I am including some reviews of my classes here, in case you are interested to read them. For me, reviews of my students are extremely important to me. They tell whether I have understood their needs, whether I successfully helped them to achieve their goals and what is yet to be done in class. No class is flawless. Always we strive for more. But it is wonderful to know that your efforts bear fruits and your work is appreciated.
Review of students from 'Italki.com'.
James David Ford's reviews:
James is a graduate student of History in University of Berkeley. He know many languages and love to learn more. He is interested in music and literature, specially poetry. At some point, I am hoping he will be able to read Bangla poems.
'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)'
'It was a wonderful second class. Mandira taught me 14 consonants and we reviewed the vowels from last class in addition to learning new phrases. She was very patient with my attempts at pronouncing some more challenging letters; she aptly describes how the sounds are articulated and gives example words in English to try to relate them. Dhonnobad, Mandira. Dekha hobe!'
'Each lesson gets better and better. We are have made good progress with the alphabet in writing and I am working on my pronunciation of some sounds that are more challenging for me. Today Mandira added vocabulary that has to do with literature, the arts, and music, which are some of my biggest interests. Thanks so much, Mandira! See you next week...'
'Great lesson again today, Mandira!'
'Reading! It's so much fun to figure out words and begin to read with Mandira. Today we covered more vocabulary and signs that are necessary in addition to the alphabet that one must know in order to read words. The time flew by, even at an early hour and Mandira is making Bangla very approachable! I'm looking forward to our next class.'
'We focused a lot on reading today, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you, as always, Mandira for infusing stories, fun, and context for the language. See you next week!'
'Excellent class. We worked on reading and that is becoming easier. Mandira is very patient and always permits me to go through the names of the letters before pronouncing the words. We added the verb "to have" so I will be practicing that with as many nouns as possible :) See you next week, Mandira!'
'Mandira was so patient to wait for me... I overslept because I'm not feeling well today. We had a great lesson though! We continued to read and work on vocabulary and we also talked about the negative.'
'We are working on reading full sentences now! Very fun. Thanks Mandira...'
'Despite some technical difficulties for me, it was a good lesson. We have almost completed the reading and I'm feeing better and better about the conjuncts and letters. Thanks Mandira!'
'We completed the reading practice worksheet today! Now I'll move on to another set for homework. Thanks, Mandira. Lessons are increasingly more fun each week, and they were fun to begin with! :-)'
'Today was our first foray into using the textbook, now that I can engage with the alphabet and read a bit more easily, albeit slowly. It was lots of fun to actually be able to read reasonably short words with help from Mandira... Looking forward to the next class!'
'We did some conversation and drill practice with the verb "to be" and negation. Reading is becoming a bit easier, which is great. Mandira did a great job of getting me to understand the various pronouns and their usage. Next time I'm sure more Bangla mysteries shall be unveiled :-) Thanks Mandira!'
'Mandira helped me unravel reading some conjuncts and markings that I'd never seen before. Thanks Mandira for walking me through the process of reading. I look forward to next class.'
'In today's practice we covered new question words, introductions (really important and kind of challenging at first in a new language), and proximity words, as well as subtleties of explaining how one is doing. Thanks so much for the lesson, Mandira! See you soon. I'll work on a lot of reading practice during the break!'
Well, hope the list will grow long as we will resume our classes in January,2017.
Reem Stern's reviews
Reem is a graduate student from Isreal. He said, ' আমি ধর্মীয় সাহিত্য নিয়ে পড়াশোনা করছি।' I taught him in 'Verbling.com' and when I moved to 'Italki.com', he continued studying with me in 'Italki'. I lost the reviews of my students in Verbling.com' as I left the platform. The followings are from his recent reviews from ' Italki.com'.
'Mandira is an excellent teacher. She helped me with reading comprehension and pronunciation.'
'Improving conversation skills. I like these classes.'
'Excellent lesson. We went over verb conjugation and pronunciation. Thanks Mandiradi!'
'We read a conversation from Radice's book Teach Yourself Bengali. Great as usual!'
'So much fun talking with Mandira!'
James P's reviews:
James Poskett is ' an historian at the University of Cambridge. He is 'an historian of science, empire and print'. He is learning Bangla to be able to read some documents of 19th. century. He is also learning spoken Bangla enthusiatically.
'Great introductory lesson. Mandira is a fantastic teacher. Really made me feel at ease and enjoyed it. Will be continuing with her.'
Oct 19, 2016
'Another fantastic lesson. Really fun. Very satisfying to start speaking and getting pronunciation a bit better. Mandira is a great teacher.'
'Another great lesson! We went through the rest of the constants, practised speaking, and reading. Thanks!'
