Looking for a tutor can sometimes feel like trying to find a shoe that fits. Like Cinderella, though, don’t despair! All it takes is to know where to look for your prospective tutor and you are already halfway there.
There are so many ways that you can learn a second language, whether for personal reasons, to please an employer, or for other business reasons – and there is no set way. Each and every candidate learns things differently so some may be better suited to a school-style class whilst others may be more comfortable using self-study methods at home with the help of dictionaries and online resources as their teaching methods.
Whether you decide to look out for a class, hire a private tutor, or use your own skills to learn Hindi on your own, we have some tips for you ahead of enrollment.
As it stands, British schools following the conventional curriculum do not currently offer Hindi as a language option, let alone as a compulsory subject. Yet, some schools do offer non-European languages, such as opportunities for learning Russian, learning Mandarin and learning Japanese, for example.
You have to look really hard to find an establishment that teaches academic Hindu in the UK, yet even these centres are dedicated language academies and are oriented to older pupils. For kids to learn Hindu as a second language from an early age (which research has already proven is the prime time to acquire a new language), they would most likely need to be placed in a preschool, primary school, or secondary school in India.
Sadly, only schools in India offer Hindi lessons as part of their curriculum to young children. Photo credit: Kashyap Kinshuk on VisualHunt
That said, Australia has shown signs of disagreement with the current offer of languages on its own curriculum, with the Australian National University (ANU) South Asia Research Institute calling for more Australian schools to teach Hindi in order to maintain the country’s relationship with India.
The Institute is very serious about its administrative objective to promote Hindi and inspire involvement with the Hindi language, holding workshops for education and language specialists with the aim of helping to develop a national structure for developing Hindi language studies nationwide, with a website and teacher training on the agenda.
“Hindi was identified in the 2012 Asian Century White Paper as one of five priority Asian languages” yet take up has been minimal. So why are more education leaders not seeing the benefits of learning such an influential language and using intervention methods to spark engagement with this key language? Perhaps now, following Great Britain’s impending departure from the European Union (known widely as ‘Brexit’), our educational services will consider opening up their reach to languages from further afield.
Australia and India share a very good trade relationship and, earlier this year, our own British Government cited optimism over our trade relationship with the Asian country too. However, unless we try harder to break barriers and learn Hindi on a national scale, this could disadvantage us in terms of our dealings with the nation.
Aside from state and private schools, England does offer some opportunities in the higher education sector to learn Hindi. For instance, King’s College London lists two 10-week-long Hindi courses on its prospectus, one for beginners and one for more advanced speakers.
It may be stating the obvious, but the easiest way to find Hindi classes in your area is to do a search online and see what language lessons are being offered. While most results will come up on an Internet search, don’t forget to consult local schools, colleges and universities to see if they offer any evening classes for adults.
If you are satisfied with finding a language course which you pay to attend in the evening, then you will find many such courses in the capital and across the country.
City Lit, London
City Lit in London, which offers a long list of short courses for adults, offers a number of Hindi courses including Hindi for Beginners, Hindi 2 and 3, Hindi: an introduction to Devanagari script, Hindi Holiday Kit, Hindi beginners intensive, and Hindi: an introduction. Each course is priced individually (around £200) and is tailored to suit a range of needs in terms of learning this language.
SOAS Language Centre, London
SOAS recognises Hindi as an important language, both culturally and for business administration purposes. As such, it has designed two courses to expose the language and cultural aspects of Hindi, including the ever-growing Indian literature and film industry (what is known globally as ‘Bollywood’). Hindi Beginners and Hindi Elementary each offer learners a range of skills in the subject.
The Bollywood film industry has become an international phenomenon. Photo credit: killrbeez on Visual hunt / CC BY-ND
You may wish to look for a tutor specialising in one-to-one tuition in Hindi, but you can also find a virtual teacher for your little ones.
One online resource that has been adapted to children aged 2 to 12 is Dino Lingo. Dino Lingo offers Hindi lessons (with free trial lesson available) for toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children, giving them a foundation in Hindi vocabulary, everyday words, and common phrases. Your kids will learn greetings and, through listening and speaking, will learn the basics of the Hindi language.
Is learning Hindi that hard? Superprof tutors do not think so.
If you don’t have any luck finding group classes, or you don’t get on well in a classroom environment, then you may like to consider one to one tuition with the likes of a friend of a friend or a professionally trained private tutor.
Of course, if you don’t know anyone within your circle who has connections with the Hindi language, then you may be forced to look for a tutor with the help of Internet once again.
Sometimes it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time (i.e. coming across an advert on a newsagent’s advertising board), but other times it can seem like a real effort to find someone suitable, especially when you have set your mind on learning something new and just want to get on with your language lessons!
Since finding individual tutors for private lessons can be quite hard (for instance, will they be listed on Yell, advertised on a community webpage or up for grabs ‘Things for Sale’ Facebook page?) be sure to look in the right place for your prospective tutor. There is no better place for this than Superprof.com, as it is dedicated to private tutors and those seeking their services.
Superprof is an online platform for tutors to advertise their services and to connect with pupils. Here, you will be able to search for a tutor in your chosen subject, filter by area (however this may not be applicable if you are happy to carry out lessons via video call) and also sort in order of price.
With a private tutor, you can learn via Skype or video call if you so choose. Photo on Visualhunt.com
In London alone, Superprof has 15 tutors listed on its books, based around the city centre and outskirts and each offering their own wealth of unique experiences. Some are natives from Indian territories, whilst others are those who have mastered the language as a second language or mother-tongue. Furthermore, some focus on writing skills whereas others help you to advance your spoken Hindi skills to enable you to get by during simple conversations.
While not all are qualified teachers, many have experience of teaching students of various levels and can adapt a series of online or face to face lessons for you. Upwards of £6, you can benefit from lessons in Hindi from those with the knowledge and skills to offer you structured Hindi classes.
Unfortunately, as we stated at the beginning of this piece, it is very unlikely to become an elementary school teacher in England with Hindi as your top discipline. That said, there is no harm in looking at vacancies for teaching jobs specialising in part time student teaching of uncommon languages. Yes, the salary may not be the best if the demand isn’t there but it is a great way to make use of any qualifications you have in this language.
Alternatively, you may wish to consider a teaching career as an ESL teacher, enabling you to mix your love for Hindi with English and be an English teacher to native Hindi speakers. If teaching English is something that appeals to you, then sign on to a teacher recruitment agency or look at teaching jobs near you. So long as you have the right credentials and the language skills required, then you should have no problem becoming a certified teacher.
Finally, if Hindi is the only subject you wish to teach, then you might like to consider teaching abroad. While staffing for the Hindi language is sought after in many countries other than India itself, places like Australia may soon be on the lookout for more accredited and passionate Hindi language teachers in the future.
Keep an eye out for openings at an international school to see what opportunities lie ahead of you.