Nepali Language Courses

Beginning Nepali 1 (CGS 25A)

MWFS  6:30PM to 8:30PM

Instructors: Soorja Kayasta , BB Shresthaj, Lalit Lama (Pitzer in Nepal Language Faculty)

This is an intensive course for students who want to work hard. The instructors, Pitzer in Nepal language faculty, have years of experience teaching Nepali as a second language and are highly skilled in proficiency-based, communicative, interactive teaching methods.  The aim of the course is to provide you with a basic working knowledge of Nepali and to promote communication and interaction with Nepali or Nepali speaking people. The guiding pedagogical philosophy of the course is that you learn a language by using the language, both in and out of class, not by studying about the language in English.  Given this approach and the fact that this is an online course, with little or no opportunity to interact with Nepali speakers outside of formal classes, the class will be limited to 10 students and meet four times a week for two hours a session to maximize the amount of time each individual student will have to actually speak the language with the course instructors.  In addition to frequent one on one practice with the instructors and each other, special efforts will be made to facilitate online speaking opportunities with other native speakers in Nepal – primarily our program staff, their family members, and when available, members of the families that normally host Pitzer students during the program. Classes are taught in Nepali, with minimal English translation.  Sentence structure, grammar and vocabulary are progressively introduced each day within situational contexts, encouraging you to understand and use Nepali in natural contexts and to learn grammar in an inductive, natural way.   For students who prefer a more deductive approach, lesson summary handouts (with grammar explanations and vocabulary in English) are provided after each lesson.

Student Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course students who work hard will be able to:

  • ask simple questions and handle tasks and social situations requiring an exchange of basic information related to self, family, home, daily activities, etc.
  • express personal interests and preferences, as well as physical and social needs.
  • engage in common social interactions such as ordering food and eating a meal, making purchases, travel (bus, taxi, walking and trekking).
  • Ask simple questions and make statements about the past, present and future
  • Use simple connecting words and phrases to begin to join simple sentences or thoughts together into more cohesive speech

On a more detailed, functional level. students who successfully complete the course will be able to perform the following functions in Nepali:  Expressing  greetings, introductions and partings • Identification of objects • Location of people and objects • • Indicating possession • Description of people, places and things • Making generalizations • Telling time and talking about days of the week• Asking permission • Asking about availability of  items • Asking Prices •Simple bargaining strategies • Expressing needs • Expressing likes and dislikes • Indicating duration of an activity  •Asking Directions • Making polite and informal commands and requests • Making comparisons • Expressing reported speech • Describing and asking if someone can do something • Indicating purpose of objects or actions • Expressing personal opinions or plans • Using conditional “If” clauses

Nepal Reentry Seminar (Intermediate Nepali) (CGS25C)

MWF 6:30PM to 8:30PM  For Program Alums Only

Instructors: Lalit Lama and Mike Donahue

This course is designed for recent participants on the Pitzer in Nepal program or other students who have a similar level of competency in the language and who wish to improve their oral and written proficiency in Nepali. It also serves an important function in the reentry process for students who have returned from Nepal, allowing program alums an opportunity to link the curriculum abroad with the curriculum here at Pitzer, build upon their Nepali language,  reconnect with program staff and host families in Nepal (through letters and Zoom), increase their knowledge of Nepali culture through the readings, and perhaps most importantly, process and deepen some of their previous Nepal experience in the context of course assignments.

The first three weeks of the course will consist of a review and deepening of the Nepali script (Devanagari) in the context of a thorough review the major language structures and vocabulary covered in the beginning course in Nepal.  Special emphasis will be given to the more advanced structures introduced (but usually not mastered) towards the end of the program.  The remainder of the class will emphasize the practice of advanced conversational grammatical structures and more specialized vocabulary across a variety of topics.  A major goal of the course will be to develop greater discourse competency, that is, the ability to link individual thoughts and sentences in a more fluent and cohesive way, both in writing and in oral communication.  There will be a variety of readings, some films and opportunities to talk with program staff and host family members via Zoom and other social media.

With this in mind, the course will emphasize both reading and writing in Devanagari as well as spoken Nepali, and consist of regular formal class meetings and conversational sessions with our program language faculty, weekly reading and writing assignments (in Devanagari), interaction with program staff via zoom, quizzes, an exam, and one or more group or individual projects.

Student Learning Outcomes:

The course will provide students with an opportunity to realize the following learning outcomes:

Language Proficiency Outcomes:

  • Move from passive competence to active competence with most of the more advanced structures learned during the Pitzer in Nepal program, that is, progress from being able to use a certain communicative feature or structure in the language only after hearing it (usually in a leading question from the teacher) to being able to initiate that structure in free conversation.  (Assessed through class activities, writing assignments and the Language Learning Journal.)
  • Develop a higher level of discourse competency, that is, the ability to link individual thoughts and sentences in a more fluent, accurate and cohesive way using a broader range of grammatical structures and a more sophisticated vocabulary (Assessed through oral class work, interviews and language learning journals.)
  • Increase your capacity to narrate in the past from your Nepal experience (both orally and in writing), using a variety of past tense verb forms and structures in a cohesive way.  (Assessed through writing assignments, classroom activities, and Language Learning Journals.)
  • Increase your ability to initiate, participate in, sustain and end a conversation while responding to another’s ideas in culturally appropriate ways. (Assessed through classroom exercises –presentations, dialogues, role plays, pair activities– recorded interviews with local Nepalis and in the Language Learning Journals.)
  • Develop your reading and writing proficiency in Devenagari so that you can read a variety of texts at an intermediate level of difficulty (including  authentic Nepali folk tales) and write in simple paragraph discourse in several time frames using an expanded vocabulary, more sophisticated grammatical structures and a variety of discourse strategies and cohesive devises. (This will be demonstrated in a series of writing assignments (essays, letters, stories) that students submit over the course of the semester, which respond to the readings, interviews and class material.)

Meta Outcomes:

  • Become familiar with what it means to learn a second or foreign language in terms of communicative competence and its component parts (linguistic, discourse, cultural, strategic, and functional competence) and use this as a framework for practice and self-assessment.  (Assessed through the out of class language learning journal).
  • Become aware of the major cultural underpinnings of communication in Nepali (high context-indirect, relationship oriented, etc.) and develop linguistic strategies to incorporate these meta-cultural themes into your oral and written communication. (Assessed through the Cross-cultural Dialogue Group Project

Virtual Internships