Addressed to all second language learners

Hi all,

This is an important and informative article about the benefits of learning a second language. It is written by Julia Reed. If you are not sure why you should learn a second language, read this article and this article will help you to mak up your mind.  

34 Unobvious Benefits of Learning a Second Language

Leave your comments if you think you have felt the same way. 

Now, on the hindsight, I wish I could be more receptive to learn English well when I was young. I was not good at it, neither English was taught well in our school. It was a power language to me, as I grew up in India. But the reality is that, even for teaching my mother tongue, Bangla/Bengali, I need to have some knowledge of the learner's language. There is no doubt about it.


Online Bangla courses with Mandira


Learn Bangla from where you are

 If you are in interested in learning Bangla, then you have come to the right place.Probably  you do research on Bengal, want to communicate with your friends, like to travel or work in West Bengal or Bangladesh, or you have an interest in learning a new language. Whatever it is, I am here for you. I love teaching Bangla and made it my profession 25 years ago.I resided in USA for 13 years and recently came back to Kolkata. 

You can be physically anywhere in the world. I will be able to guide you face to face. I have chosen one digital teaching and learning platform for my classes which is . It is easy to use and payment is secure.

You just need a good internet connection and a computer. 

 I would just like you to know if you want to learn Bangla or any other language, feel free to use my personal invite link

You will get credit for it from, and can get a free trial class.


About me : I have been teaching Bangla as a second language since 1991. I taught in the American Institute of Indian Studies in Kolkata for 12 years. Then I taught Bangla in the University of Michigan from 2004-2007. I joined in the University of Chicago in 2007 and I will teach here until June, 2016. In many summers since 2005, I taught in the Intensive program in SASLI , Madison.

While I was in Kolkata, besides teaching in the American Institute of Indian Studies, I used to give private lessons to non-native Bangla speakers from all over the world. I taught Bangla to pharmacists, nurses, travelers, social workers, anthropologists, historians, doctors, film makers and many more people with interesting professions.

I give emphasize to students' needs. My classes are task based. Speaking, listening, reading and writing skills will be taken care of.


 Students'  testimonials from and

"Mandira is wonderful! She is very warm and friendly, which helped me feel quite at ease from the beginning of the lesson. After a few minutes of talking about my interest in the Bangla language we dove into writing and pronouncing the vowels. Mandira provided tips throughout to help with writing properly. Afterwards we discussed basic greetings and she even gave me a polite phrase that I will use the next time I'm at a friend's house! I encourage anyone to book a lesson with her if you want a well-organised yet approachable class. See you next time, Mandira! Dhonnobad. (ধন্যবাদ)"James Davis-Ford in

"Mandira is an excellent teacher!" Reem from Isreal in

"Everything was great, and a real example of what language teaching can be." Daisy Paradis from USA in

"I had one lesson with Mandira and I'm looking forward to more! She takes time to find out where you're starting from, what you want to learn, and really personalizes the lesson to meet your needs." Katia from USA in

'Mandira is a truly wonderful teacher. During the initial lessons she gauged my level of understanding of the language. She quickly created a lesson plan to build upon my level of knowledge which is at the intermediate level. This lesson focuses on two parts - having a conversation in the language and practicing reading out loud. Mandira has a wide collection of reading materials which she has aggregated over years of teaching the language. I feel privileged to learn from someone who teaches the language (and has been doing so for years) and has made this her life's work. On top of everything, she is very friendly and funny and the lessons are truly very enjoyable and fun. I am quite excited to be learning this language!'  Arunaksha Guha from ''. 




Conference on Bengali Language and Literature: Technological Potentials

The conference on " Bengali Language and Literature: Technological Potentials" arranged by Sarsuna College and Jadavpur University was held on 25th. and 26th. November, 2016 in Dr. K. P. Basu Memorial Hall, Jadavpur University. This conference was very pertinent at this time in the context of contemporary South Asian languages. It was a mix of papers, discussions and talks on how people are using technology for communication in Bangla, how internet shifted the center of publications from print media to e – publishing, how the scientists and scholars who have been working relentlessly for a long time in the sphere of machine translation of Bengali to English and other Indian languages and vice versa face enormous challenges. Reminiscence of Emeritus Professor Dwijesh Kumar Dutta Majumder who is called ' father of computer science in India' was a precious addition to the conference. Bangla student Reem Stern from Israel joined in a conversation with Atanu Saha via Skype.
It was a wonderful meeting point of buzzing community of academicians, writers, publishers, scientists, and professors from different parts of India, Bangladesh and USA. The conference truly proved that it is the time of makers and users of technology to collaborate in its implementation of language, in this case, Bangla.

