Chinmaya Mission STARTALK Summer Hindi Camp (CMSSHC) - 2018

CMSSHC-2018 took place at Yamunotri Campus of Chinmaya Mission (30877, N. Fairfield Road, Grayslake, IL, 60030), July 9th to July 27th, 2018, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering 105 instructional hours (including online homework component) per student, over the 15 day camp (M-F each week for 3 weeks), catering to 36 learners of ages 8-10..

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 ).

There were three classrooms of about 12 students per class, with a total of 36 students.

Neena Kathuria, Ashish Kathuria, and Komal Bhonagiri served as main classroom teachers.

Lalitha Gupta, Amita Bijawat, and Shikha Pant served as assistant classroom teachers.

All the teachers were trained by STARTALK.

Vasanthi Rangarajan served as the administrative assistant.

Vidya Nahar served as the program director.

This was the fifth year of STARTALK Hindi camp offered by the team mentioned above.

Theme of CMSSHC-2018 - "Oh, The Places You'll Go".

While virtually traveling to three different places in India (Mumbai, Jaipur and Thekkady in Kerala), students exchanged information about themselves (name, age, where they are from and their family) with fellow travelers.

Students learned the weather, the topography, and the food of the three places.

At Periyar National Park in Thekkady, Kerala students fed and bathed the elephants, took boat ride and jeep safari to see tigers and deer.

In Jaipur they visited a culturally rich amusement park (Chokhi Dhani) and participated in different activities such as a camel ride, an elephant ride, henna painting, folk dances, and folk songs.

They spent a day at the Juhu beach in Mumbai, exploring Mumbai's famous street foods, built castles in sand, played cricket, and flew kites on the beach.

Students were be able to ask and answer questions regarding their preferences (likes/dislikes) for these various activities, weather and food at each of the places.

At the end of the program, working in small groups, students made small video presentations in Hindi about their own cool travel attractions designed by themselves.

As the outcome of the program, learners were able to communicate in all three modes of communication - 1) Interpersonal, 2) Interpretive, and 3) Presentational.

They were immersed in cultural practices (such as folk dances, songs, greetings) and products (such as food, clothing, books, music, movies) of the three places visited.

They were able to take their learning beyond the classroom by engaging in a Google Hangout with students of Shirdhon Sarvajanik Vachanalay in Satara, Maharashtra, India, and writing post-cards to their family / friends about their visits to these places.

CMSSHC 2018'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 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 their own dream tourist destination, and by maintaining a personal bulletin board showcasing their daily learning.

Campers learned to speak, read and write Hindi in playful ways through stories, video clips, books, sports, hands on activities such as preparing meals, participating in different clubs (art club, cooking club, card club, video club, and dances), yoga, and games, like kho-kho, bacaao, sher - bakarii, ruumaal - zapaTTaa, carrom, piThThuu, kabaDDii and movies.

Hindi was used 90% 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, geography, health, arts, math and distinctive view-points), and communities (taking learning beyond the classroom and becoming life-long learners).

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