URDU 101: INTRODUCTORY URDU
Offered: Introductory Urdu 101 is offered in Terms 1 and 3 each year.
Please note that this course is only offered if sufficient numbers register. Please contact us (via the form on our Contact page using the Menu Bar above) if you are unsure about registering. If you do register, and this course is cancelled due to low enrolment, please be advised that we will refund your tuition in full.
Our Introductory Urdu 101 course focuses on learning the Nastaʿlīq script and basic reading and writing capabilities. As such, it is suitable for both new learners of Urdu, and for native Hindi speakers who may wish to familiarise themselves with the Urdu script. This course also introduces some basic introductory grammar & vocabulary and gets students speaking with some basic conversational ability.
Native Hindi speakers can easily learn the Urdu script during the eight one-and-a-half hour sessions in this Urdu 101 course. Those who already understand and speak some Urdu, but who do not know how to read and write, may also chose to enrol in the Urdu 101 course.
Subsequent Term courses of Introductory Urdu (i.e. our Urdu 102-104 courses) continue with reading and writing practice, introductory grammar, vocabulary, and conversation.
Day: Our 2021 Term 3 course begins on Tuesday 3 August 2021 and continues for eight weekly sessions, with the final class of the Term on Tuesday 21 September 2021.
Time: Our Term 3 class meets from 2:00-3:30pm each Tuesday during Term (New Zealand time).
US equivalents: If you are based in the US, this class meets Monday evenings 7:00-8:30pm beginning 2 August (US Pacific time) and runs for 8 consecutive weeks.
Note: Those who cannot make the class meeting day and time either in-person or via live Zoom sessions may consider accessing this course through the weekly recorded video sessions. Class videos are posted within 24 hours of each live class session and are available for your own personal learning session on a day and time of your choosing.
Distance Learning: This course has distance-learning options for those unable to attend the live class sessions in Hamilton. Students have three options for attending our courses once they have registered:
- attend in-person classes in our Hamilton classrooms at the regularly scheduled day and time,
- attend our live on-line classroom sessions via Zoom at the regular scheduled day and time,
- watch the live-recorded class sessions at your leisure, at a time, day and place more suited to your schedule.
These options can be mixed and matched throughout the course to suit your own availability and location.
Our Hindi and Urdu classes are taught by Dr Todd Nachowitz, who has studied both languages since 1978, and has lived and worked in India and Pakistan during the 1980s and 1990s. Todd studied Hindi under the tutelage of Dr Tej Bhatia of Syracuse University (1978-1980), and Pandit Virendra Singh of Varanasi (1980-1988), and studied Urdu under the direction of Dr Muhammad Umar Memon at the University of Wisconsin, Ustad Qamar Jalil of Lahore, Pakistan, and with Urdu Calligrapher Ustad Shor Sahab (also of Lahore) beginning in 1983. Todd has taught both Hindi and Urdu at Syracuse University in upstate New York, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States, as Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College Year in India Programme in Varanasi (1985-1988), and as Field Director of the University of California-Berkeley’s Berkley Urdu Language Programme in Pakistan (BULPIP) in Lahore in 1991-1992.
Todd completed his BA degree in South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984, and his MA degree in Development Anthropology at Syracuse University in upstate New York in 1991. Todd completed his PhD in the Department of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Waikato in 2015 with a thesis on Diversity Policy entitled Towards a Framework of Deep Diversity: Identity and Invisibility in the Indian Diaspora in New Zealand.
Todd is currently the Executive Director of EarthDiverse.
In addition to our in-person classes in Hamilton, our Urdu language courses offer distance learning options for those unable to attend classes in-person. Live-streamed Hamilton classes are available via free Zoom software for those living outside the Waikato. Live-streaming allows you to participate fully in your own learning, ask questions of the instructor and participate fully in the same way as if you were in the physical classroom.
Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time.
Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning components will be sent after completing your registration. There are no additional fees for this service. However, distance learners will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a good quality web-camera (tablet devices and mobile phones can also access our live-streamed classes), a built-in microphone (most modern laptops have built-in microphones) or a headset with a microphone. You will also need to download and install the free Zoom software on your computer or device. Those accessing the video recordings will be able to do so with a simple web browser on any device.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
Cost per person per Term (8 classes):
- Waged: $125 (includes GST + online registration fee)
- Unwaged (unemployed, students, seniors): $100 (includes GST + online registration fee)
Prices for Waged and Unwaged registrants remain the same regardless of your chosen method for accessing our courses. This means that you have the option to mix and match access between attending our regularly-scheduled live class sessions in our Hamilton classrooms, accessing our live class sessions on-line via Zoom at the regularly scheduled class meeting time (no matter where you are located), or watching the video-recorded sessions anywhere at a time and date of your choosing. This allows you to study at your own pace and in your own time.
Once registered, you have three choices for attending your course:
- attend our in-person class sessions in our Hamilton classrooms,
- Zoom in to our live classroom sessions and participate in discussions,
- access the live-recorded class sessions each week. This allows you to register for an entire course, even though the scheduled class session day/time may not be suitable to your schedule. You may also use this option to watch any recorded session for review, or in case you may miss a class session due to prior engagement, being away, or due to illness. This allows you to catch up with any “missed” sessions at a more suitable time.
Once registered, you will receive detailed instructions on how to access our courses via either of the distance-learning options, i.e. live access via Zoom, or watching the video-recorded sessions.
The course fee includes all teaching materials.
An “Introductory Urdu” text, written by Dr Todd Nachowitz, is included in the course fees. These are currently being distributed as PDF files as the courses progress and will eventually comprise a completed Introductory Urdu textbook.
You will only require a pen or pencil, a notebook for taking your own class notes, and a loose-leaf binder. Any notes that our instructor writes on the class whiteboard will be emailed to you as a digital PDF file so that you can print these out at home and add them to your own notebook.
LOCATION: All in-person Urdu classes are held at EarthDiverse/Artmakers Trust, Norris Ward Park Arts Centre, 2 Seddon Road, Hamilton, located on the corner of Ward Street and Seddon Road in downtown Hamilton. The carpark entrance is off Seddon Road at the back of Norris Ward Park. The classroom is immediately to the left of the Waikato Society of Potters studio. There is plenty of free parking available in the carpark just outside the classroom. Bikes are also welcomed!
DISTANCE-LEARNING: You get to chose your location when you Zoom in to our live classroom sessions, or access our classes at your leisure and at a time and day of your choosing by watching the video recorded sessions from each class. This allows you to study at your own pace.