I feel like thanking Tanmay Bir , Assistant Professor, Sarshuna College and Atanu Saha, Assistant Professor , School of Languages and Linguistics, Jadavpur University again and hope you will continue doing your wonderful work in future.


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A neat Russian Language Learning website

Let's Learn Russian website impressed me. As a very beginner, who has no knowledge of the language can a get a brief introduction to the grammar structure, vocabulay and phonetics. I do not know any Russian and it was nice to get a glimps of the language. I must say, there are other similar language learning sites of other languages but none of them are so thorough ( I have seen some, may have missed some). There are audio sound with the letters and words. It was exciting to hear sounds of the language. 

The question comes, will I be able to learn Russian only in this way ? My long experience of language teaching says, 'No'.  Interaction is important, communication is important . Having this kind of site  to fall back on, you need a face-to-face class with your teacher and your journey starts for there.  

Oerall, it is well organized. If you are learning Russian or not, can check this site out. 




Learn Bangla/Bengali in ''

Hi all, Subho Bijaya. Well, after being in a couple of virtual language teaching platform, I am finally settled in ''. I feel more free to use my own language tools, can contact people outside the teaching platform, share any link I want. I would just like you to know if you want to learn Bangla or any other language, feel free to use my personal invite link

You will get credit for it.

Mandira Bhaduri

What is 'virtual classroom'?

Yes, we should address this question  to differentiate a virtual class from other online courses. I think, those who have questions, can read this article.

"Just like in a real-world classroom, a student in a virtual classroom participates insynchronous instruction, which means that the teacher and students are logged into the virtual learning environment at the same time."


Durgapuja pandal decoration in making

আমাদের রামতনু বোস লেনের দুর্গাপুজো । বাড়ির ঠিক সামনেই । 


প্রথম ছবি -


দ্বিতীয় ছবি -

সেইদিনই সন্ধ্যেবেলায় দেখলাম প্রজাপতির গায়ে আলো জ্বলে উঠেছে।


দোসরা  অক্টোবর, ২০১৬

কয়েকদিন পরে দেখলাম প্রজাপতিটির গায়ে রং । 






এর পরে কী হয় তার অপেক্ষায় আছি। 

Meeting Reem, my virtual student in Kolkata

It was wonderful to meet Reem in Kolkata. He is my virtual student from Isreal. I had classes with him in  We had lunch in Govinda's in Gurusaday Dutta Road. he rushed from Howrah station to meet me and rushed back there to catch a train for Delhi. 

সত্যি, তোমার সঙ্গে দেখা করে খুব ভালো লাগল। ভালো থেকো। আবার ইন্টারনেটে দেখা হবে।  20160928_173120

Reunion was in fate ,2016

My beloved  SASLI students ( 2015) and me in Park Street.

From left : Mandira, Scott, Calynn and Sarita

Note to me: They have grown up. Their Bangla have become fluent, mature and accurate. This is a grandmother- type moment, full of bliss and contentment.



University of Chicago Bangla gang (missing Jahnabi in the picture) in Kolkata, summer, 2016

Thomas, Mandira and Eduardo in Park street metro station. 

Note: Oh my god, I am missing teaching them. They learned so much Bangla in one summer in Kolkata. Moment of bliss continued. 




Read Bangla signs 2


 Photo 1

Yes, you can guess the first word, what about next two ? This is a fine example of conjuncts. 

By the way, it is in a shopping mall, 'Mani Square', North Kolkata.




Photo 2

A new coffee shop in Park Street. If the Bangla version is not written there, I do not think I could pronounce the English name at all.  

Is it a French name ? 

There was a much loved 'Music World' shop ( CDs and cassetes) in its place a couple of years ago.



Photo 3 

Read the Bengali words. It is a very old shop in our neighborhood in North Kolkata.



Photo 4

Read the name of the shop and address.

A conch shell bangles shop in North Kolkata 




Photo 5

This is just to show you the inside of the shop. I think they all were very surprised to see me taking a photo.



Photo 6

Read as many words as you can. 

Cannot give you any hint. That would be a spoiler. 


My future online classes will be on ''

Hi all,

I am going to teach only in '' in future. After finishing my existing classes, I will close my account in verbling, so please find me in ''. 

Verbling has many positive qualities but it does not allow to connect with students through emails and share external links. Very recently, if any message to a student contains any link, they are blocking it.  So, I guess, '' is not for me. There are many online resources which I like to share with my students.

'Verbling' is very clear about this policy in their website. It took me for a while to understand the impact of it. 


Follow this link in '' and earn credits for learning Bangla or any other language. 

