DC9 Metropolitan Urdu Center presents the second year of our fun and educational Urdu Summer Class! This opportunity is available to 50+ local elementary & Middle school students around the DC Metropolitan area. During the program students will improve their Urdu language skills, familiarity with Urdu culture, and social studies and art-related content knowledge through an engaging curriculum firmly grounded in STARTALK-endorsed effective teaching principles.

The program will also strengthen students’ ties with the local Urdu community and will support the community in its goal of establishing a more sustainable Urdu program. Our 2012 program was wildly popular, attracting 104 applications for 40 spots (which has prompted us to increase this year’s capacity). We will employ the theme “A Trip to Pakistan” to design and implement a meaningful theme-based curriculum. Our program will also have a special emphasis on integrating arts and crafts with language use. Last year we did several projects that were a hit among our students including one in which students decorated a painted Pakistani truck. Our site visitors praised this aspect of our program highly and we were invited by STARTALK to present on it during the 2012 post program conference.

This three weeks intensive course is designed to introduce complete novices with the basic elements of the Urdu language and Pakistani culture. This course will help them to develop basic understanding of the Urdu language and enable them to carry simple conversation in day to day situations like traveling, meeting Pakistani friends and strangers, shopping, and similar situations.

The program will strictly follow the use of everyday language, both oral and in writing. The communication standard stresses the use of language for communication in “real life” situations. Students are asked to communicate in oral and written form, interpret oral and written messages.

This program involves field trips to a Mushaira (Urdu Poetry Recitation, which has a rich cultural and historical baggage), chand raat festivities, and visit an Islamic center. We will also invite Urdu speaking guest speakers.

Though maximum interaction in Urdu would be our primary goal, but another important aspect of the program would be the use of technology in teaching Urdu to the students. We will create a Facebook page for the course where the students would be able to interact and share their progress. The students will also be provided with podcasts of the lesson so they could hone their newly learnt skill in an environment they feel most comfortable in.

Urdu script can be taught by using cutting-edge technologies like Google’s excellent Transliteration service which can accurately convert simple Roman Urdu into Urdu script.

One of the entry points for Urdu is through pop culture and the entertainment industry. While devising the course material for teaching Urdu to students, these elements can be incorporated.