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Mind mapping in Bangla teaching with 'থাকা' verb.

I am greatly inspired by mind mapping idea in making teaching materials for Bangla. Here is the concept in Wikipedia.  First I saw a couple of exceptionally beautiful mind maps in pinterest and that blew my mind.  I am reorganizing  my materials, making some mind maps for my students . I will ask them what do they think about it. Do mind maps really help ?  

I am posting here one map I made in powerpoint. It is about the conjugation of 'থাকা' verb in simple present tense with pronouns. Those who are not using mind maps, start using it. You, as a teacher or student, will feel liberated. 

Students will use this one after the class, at home. 

For introducing grammar in the class, I first give my students some examples, then they find the rules. I and my students all feel accomplished in this process. :)

 

Thaka verb conj with sing pron in smp prsnt tns


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.

...................................................................................................................................................................

Vocabulary:

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 

 

Activities:

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

 

 

 

 


Orientalism's Baby, Linguistics' Maybe: A Banglish Grammar Book, Part I

"Languages don't die. They are grammatized to death." - Gayatri Spivak. . . This is certainly not a shining example of rigorous scholarship. Rather, I have been thinking about the proliferation of the passive voice in South Asian languages, most specifically Bengali, and in contrast- the favoring of active constructions in American English. And had some questions. First- ungrounded questions: are languages representations of culture apart from the what must be the standardization and (pseudo)scientification of grammatical knowledge? Is it valid to read the skeleton of a language as a text just as much as the texts the skeleton produces? Perhaps this is the very start of the field of linguistics, the origin story of its titanic heroes of the imperial university. I wonder, is it possible to read philological knowledge as cultural knowledge without slipping into the racialized-linguistic legacy of misread Darwinism that still haunts the social sciences today? How necessary to question with history always in mind. There is no subjunctive form in Bangla, but in English translation, we substitute the subjunctive mood for an approximation of the sense. But, is a regret without the subjunctive to express it, the same regret? Can one regret in Bangla as one regrets in English- "if I only x, y would be so. . . not what y is." In Bangla with (HOWOAA) verb formulations- we see the autonomous subject, the very foundation of 'Western'(all the scare of the scare-quotes intended) understandings of self, become objectivized, the 'to be', the 'asmi', the 'as' of Indo-European roots- subtracted. The Bangla subject is subjected to the world, while the American standard subject asserts its agency in its 'asmi', it's being, it's 'am'. What is the cultural significance in the inversion of 'I think, therefore I am" to "Thought happened, therefore I". More constructions and thoughts coming in Part II. Even though I'm sure somebody has already written the monograph. - Sarita

Students' exercise: translation from English to Bangla ( made by Scott, Sarita, Kelynn and Sam)

If I have studied math when I was young, may be now I would be an enginner.

 

I should have woken up at 5 am, but I went to bed at 11 pm. last night so I woke up at 7 am this morning. 

 

I told my mother that I did not want to help her cook food, but she told me she needed my help. 

 

Don't say that.

 

He comes to athink, I will come to think. 

 

If it is not possible for him to come, then I will come. 

 

When I was a small boy, I would go to the lake in the summer. 

 

What was your favourite paper at the conference. 

 

I have met Mandiradi at the terrace at 3:45 in the afternoon.

 

You shall call your mother before you go to class. 


Words with দিন, Language structure, Bangla

There are a couple of words you can make with দিন ।

 চিরদিন- always

 সারাদিন- all day

 সব দিন- all days ( these two are very confusing)

 অনেক দিন- many days

 কয়েকদিন- a few days

 প্রতিদিন- everyday ( also রোজ )

You can add numbers with দিন , like what you do in English

একদিন -one day,  দুদিন -two days, তিন দিন - three days etc....

......................................................................................................................................................। 

Note: You don't need to add an article with numbers if you add them with দিন. 

It is not necessary unless you want to emphasise the number.

Example :      আমি             একদিনও            ছুটি             পাব            না। 

                       ( I)        ( one day even)  ( break)   ( will get)    (not).

                        I will not get even one day for break. 


Comparative Linguistics: Prepositions vs. Postpositions- English vs. Bangla

In class last week, we had a lesson on the locative case and postpositions. While that might seem confusing if you don't know those words, in practice, this divergence from English becomes quite simple. While in English a speaker might be used to forming the prepositional phrase (remember this from grade school, folks?) (preposition + a noun), Bangla manages to form similar structures in reverse (noun+ a preposition) by attaching an ending to an existing noun in the sentence. Just like in English though, the preposition used will modify the noun that it is 'attached' to. Rendered from English to Bangla- a phrase like "in the city" would become literally "the city in". Our comrade, Scott Brown, did a great explanation of this, so I'll upload a video of him giving us a mini-lesson on Bangla syntax and postpositions. - Sarita Download Trim.FFCD7B92-9567-4994-9045-D3EEB3EC7896

Negatives আছে - নেই !!

" আমার বই আছে" / I have a book"

" আমার বই নেই"/ I don't have a book"

Students, listen to this song. 

This is a sad song, no doubt. But it helps to remember that  ' নেই'  is the opposite of 'আছে'.  It will make you very depressed but you will not make this common mistake again.

" আমার বই আছে নেই"

Skip a couple of lines and then you will come to the right sentence.

একবার বল, নেই, তোর কেউ নেই, তোর কেউ নেই।

 


Negatives



Again, the days have gone, when teaching materials were mainly based on grammar. I am very happy with the text 'Epar Bangla Opar Bangla' which follows communicative methods. But we cannot ignore language structure totally. 

Bangla has so many 'negatives', it is very hard for students to remember all of them. 

I think that an enormous amount of extra materials I need to provide my students which I definitely do not have at this moment.

We always have to remember that whatever we teach, students should be proficient with four skills ( speaking, listening, reading and writing). 

 

Here, Scott and Kellyn are practicing on board. 

 

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