Entries categorized "Teaching Bangla and Technology" Feed

Question about online quiz maker

Dear Readers,


I need a quiz maker for making quizzes in Bangla. It should look nice. It should be online ( I don't have much space in my computer). Bengali fonts must work there. And, it should be free. I wish I could spend money on quiz maker. But unfortunately that is not possible now. 

I have been searching a lot online. Either it is visually uninteresting or it does not take Bangla fonts. 


Any suggestions and thoughts ?

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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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."


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. 



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.

Shared course of Bangla Language in University of Chicago

Hi my former students, colleagues, my current students,

I would like you to know that University of Chicago is going to offer 'shared course' of  1st. Year Bangla from this Fall, 2015. 

It means that students from other Universities ( Listed below) can join Bangla class offered in U of C. Bangla is offered in a very few Universities inUS. So, so no doubt it is a great opportunity.

The question comes how it will be operated. Students, from their home Universities, can be present virtually in the class. This does not mean it will be a recorded class shared to them later.  It means that my students physically and virtually, in real time, join my class. We all will interact with each other. 

This is a new experience for me. But internet fascinates me and the possibility to work with this tool is endless. I have been imagining doing it for a long time. 

The Language Center of U of C will help and guide the students.

So, please spread the word. 

For now, only 1st. Year Bangla will be offered. 


Consortial Exchange Partners

Chicago Metropolitan Exchange Program:

The University of Illinois at Chicago

Northwestern University


The Domestic Exchange Program (Ivy Plus):

Brown University

Columbia University

Cornell University

Harvard University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T)

University of Pennsylvania

Princeton University

Stanford University

University of California-Berkeley

Yale University


If you are interested, please contact your home University. 

Welcome !!

Welcome back to UM Bangla. I disowned the blog in 2013 and missed it a lot. Today, out of curiosity, I searched it online. I was surprised to see that people kept coming in it. I saw another reference of UM Bangla somewhere in net. I am extremely surprised and very inspired to see that. 

So, I came back again. 

So many things have changed since 2006 when I started this blog. At that time, there were very few resources online. But now, the web is flooded with sites on Bangla teaching. There is an overwhelming amount of Bangla books to read. I can get films and songs in seconds in You Tube to use in the class. Students are extremely comfortable with technology, phone has become their main tool for entertainment and learning. My life has become easier than before.

But something  also has changed. Students are not so eager about posting their work and photos online for public. Questions of safety, security and their public image come up. I understand that. Whether it stays as a students' blog or  a teacher's blog, the bottom line is that UM Bangla is staying.



how to make the font look right

First, you have to make sure the computer is set up for viewing unicode fonts. If you are using firefox, go to "view" then "character encoding" and  select "unicode UTF-8."  If you are using internet explorer go to "view" then "encoding" then "more" then "unicode UTF-8"

If it is still not working, the font may not be installed correctly on your computer. This website:

tells you how to install the font and complex character encoding.

Bengali font

Anya, some of us started to use your font and when I installed that in my computer, then I could see what I have written in this blog but today in LRC, I used Philomena's computer. There the conjuncts broke and  short i ( vowel) came after the consonants. Philomena helped me to have this blog and is trying to find a workable Bengali font which you all ( students) can use next semester. The best possible situation is when nobody has to download the font and everybody can read bangla from everywhere. But in this scenario, she and other people who are working on fonts and do not know the language need your help. You have already used it and probably explain things to them in English. We made a category ( font issues ) where you can post your comments and Philomena can ask you questions. I know it is break but ....... :)

Notes from Philomena

Found some information regarding blogging w Bengali script. Jan is investigating too. I will keep adding information to this post so we don't have so many to delete later!

Bangla Blog
with information on configuring a blog for Bengali script

Converter Editor (U Wisc)
allows you to type in roman and converts to Bengali that you can copy paste into document