Skip navigation

Contact Us

Wafadar Husain
South Asian Languages Program Coordinator and Hindi-Urdu Instructor
Rome Building, Room 307 
+1-202-663-5753
 whusain1@jhu.edu

Hindi and Urdu Language Studies

Offered in Washington DC

The Hindi-Urdu program offers a sequence of four Hindi-Urdu courses at the Novice and Intermediate levels. Each level is covered in two semesters. At the Novice level, students develop speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills that are vital to performing real-life communicative tasks successfully. At the Intermediate level, students develop ease and confidence in dealing with routine tasks and narrating in major time frames, along with more specialized vocabularies that are appropriate to their interests and areas of professional competence.

Pre-graduation Level

Novice Hindi (Level I)
Novice Hindi-Urdu is the first in a four-course sequence. In this course you will begin to develop your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Hindi-Urdu. Students entering this course are expected to be beginners, having no previous background in either Hindi or Urdu. By the end of this class, you will be able to ask and answer questions on familiar topics with native speakers accustomed to foreigners, and extract main ideas from very basic written materials.  Students are expected to achieve the Novice High level on the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) scale.
 
Novice High Hindi (Level II)

Novice High Hindi-Urdu is the second in a four-course sequence. In this course you will further develop your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Hindi-Urdu. By the end of this class, you will be able to more comfortably ask and answer questions on familiar topics with native speakers accustomed to foreigners, and extract main ideas from basic written materials. Class activities will revolve around task-based objectives that are necessary for survival on the ground in Hindi-Urdu-speaking regions of India and Pakistan. Students entering this course are expected to be at the Novice High level, having successfully completed Novice Hindi-Urdu or having placed in the level on the proficiency exam. By the end of the course, you are expected to achieve the Intermediate Low level on the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) scale.
 
Intermediate Low Hindi (Level III)

This is the third in a four-course sequence in the Hindi program. Students entering this course are expected to be at the Intermediate Low level, having completed the Novice High course or having placed in the level on the proficiency exam. Course activities are organized by into topical themes based on student research interests. By the end of this course you will be able to engage in conversations on a wider variety of topics and extract important ideas with greater accuracy from simple aural and written media reports and other texts.
 
Intermediate Mid Hindi (Level IV)
The Intermediate-Mid Hindi course is fourth in a four-course sequence. By the end of the course you will be able to engage in more complex conversations, have the ideas you express be understood even by native speakers who are unaccustomed to foreigners, and read and understand important points in more complex texts. The use of authentic materials taken from various sources (e.g., periodicals, video and radio documentaries) is emphasized. The selection of the materials is based on the complexity of the tasks and the students' professional and personal interests. By the end of the course, you are expected to achieve the Intermediate Mid level on the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) scale.

Post-proficiency level

In addition to the basic four-course program, when there is sufficient student demand we also provide courses that are beyond the language requirement scope. These courses are at a higher level of proficiency or tailored to a specific need or interest (e.g., Advanced Hindi or Urdu, Hindi for Specific Purposes, etc.). 

The Hindi-Urdu Language Proficiency Exam measures your ability in the language (after four semesters of Hindi-Urdu instruction or equivalent), and is used to satisfy language requirements for the award of an MA degree in South Asian Studies. The Proficiency Exam is not used to determine what level language course you should be taking. No credits are given for taking these exams. Proficiency exams test what students are expected to know after four semesters of the school's Hindi-Urdu language instruction. The exam may be given in either Hindi or Urdu. The department does not offer proficiency exams to those outside the school, neither does it offer testing in languages not in our curriculum.

Hindi-Urdu is used to meet the MA language graduation requirements for the South Asian Studies. To satisfy the language requirement in Hindi-Urdu, students are expected to achieve Intermediate-Mid proficiency in speaking, reading, and listening. Those who have already met their language requirements in other languages are welcome to take Hindi-Urdu. 

Listening: Intermediate Mid
Speaking: Intermediate Mid
Reading: Intermediate Mid

PhD students only need to pass the reading proficiency exam (any official language spoken in South Asia) to meet their second foreign language graduation requirement.