Quick, Low-Pressure Tips on How to Teach Your Child Hindi/Urdu
So often, when a parent discusses teaching their child a second language – there is so much confusion, overwhelm and burden associated with it.
It’s hard, especially with Hindi/Urdu. South Asian kids do not get the kind of EXPOSURE to the language, outside of the Indian subcontinent, as they should.
That’s why I created the first-ever Hindi learning platform – with 75+ fun, bite-sized videos, where kids can not only learn the language through classes but also through Bollywood Dance and Bedtime Stories.
That being said, my approach is simple and can be applied in every South Asian home around the world. I make the language approachable by making it fun! I keep things positive, and most of all – remove all pressure.
So here are 6 easy tips for parents trying to teach their kids Hindi/Urdu.
- Your goal doesn’t always have to be to make your child 100% fluent.
Setting your goals too high can be very intimidating. But you don’t always have to have the 100% fluency goal!
Take a second and think about your actual goals and keep it realistic for now. Maybe your goal is to have your child know a few words and phrases, maybe it’s having simple conversations. That’s great too! Your goals can change over time!
- Start as early as possible. And don’t let that scare you!
If you start when your baby is very very young (yes, even a newborn), they will learn the sounds and cadence of the language faster. They will start thinking of HIndi/Urdu as one of their languages, versus a foreign language. Read them books (you can try our “My First Hindi Words!” book) and narrate your daily activities into simple Hindi for them to hear.
Don’t worry if your child is older. Start now, start simple. Message HindiByReena@gmail.com with the subject line “ADVICE” if you need help or have questions!
- Have fun with it, keep it positive (NEVER criticize or shame)
So many kids don’t like speaking their second language because they’re worried they will make a mistake. Flip the script and make it fun and enjoyable for them to learn. How can you do this? Play a game. Do not over criticize their pronunciation. Make sure they have a positive association with the language.
- Hinglish is a great tool
Sometimes starting out when your child only speaks English can be hard. Where do you start, how much Hindi should you use? When should you use it? Try using Hinglish! Watch this video for a quick tutorial:
- Remove the pressure.
Learning a new language is hard. But it doesn’t have to be if you keep your goals realistic and keep it light. Remember it is a win even if your child speaks 5 words, or can have short conversations!
What does pressure look like? It appears as frustration at your child, pushing too hard when they don’t feel like speaking, making small comments to relatives like “my kid doesn’t know anything, he barely speaks Hindi.”
What can you do differently?
- Focus on what they do know – say “wow look how much you know!” even if they just know their colors and numbers. This will make them want to keep speaking and learning.
- Focus on yourself – if you use more HIndi/Urdu, they might too. Also even if they don’t, by speaking around them, they understand more.
- Allow it to move slowly – slow progress is still progress.
- Point & use your hands. Try not to translate into English.
Hands, expressions and actions communicate so much more than words do. So instead of translating what you say into English — use your hands and expressions to make your meaning clear. Here is an example of how to do it:
In Picture : Reena Bhansali
About Author :
Reena Bhansali is the face behind a fun Hindi/Urdu learning platform called HindiByReena. She is an author for three children’s Hindi books.
Through her brand she teaches kids and adults Hindi and Urdu. She keeps the syllabus fun and interesting which is engaging for today’s kids!
She has nearly, a decade experience in her field.
Instagram : @hindibyreena
Instagram : AdultClasses – @hindibyreenaadults