (likes/dislikes) for various activities, topography, weather and food at each of the three places. 

At the end of the program, working in small groups, learners chose a city / town in India to showcase as part of the Incredible India presentation. The town could be one of the three that they learned about in the camp, or could be another town that they wanted to learn more about or felt more connected with. Learners used online tools to research the Indian city / town of their choice, and presented it in Hindi through a power point presentation / a video / an online book / talking about their chosen Indian city at the Incredible India showcase.

Daily camp schedule (central time):

9 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. – All Camp Songs and Yoga

9:25 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Break

9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Learning Period 1

10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – Break

10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. – Learning Period 2

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – Asynchronous Learning Hour

12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. – Lunch

1 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. – Clubs (art, cooking, dance, science, singing, story-telling)

1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Learning Period 3, Exit Cards, Good Bye

CMSSHOC 2021's vision was to facilitate learning of Hindi through 5 C's (world readiness standards of foreign language learning propounded by ACTFL) - communication (interpersonal, interpretive and presentational), culture (perspectives, practices and products), comparison (of cultures and languages), connections (with other disciplines such as science, geography, health, arts, dance, and distinctive view-points), and communities (taking learning beyond the classroom and becoming life-long learners).

CMSSHOC 2021's aim was to stimulate and enrich learners' imaginations and make learning a new language fun through various culture-rich learning experiences, and use of web based technology tools, such as voicethread, edpuzzle, Google classroom, BookCreator, Quizlet, Jamboard, Youtube, and Kahoot. 

Learners learned to interpret instruction in culturally rich contexts (some familiar, some new), interact with the teachers and other learners while engaging in multi-sensory activities, and present their learning through a power point presentation / a video / an online book / a web-page dedicated to the town / a display board presentation / an in person presentation / talk about their chosen Indian city at the Incredible India showcase.

Learners learned to speak, read and write Hindi through the use of authentic materials, hands on activities such as participating in different clubs (art club, cooking club, dance club, science club, singing club, and story-telling club), and yoga.

Learners communicated in all three modes of communication : 

1) Interpersonal - Learners were able to exchange personal information, state preferences and choose an option from given choices after discussing with others. 

2) Interpretive - Learners were able to understand information about weather, food, topography , tourist attractions, and activities of the three places through listening, reading, and watching different media. 

3) Presentational - Learners were able to give information about the places in India that they learned about in Hindi. 

Hindi was used 90% of the time as the medium of instruction.  

This was the seventh year of STARTALK Summer Hindi camp being offered by the collaboration of Balodyan and Chinmaya Mission.

Please write to program director Vidya Nahar ( for more information.      

Camp Booklet   Approved Curriculum  Classroom Videos  Learner Work Samples Pictures