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How To Teach Hindi To Your Child

Hindi is a first or second language in half of the primary schools in India, according to NCERT. Apart from its importance in the kindergarten years and beyond at school, Hindi is an important language that offers many social, cognitive and career benefits.


Hindi learning for the kindergarten years comprises speaking, reading and writing skills. Since Hindi is a phonetic language, the teaching starts with alphabet - letter recognition and correct pronunciation, and proceeds to adding vowel marks (diacritic marks or 'matra') to the letters. Once this stage is over, the child can read almost everything, as in Hindi, reading the syllables sequentially is all that is needed to read the word.


In this article:

(click to jump to the section directly)


When Hindi is not the Parents' First Language

However, Hindi is the mother tongue of only about one-third of the people in India. So, many of us are familiar with Hindi, or can speak it as a second or third language, but teaching it to our preschooler child is a challenging task for us.


My family is multi-lingual and we are not native speakers of Hindi. So, teaching our child Hindi has been a learning journey for me, and I want to share the tips that can help you to teach Hindi to your child as well.


Is Hindi Difficult to Learn?

Too many letters in the alphabet!

Many people in India who are multilingual consider Hindi an easy language. Teaching Hindi to kindergarten kids looks daunting sometimes because the number of letters is more than the 26 letters of English. However, they are arranged really scientifically, and once mastered, the child can read correctly everything. We strongly recommend teaching children about vargas (वर्ग)


The grammar is tricky

The grammar (especially gender of inanimate objects) is difficult for people whose native language does not have gender rules for verbs (jata hai, jati hai) and possessive words (ka, ke, ki). But still many people can manage to learn basic passable Hindi very quickly. It is very easy for kids to learn Hindi because their brains are in language learning phase. We have discussed how to teach children the correct gender of all nouns here.


Do not be discouraged if you do not speak Hindi. Just read this article, make a plan, and go ahead with it.


Why Learning Hindi is Actually Easy for a Child

If you are an Indian who speaks one of the major languages of India, then you already have a few advantages for teaching Hindi:

1. Most Indian languages and scripts have partly originated from common ancient languages and have a lot of similarities.

2. The Devanagari script (the Hindi alphabet) is extremely logical and scientific. Like many other Indian scripts, it is easy to learn if one knows the logic.

3. The letters and their sounds are exact and logic based. Hindi is written as it is spoken. The combination of letters are unambiguous, that is, there is consistency in how they are pronounced. There is no confusion like English, where p-u-t and b-u-t have similar spellings but pronounced differently.

4. There are no upper case and lower case letters.

5. There is enough spoken Hindi resources in the form of songs, movies and cartoons, for children to listen to, for learning the sounds of Hindi. There are a lot of early level story books in Hindi from Pratham and Tulika Books, for kids to practice their reading skills.


Playful Home Education also offers you a lot of free resources in our Subscriber's Page for Hindi learning for kindergarten till Class 1, and the most comprehensive foundational Hindi learning worksheets sets for kindergarten (LKG, UKG) till Class 1 with play-based learning activities that teach Hindi in a stepwise, graded, fun method.



 

Stepwise Goals of Hindi Learning for Preschooler:


1. To recite the alphabet.

2. To identify the Hindi letters, identify vowels and consonants

3. To know the phonetic sound of each letter and correlate the sound to the letter.

4. To write letters

5. To join simple letters to form simple words

6. To read letters with added vowel diacritic marks (matras)

7. To read combination of letters with matras to form words

8. To write letters with matras, and words of such letters.

9. To read and write consonant conjuncts (sanyukt akshar)

10. To develop a good vocabulary in Hindi.

11. To read and write simple short sentences having matras and conjuncts.


mind map Learning goals of preschool Hindi lessons
Learning goals of preschool Hindi lessons


Required Resources


1. Alphabet Book


Hindi alphabet books are easily available in book shops as well as on online stores. It is also included in our Hindi worksheets bundle (Level 1). We also offer free audio support for correct pronunciation of letters to our customers. Choose a book that offers multiple words for a letter instead of just one word for a letter. For example, the books should not have only अ से अनार, it should also have अ से अदरक, अ से अजगर, etc. This helps the child to learn the sound of the letter instead of just memorizing अ से अनार (a se anar).