Verbling and Italki stories

Now I am teaching both in and and want to know more about them. In my experience, both are good language learning platforms and I am comfortable in both of them. Italki gives teachers more flexibility to make packages, choose our own virtual classrooms like 'google hangout' or 'skype' and on the other hand, '' gives me a feeling of classroom teaching, secure and limiting as you feel in four walls of a classroom. 

Buisnesswise, it seems , both and '' are doing quite well. There are so many languages taught in them. 

I keep searching about stories of  both '' and ''. When were they founded ? How were their journeys ? How did they predict that online language learning platforms will do lucrative business ? 

Today, I found one article about 'verbling'. Hope to find more. 



Read Bangla signs 1

 This exercise  is useful if you are a beginner of Bangla language and just have learned all the vowel, consonants, vowel signs and a couple of conjuncts. 



 This photo is not for any exercise. This is for creating ambience of Kolkata Metro.

Photo 1


Photo 2

This is a metro stop in North Kolkata. Read the bigger words written in blue. There is a conjunct in the second word. 


This is another stop in South Kolkata. Read the bigger words written in blue.



Note: Kolkata metro stations have paintings on the walls relevent to the names of metro stations. 


Present and Future of Online Language Learning

I have been pondering on this topic recently. The questions come to my mind, do online langulage courses democratize language learning ? Today, I saw an interesting article in Guardian. "Can I successfully learn a language online ? " 

This article definitely sheds light on English. It was published in 2014.  I am thinking of critical languages. Will they survive ? 

Script and sound of Bangla letters

Worth reposting it . When I made this file, I was in the University of Michigan in 2004. There was no available web file to teach script. I was struggling to make this. I had imagination, but I did not have right tools. People of Language Centr came to rescue me and . Now, we have so much resources that I forgot what a struggle it was to make this.

Thinking of pros and cons of using 'Padlet'

I found 'padlet' and ' pinterest' are kind of same. So, I am trying to find out the logistics behind 'Padlet. What did the teachers do with it and how did they do it. I would like to involve my students to build up resources for their Bangla learnig, create a shared project, or put their thoughts in it. First, let read some articles on 'padlet' and then decide.


The Writing is on the Wall: Using Padlet for Whole-Class Engagement / Beth Fuchs


I am sure I can use some ideas from this board on padlet.  I would like to use it to collaborate students in '' and ''

100 Ways for Teachers to Use Padlet

I am getting more excited as I am getting closer to language learning and teaching ideas using 'padlet'.




For me, it will be 'Bangla classroom'

Quick note: I love the idea ' word of the day'. Very good for beginners.

How will I organize it ?  

a. Add students.


Either tell the students to download  'avro keyboard'. Though I do not like my elementary Bangla students to use typed fonts. 


They can take a picture of the written word in padlet instantly and put on the board. 

Humm, I like the second idea more.

So, we will get a couple of vocabulary in a week. Then what ? Weekly basis review. 

OLLet's see how it goes. I will come back for review. 


Read it 1

To the teachers :

How to use the picture:

It can be used for various levels of Bangla students. But have your students prepare for reading the text. Ask them questions like this, " What does one need to advertise an event ?" Let them think about it for a moment. Most likely they will answer, 'venue' and ' time' and ' the program of the event'.

The students can read the English text. That itself will give them an idea. But if you think the stduents' level is good enough to figure out the content on their own, then tell them not to read it.

If the students are beginners,tell them to read what is written in the orange line. When the task is done, move to the next task. Reading transliteration at the elementary level is very important. Guide the students towards the tranliterated section. 

For the Intermediate and Advanced level, use your judgement for creating a task.  It is not important to read all. Think about what the students need to know from this text. A lot of new words which one cannot ever use, scares a language student a lot. It builds up frustration. Choose a segment,provide some vocabulary. তারপর দেখো, কী হয়।


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Bangla writing skill as a second language

So far, practing writing in my classes of all levels was to enhance other skills. Occasionally students ask me how to write a letter. That is the limit of writing Bangla beyond homework.  But there are exceptions. My colleague, Thibaut Dhubert, Bangla professor in the University of Chicago writes academic articles in  scholarly magazines and my former student, Jahnabi Baruah writes Bangla poems. 

This following article talks about pedagogy of second language writing which I found useful. I am saving the link for my future use and also for the teachers who are interested in it.

