Chinmaya Mission STARTALK Summer Hindi Camp (CMSSHC) - 2015

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Chinmaya Mission STARTALK Summer Hindi Camp - 2015 (CMSSHC-15) took place at Yamunotri Campus of Chinmaya Mission (30877, N. Fairfield Road, Grayslake, IL, 60030), July 20th to August 7th, 2015, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. offering 90 instructional hours per student over the 15 day camp (M-F each week for 3 weeks) with the theme : "My Designer Town". 

This camp was funded by STARTALK federal grant, which means, NO FEES were charged to participate in this camp.

Indian vegetarian snacks and lunch were served daily during the camp ( NO COST to Participants ).  

This program introduced 38 students of ages 9 to 13 years to conversational and written Hindi at novice high and intermediate low levels.

There were three classrooms of 12 students each. Neena Kathuria, Ashish Kathuria, and Anuja Naik were main classroom teachers.

Ratish Varshney, Lalitha Gupta, and Jyotika Nangia were assistant classroom teachers. All the teachers have extensive classroom experience of teaching Hindi.

Vasanthi Rangarajan served as the administrative assistant. Sanjay Nahar served as the technology director.

As the outcome of the program, students were able to communicate in all three modes of communication in Hindi, they talked about themselves, their families, friends, likes, dislikes, daily routine, asked others about similar details, and made plans in Hindi. They designed their ideal town to live in after virtually visiting five towns in India, and invite others to live in / visit their town by describing its specialties (location, topography, weather, food, celebrations). Students were able to make connections with several different disciplines, such as science, math, geography, weather, history, art, nutrition, and compared / contrasted languages and culture of USA and India. They learned negotiating, problem-solving skills, which could easily be applied outside the classroom, making them life-long learners.

Students interacted with Hindi speaking senior citizens on their field trip to Carol Stream center of Metropolitan Asian Family Services. They interviewed seniors in Hindi about their childhood in India, their families, their favorite food, games, movies, activities, and then made pictures based on that information. The pictures were gifted to senior citizens.

CMSSHC 2015's aim was to stimulate and enrich learners' imaginations and make learning a new language fun through various hands on activities and use of web 2.0 technology tools. Students were immersed in three modes of communication, as they learned to interpret instruction in culturally rich contexts (some familiar, some new), interact with the teachers and other learners while engaging in playful activities, and present their learning in the form of a brochure, documentary, poster, infomercial of their dream town.

Campers learned to speak, read and write Hindi in playful ways through stories, video clips, books, sports, hands on activities such as preparing meals, nature arts, and games. They were immersed in the language and culture of Hindi through games like kho-kho, bacaao, sher - bakarii, ruumaal - paanii, cards and movies. 

Hindi was used 100% of the time inside and outside the classroom.  

Camp objective 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, health, arts, math and distinctive view-points), and communities (taking learning beyond the classroom and becoming life-long learners).

This was a great opportunity for high-school students to perform community service, gain a valuable experience, and meet the volunteering hour requirements for NHS, 300 hour club, Scouts organizations, and so on. Anmol Nigam, Ruchi Naik, Komal Sapra, and Saloni Nahar volunteered in classrooms taking pictures, videos, teaching dances, managing games and other activities, compiling videos.

Please write to the program director (Vidya Nahar) at or call her at 847-537-4710 for any questions.