2. Hindi Learning Worksheets and Books

Help in learning the alphabet, vocabulary, and written Hindi

a. Free: There are not too many Hindi worksheet resources. If you are looking for free resources, it can be a bit cumbersome to gather the free resources letter by letter and step by step, and print them out. You can try to visit individual sites from Google search or Pinterest search and collect free worksheets and arrange them in a stepwise manner to teach your child.

Click Here to get our Printable Hindi Alphabet Flashcards for FREE. Also, check out our post for inventive ideas to make language learning a fun and engaging experience using flashcards.

b. Purchasable Worksheets: If good Hindi worksheet books are available at shops in your place, you can buy these. You may need to explore more than one shop to find good ones. For writing practice, you can search for Dreamland Hindi Sulekh Pustak.


Playful Home Education Worksheets: We also have highly recommended and popular Hindi worksheets bundles in our shopping section. Our Level 1 and Level 2 Hindi Bundles are a complete set of resources with Hindi learning activity sheets that you need to teach Hindi for LKG and UKG level, without going into grammar. Engaging and fun activities, and step-wise method are used for building clear and strong concepts.

Alphabet book, flashcards, tracing and writing worksheets, letters identification games, letter sounds games and activities, reading and writing letters, and then reading and writing words and sentences, matras, barakhadi and sanyukt akshar - all are covered in these 2 bundles. The bundles cover all the Hindi concepts needed for children from nursery to grade 1.


Our worksheets aim to help those people who are not native speakers of Hindi. So we have given keys, instructions and glossaries in English. Even audio files are available on our site to help with the pronunciation of letters and words.

 

3. Hindi Books and Listening Resources

Helps in learning pronunciation, sentence structure and vocabulary


The best thing for a child to learn a language is to hear it being spoken at home. However, in non-Hindi speaking homes, it is not possible. Then you can use the content available on TV and online to expose your child to the sounds of Hindi.


Rhymes: A lot of rhymes in Hindi can be found online, in both text form or video form. Pre-Nursery Rhymes And Story Book by Dreamland Publications is an excellent collection. Searching for Hindi rhymes on YouTube will provide you with a lot of videos. Listen to them personally and make a playlist of 20 songs. Do not go for endless scrolling and swiping to watch too much content that promotes addiction and unhealthy amounts of screen time.


Books: Books are essential for the journey of language learning. If you speak Hindi, do read Hindi stories to your child from a very early age. At least 2 - 3 per week. If you don't speak Hindi, let the child learn the letters and matras a little and then start encouraging the child to read stories. You can get Bilingual Hindi story books from Tulika Books. These are helpful for a non-Hindi speaking parent to follow the story and explain to the child. Hindi early reader books are available from Pratham Books as well.


You can find a lot of FREE Hindi books (PDF files) and Audio books of early Hindi learning on our Subscriber's Page. If you are a subscriber, just enter the page and check out the content. If you haven't signed up yet, you can subscribe here.

Here are some great books for early readers of Hindi:


Videos for Parents: These are videos by a Hindi teacher, which are useful for a parent to watch in order to teach a child. (YouTube Link)


Songs: Choose an easy Hindi song either from movies or from nationalistic or children's songs and sing along your child to teach them this song.


Movies: Select a few good children's movies which are not fast-paced. Preferably non-animated, with real people. These can be Hindi movies, or English movies dubbed in Hindi. Many such movies are available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, etc. Select 5 such movies, and watch them once in a week or once in 2 weeks, with your child. You can watch 1/3 or half at a time to avoid too much screen time. While watching, it is preferable to watch it on a large monitor or TV instead of mobile or tablet.