Genre pedagogy: Language, literacy and L2 writing instruction / Ken Hyland 

Some pointers for the Day 1 in Elementary Level Bangla classroom

In the first day of Bangla elementary level class , I always try to combine teaching 'script and sounds' of Bangla and some basic conversational skill . The problem is that Bangla has non-Roman script and unless the students learn how to read, they cannot pronounce the sounds correctly and many teachers agree that it is better to teach the script and sounds first, so the students will be familiar with 'retroflex' and ' dental', 'aspirited' and 'non-aspirited' sounds. We have three ' s' and three ' r' in Bangla, imagine how difficult for English speakers to pronounce them correctly.

Still, I think students should learn to speak seme Bangla so they can communicate at very basic level from the day one. So, I use these short conversations in the first day of Bangla class in the academic year or intensive summer program.

Segment 1 :Introduction :

apnar nam ki ? 

আপনার নাম কী ?

What is your name ?

amar nam.....

আমার নাম...।

My name is .....


Segment 2: Greetings:

apni kaemon achen ?

আপনি কেমন আছেন ?

How are you ?

ami bhalo achhi. 

আমি ভালো আছি।

I am fine.


Segment 3 :Preference:

apnar ki 'cha' bhalo lage ?

আপনার কি চা ভালো লাগে ?

Do you like 'tea' ?

hnya, amar 'cha' bhalo lage.

হ্যাঁ, আমার চা ভালো লাগে।

Yes, I like tea.

na, amar cha bhalo lage na.

না, আমার চা ভালো লাগে না।

No, I don't like tea.



apnar - your (formal)

amar-  my

nam- name

ki-  what

apni-  you ( formal)

kaemon-  how 

achen- are ( conjugates with 'apni')

ami- I 

bhalo- well, good

achi- am

cha- tea

bhalo lage- you like, I like 



Introduce one segment, have your students practice it with each other. If you are teaching one-on-one, practice with your student. Role-play. 

Then go to another segment. Role-play.

Use your knowledge about the cultural background and goals of your students you came to know in first  five or ten minutes of the class. Let the student imagine the situation where can use their first Bangla sentences. Remind them the people who they can connect with. 

Grammar/  Language Structure explanation :

I inform my students very briefly  that there are three 'you' in Bangla, 'ach' verb is conjugated with pronouns. 'bhalo lage' is an irregular expression,  'hnya' and 'na' mean 'yes' and 'no'. But not anything more, neither I present any rule before the small conversations. 

It is very tempting to explain all three 'you' and all conjugations of 'achh', in the first chance, but Bangla teachers, there is a beauty of not pouring out much information when there is no necessity of it. 

Small steps, baby steps, but steps. You know, one day these couple of  sentence will lead your students into a song, a speech, a poem. You will be proud of your students and the first day of your class. 

Note: If your students say that they want to talk to their friends,  you cannot avoid telling them about 'tumi' form. 


 You might want to read this :

Know your students well on the first day of your language class


Photo: Performance of Bangla elementary level students in South Asia Summer Language Institute  (SASLI)in the University of Wisconsin in 2015. Elementary level students are reciting a poem by Sukumar Roy, ' bhalo re bhalo/ভালো রে ভালো'

They started from the very beginning of Bangla. After one and half months, Sarita, Tim, Sam, Calynn and Scott translated this poem and recited. 

Sasli-bangla-students'performance,2015 photo





Know your student well in the first day of a language class

Knowing your  students is very important in a language class and you, as a teacher have to do it in the first day. But what kind of information you need to know ?  I am talking here in terms of Bangla/Bengali language which I have been teaching for 25 years to non-nantive speakers. 

You can teach in a regular classroom  in an University, or in a tutoring session outside of academia. You can have one student or several students in your class.  But in your first interaction with students, you have to figure out their language backgrounds and goals. Whatever you teach, the success lies in understanding your students. 

The questions you need to address are like these,  is it the first time, your student X is learning a language besides English ? If the answer is 'yes' , then you have to think about  all the possible challanges, she may have, in terms of cultue, language structure, pronunciation, writing etc. ( let's guess that X is a female student so I can use 'she' for her)

If X has learned some European languages,she will have some idea how to process a second language in her mind, what to expect from a class etc.  You will also know what to expect from her. For example, if I have a student who knows Spanish, I will immediately guess that that student is familiar with dental sounds and other irregularities of language structures.

There is a possibility that X  knows some other South Asian languages, like Hindi or Tamil. In that case, you will face different kind of blessings and challanges as a teacher. If X knows Hindi, she will catch up Bangla very quickly. But, Hindi has left some prints in her mind, like usage of 'to be' verb  and you have to help X unlearn the pronunciation of sounds of the alphabets.