'Another great lesson. Really enjoyable. Really good to practise speaking and pronunciation. Thanks!'
Nov 9, 2016
'Another great lesson. We finished off practising basic reading of all the characters. On to more conversation next week. Thanks Mandira! দেখা হবে!'
Nov 16, 2016
'Another great lesson. We practised conversations and classroom vocab. We also practised the negatives. Very encouraging! Thanks again!'
Arunaksha Guha's reviews:
Arunaksha found me in ' Verbalplanet.com'. I signed for it but never went to the site and did not update my availability. I am glad that he still contacted me . Arunaksha spoken Bangla is very good and pronuciation is excellent. So, he wanted to read and write Bangla. He already knew how to read the script. So, he started to read short stories with me. He lives in Chicago. This is interesting. I moved to Kolkata from Chicago this June, 2016 and now I have two students from Chicago.
Nov 27, 2016
'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!'
Dec 9, 2016
'This is my fourth lesson with Mandira, and my Bengali reading ability is progressing quite nicely. Mandira has helped me immensely to understand how words are used and pronounced. We also talk about the language and literature in the context of the Bengali culture which is an added benefit. In addition to reading, she helps me to improve my conversational skills. Eventually, I would like to frame sentences in Bengali as opposed to trying to say something in English and making the effort to translate it to Bengali. This will take some time. Thank you Mandira!'
Larissa Fardelos's reviews:
Larissa is a graduate student of Anthropoly. She recently moved to Chicago with her husband from Toronto. She has been two to tree classes per week with me following an academic year course. Larissa wants to be good at spoken Bangla so she could go to the field to do her research and communicate with people. I teach her in ' Italki.com'.
'Great class today! After finishing our review of the consonants in the last lesson we've started reading simple words and building vocabulary. Mandira is very patient and supportive and so I am growing confidence with reading and pronunciation! She is also working in new simple sentence structures each class and I am starting to recognize the basic grammar structures after only three lessons. Mandira has also given me plenty of homework to continue practicing since I won't be able to meet with her again for a few days. Thanks, Mandira! Abar dekha habe!'
Oct 4, 2016
'We've gone through practice reading with basic consonant and vowel-sign words for all the vowels! Mandira takes every opportunity in the reading practice to model and practice basic sentence structures to reinforce and build on everything we have been going over. It's going great! I have a lot of vocabulary to work with now!'
Oct 6, 2016
'Great class today! Mandira introduced new greetings/farewells and also introduced the first verb conjugation! There was a lot of integrated reading and speaking practices in the lesson and I will have writing and listening practice for homework. It's going great, every lesson builds nicely on the last!'
Oct 12, 2016
'Great class today! Today we worked on introductions and I got a lot of practice reading as we went through dialogues. Mandira is recognizing patterns where I am struggling with certain pronunciations or spellings and and so she is giving more practice on those issues. Thanks! Kal dekha habe!'
Oct 13, 2016
I'm amassing a great deal of vocabulary now and have just been introduced to the complex conjugation of negative particles! Lots of practice speaking and responding today, going along well.
Oct 14, 2016
'Mandira gave me a lot of practice using new sentence structures today! She introduced how to use adjectives, numbers, and locatives. Going very well, everything is introduced in good timing so I am not feeling overwhelmed with all this new material. She also gave me a good amount of homework so I can keep practicing over the weekend, until we meet next.'
I told her to stop reviewing for after that. Reviewing every class is tiresome. probably, I will request her to review me again when we will resume our classes in January 2016.
Tania's review :
I am teaching Tania recently. But I know her from before. She is sister of my former student Katia in the University of Chicago. Tania and katia's father is Bengali and mother is American. Their father was very busy when they grew up sp they did not have a chance Bengali when they were young. They kept contact with their families in Bengal. I am happy to see that both learned Bangla as a second language when were grew up. Tania already learned Bangla in the American Institute of Bangla Studies , Kolkata for a couple of months and joined in a theater group and performed in villages of Bengal. Her spoken Bangla is very good and she is an Intermediate level student. Her listening skill is amazing and she has her own learning process. My goal is to fit in her own learning path and help her.
Nov 28, 2016
'Wonderful instruction! Mandira is caring and attentive to details. She tailors the lesson to suit my interests and goals.'
Dec 5, 2016
'Attentive to my skill level and interests (grammatical as well as relevant conversation topics)'
Dec 12, 2016
'Makes learning fun! Very flexible and responsive to specific requests. Highly skilled instructor'
Dec 19, 2016
'Fantastic! High-quality instruction. I am very grateful to Mandira and her wealth of skills in language acquisition.'