Android Phone Apps: Apps are often useful for learning a new language for adults. However, a child's brain learns language differently. Nevertheless, it is sometimes useful to have apps for learning along with all the other resources mentioned here. The apps can help you with:

  • Learning the correct pronunciation of letters and words

  • Learn a few common phrases

  • Learn spoken numbers and other words of daily life

  • Practice in a fun, gamified way and to add variety to your child's Hindi lessons

  • Help you learn Hindi if you are also a learner along with your child


Some people can successfully integrate language learning apps into their learning resources, while some don't find them useful. These are a few apps we have come across:


1. Ling-App - This gamified language learning program works both as a mobile app and a browser app. Ling-App makes Hindi learning fun and effective. It's a freemium app, so you can try a few lessons for free before you have to pay to continue. You can learn practical vocabulary and grammar through bite-sized, interactive lessons. They also have an integrated AI chatbot that listens and gives feedback to help you perfect your pronunciation. The interface language is English, so you can start learning words and phrases even if you are totally unfamiliar with Hindi.


2. Speak Hindi - Android, contains ads. The app is English-based, for great for parents who cannot read Hindi well. This has authentic pronunciations, and contains topics of alphabet, greetings, expressions, numbers, calendar, shopping, work, food, kitchen, fruits, vegetables, spices, grocery, body parts, time, weather, sports, animals, health, etc. This is usable for kids, along with other resources.


3. Kids Hindi Learning - Android, contains ads. The app interface is Hindi, so it is useful for parents who can read basic Hindi. It again has the alphabet, numbers, words and sentences, festivals, months, flowers, colours, animals, etc.


4. Mondly Hindi - Android, premium level is paid. It is reminiscent of Rosetta Stone apps and is useful for older kids or grown-ups. It uses a step-wise process to introduce you to new words and sentence structure simultaneously. so that you can learn in a practical way.


4. Alphabet based toys and activities

Help in play-based learning, practice and creative expression using Hindi

a. Peg Puzzles





b. Magnetic Letters and Magnetic White Board


A magnetic white board is a key equipment for home learning. It can be used in versatile ways. It is a good investment that helps in teaching a child languages, maths, drawing, puzzles, games, etc.


Magnetic Board : This is one option. There are many more available, including wooden framed ones.



These can damage fridge surface, so be sure to use them on board only.

 


How to Proceed: Step by Step

This is how I proceeded with my child. Every child is different, and you may need to experiment a bit to see how you can best teach your child.


1. Start teaching letters with play


Start with vowels, showing the letter and the sound. You can also start it as a play using the toys suggested.


Once you have covered the vowels, focus on repeating the sound for first few days. Side by side, start introducing 1 -2 consonant letters in a day, building up to teaching one whole line (varga) comprising of 5 consonant letters.


Play games on the white board at least once a week with letters. Draw silly things from a letter, draw a letter chasing another letter, play hidden letters, etc.


Tell the child right at the beginning the place of articulation (the part of mouth that is used for pronouncing the letter). So for k varga, ka, kha, ga, gha, nga. we are using the throat - and keep your fingers lightly on your throat to show that these are throat letters. You can read more the pronunciation of vowels and consonants in these articles:



Goal: At the end, the child should be able to recite the whole Hindi alphabet.


2. Identification of Letters and Sounds


Slowly after you have finished teaching the vowel sounds, proceed to identification of vowel letters. Use the suggested toys, flashcards, as well as activity worksheets (matching, circling, colouring activities, no writing) with lot of repetitive practice and games. Use whiteboard to play letter games.


Remember to take things slow, and proceed very slowly. Keep learning sessions short. But regularity is important and work on Hindi learning at least 4 to 5 days a week.


Goal: By the end of this phase, child should be able to recognize all the letters and their sounds, and recite the alphabet in order.


3. Writing Practice


If your child's motor skills are developed well enough to handle a pencil properly, you can proceed to writing practice of letters. Take things slow.


You can also let the child draw the letters on a whiteboard using board markers. This helps to keep the fun alive in the process of learning letters. If the writing time is long and there is no fun involved, some kids get bored and refuse to write. Montessori methods and play-based strategies are useful for such children. Incorporating colouring activities, drawing activities, games involving writing a few letters and identifying a few letters and tracing activities are all helpful methods.


Goal: At the end of this phase, the child should be able to recite and write the whole alphabet.


Playful Home Education Hindi worksheets have prewriting, tracing and writing sheets, that you can print out as many times as you want for repeated practice.


