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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।


Screenshot (193)



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