Take a mental note or real note of your students' background but do not forget to ask about their goals. Ask your students why are they learning Bangla ? Some of your students will just want to talk to their family and friends. Some want to learn Bangla for their research purposes. So, this means some give emphasis on speaking and listening, somewant to read texts. You will also have some students who are not sure what they will  do with Bangla in future. Everything is okay, value every background and every goal and then start your lesson.




Bangla/ Bengali Students' project, University of Chicago,First year,2015-16

This is the final project of First Year Bangla students,University of Chicago, 2016. It is fun. You will like it. 

The First year's challange was how to coordinate. One of our First Year student , Nichole was based in Madison. We could see her only in our classroom in a big screen. So, the students came up with the idea of making a story in parts. I think the idea is brilliant. 

Students have limited resource of language skills. When they use those skills and create something, I feel that they are ready to move forward. 


1st. Part, Megha and Tanima ( Universitty of Chicago )

2nd. Part, Nichole ( University of Wisconsin)

3rd. Part, Eduardo ( University of Chicago student)


North Kolkata, উত্তর কলকাতা

A lot of activities can be done with a photo in a language class.

Elementary level students, from this picture, try to remember the name of the objects you already know. Check on the web, if you are right. Learn new words.

Intermediate level students, start a story with this picture. What is the season ? What is your guess ?

This is an old part of North Kolkata. 

Lesson plan for Bangla elementary level, Day 1

This is the lesson plan for Day 1 for my Bangla elementary course for

I use more or less the same lesson plan for my Bangla elementary course in


If you are teaching Bangla, feel free to use this template for your class.

If you are a student and is searching for online/digital Bangla courses, find me in verbling and

Happy teaching and learning.

Screenshot (188)

Articles on online teaching platforms


Free Technology for Teachers / Richard Byrne


Virtual Instructor Led training

"VILT is one of the fastest growing methods of internet-based learning delivery. Steady increases in bandwidth and collaboration software technologies have promoted VILT to a practical and inviting solution for reaching widely dispersed learners efficiently and cost-effectively. ....."


America Learning & Media

"What are learning technologies that are currently leading the market?  What innovations are expected in this field in the coming years? The analysis of an ATD 2015 speaker."


So far for today.

Bangla virtual classes in

Bangla classes are going on very well in

What do you need for having a class:

Sign up for You need internet connection and 'google hangout'.

Course timing:

Very flexible. You can choose one class or a package of five classes. A package is cheaper. You can choose your days and time. The instructor's calendar is open for viewing.

No pressure to finish classes within a time period. Spread out your classes as you want. 

Are the classes on real time or pre-recorded ?

The classes are on real time. You will have the same kind of intereaction as you have in real classroom. 

Note: I am a very experienced Bangla teacher. I guarantee your success. 


For more information, look at my first upadate 



How to solve messed up Bangla fonts in Windows 10

Typically, you can share text files without worrying about the underlying details of how the text is stored. However, if you share text files with people who work in other languages, download text files across the Internet, or share text files with other computer systems, you may need to choose an encoding standard when you open or save a file.

When you or someone else opens a text file in Microsoft Word or in another program — perhaps on a computer that has system software in a language that is different from the language that was used to create the file — the encoding standard helps that program determine how to represent the text so that it is readable.

What appears to you as text on the screen is actually stored as numeric values in the text file. Your computer translates the numeric values into visible characters. It does this is by using an encoding standard.

This is an important document for you who are using Windows 10 and see that your old docs make no sense. All the vowel signs are in wrong places and make your documents unreadable. I do not want to badmouth about Windows 10. But to me, it seems like an enemy and it is not at all user friendly for the people who faithfully followed windows for ever. Anyway, I could recover my old docs using help from this article and I would like to share with you all.

Tips for learning vocabulary

What do you do when a lot of words pile up ? How will you remember all of them ? How will you use them ? What if you use them in a  wrong place and wrong time ? I think there is no easy way out. The more you take a risk of using them, whether right or wrong, the better your chance of use it correctly. 


There are some tips which may help you.  

 1. Make your own vocabulary list.

2.  Classify your words into three groups

                          High -frequency words

                          Mid- frequency words

                          Low-frequency words.

       Group them. Then study them. This will be less overwhelming for you.

 3.  Learn a word in a context. Write the sentence where you got it. Make elaborate note. Connect it with other words, and             compare it to the similar words you may know in that language or another language.

4.    Make flashcard with the word and use in a sentence.

5.    If you hear the word spoken by a native speaker, make a mental note of the situation that person used that word. That           word may demand a certain register. 

6.    Use the new word whenever you can. 

7.    Allow yourself to make mistakes. 

8.    Combine all skills related to a particular word. Learn  how to pronounce it correctly, learn how to spell it right.