3. Word Formation


After the child can recognize letters, it is very easy to proceed to reading words in Hindi. In Hindi just by reading the letters placed one after another, one can read the words.


Worksheets are very helpful in this step as well as playing with flashcards and magnetic letters on board. You can also play simplified version of Hangman on a white board.


Note: For word reading practice, word drills are used where lists or flashcards of words are given and the child has to read them aloud correctly. If you are not a Hindi speaker, do not get worried about trying to tell the meaning of every word unless the child is curious, because these practice words without matras are often difficult to remember without context. It is enough for the child to be able to read the letters correctly.


4. Matra Addition: Vowel Diacritic Marks


The next step is to teach the child how the vowels are added to consonants in Hindi. In English, we just place the vowel letter after a consonant. In Hindi, and other Indian languages, the addition of vowel to a consonant is denoted by adding a certain mark to the consonant, called Matra in Hindi.


In contrast to learning letters, the learning of matras should be started with writing activity from the beginning itself.


The learning of all the consonants with addition of all the vowels is called 'Barahkhadi'. You can help the child do barahkhadi practice using Hindi sulekh books, single lined notebooks or our worksheets. Writing practice for a few minutes should be done at least 3 times a week.


5. Reading Practice


The moment the child can read letters with some matras, start reading activities using story books. This is a crucial component of learning Hindi. The more the child sees the words and reads, with or without help, the quicker they will learn the matras.


Watching videos should be restricted to 30 minutes over a week, while reading activities should be done daily, at least for 10 -15 minutes. If the child is learning 3 languages, then do the reading activities of 2 languages per day. Just for 10 minutes each, in different times of the day.


Reading activity includes reading to the child, reading with the child, and the child reading the book with help from parent. As the child progresses in their Hindi learning, proceed to advanced levels of books.


You can find a lot of FREE Hindi books (PDF files) and Audio books of early Hindi learning on our Subscriber's Page. If you are a subscriber, just enter the page and check out the content. If you haven't signed up yet, you can subscribe here.

6. Singing Practice


Spoken Hindi can be improved only by speaking! And singing is easier than speaking. Many people who do not speak Hindi can sing some Hindi songs. Similarly, teach your child a few rhymes and songs, and they will be more willing to speak this language.


7. Sanyukt Akshar Learning


Sanyukt akshar are consonant conjuncts, or blends. Unlike English, these are not created by writing letters one after another. In Hindi, the addition of two or three consonants leads to a different form of a letter, called the sanyukt akshar (= sanyukt letter). These are mostly easy to recognize, except a few. These have to be learned by writing and reading. Our Level 2 Bundle has a section on Sanyukt Akshar and we also have a separate worksheet solely on Sanyukt Akshar.


Once your child has finished learning the sanyukt akshar, they can now independently read all sort of story books. Gradually, by reading story books and watching Hindi kids' movies and series, the child will be able to develop a rich vocabulary and understand and speak better.


Our 40 paged Hindi Sanyukt Akshar Worksheet with separate appendix of word meanings and solutions brings you a complete solution to teaching conjuncts or consonant blends. Rules of conjunct formation, reading practice, conceptual explanations and various activities will help your child learn Sanyukt Akshar quickly and with a strong foundation. Age level: Hindi Worksheets for UKG Level to Grade 1 Level. This is available free with Level 1+2 Combo Pack.



For any doubts, do not hesitate to share your query on our Facebook Group.


Click below to read what other parents are saying about our worksheets! We have made these for our own children and for parents (whether or not Hindi speakers) who are teaching Hindi to their kids.

You can browse our Hindi Worksheet Bundles here:


🌟 Discover the Joy of Learning Hindi with Playful Home Education 🌟


Embark on your Hindi learning adventure today with Playful Home Education! Check out our Hindi worksheets, articles on how to teach Hindi, free access to loads of Hindi story books and discussing with other parents on the journey in our Facebook Group.


You can also start with our FREE Hindi Alphabet Flashcards.


Teaching your child Hindi writing can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. By incorporating engaging activities and following a structured approach, you can help your child develop their Hindi writing skills while fostering a love for the language. Remember, patience and encouragement are key to helping your child succeed in their Hindi writing journey.


 

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