Mr Manoj Dhanilal (president of Hindi Shiksha Sangh SA), Prof R Sitaram (editor), Mr Ajith Raghubar, Nishi Pithamber, Mahadevi Ramsuraj, Laljee Sukhoo, Tajwathee Bachoo, Dr Chaitanya Prakash Yogi (director of the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Durban, Consulate General of India, SA), Thiromanee Ramnarain and Prof Usha Shukla.
The Phoenix Hindi Patshala, a Hindi school currently using the premises at Earlington Secondary, launched an innovative approach to mother-tongue learning, recently.
The school’s awards ceremony was also held jointly with upcoming Hindi school, Shree Sanathan Daram Sathsang Sabha Hindi Patshala, also situated in Phoenix, and the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Consulate General of India, Durban.
Twelve pupils were placed in the top 10 nationally between the two schools. The highlight of the evening was the launch of a Hindi wordbook/workbook compiled by Phoenix Hindi Patshala teacher, Thiromanee Ramnarain.
This book is entitled ‘My Store-House of Words’ or ‘Mere Shabdon Ka Bhandar’. It is hailed as a unique concept in vocabulary building for Hindi pupils in SA, whereby a format is provided in one compact book which can be used throughout the pupils Hindi studies.
The wordbook serves to enrich and expand Hindi in an interactive way. It has three parts, each distinct in its own right.
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Part one uses names of people, films, characters, etc. In part two, a format is given and part three has some grammar concepts and other useful additions, eg: My Common Spelling Errors.
The editor of this book, Prof R Sitaram gave an impromptu address to the audience and is quoted as saying ‘every detail of this workbook has been well-thought of and had the pupil in mind.’
Prof Usha Shukla states in the foreword of the book, “This lexicon provides the variety that will enrich the acquired language, be it names meticulously chosen in alphabetical order to ensure inclusiveness, words for everyday objects, ideas and phenomena, which can help the learner in constructing meaningful texts.”
Dr Chaitanya Prakash Yogi, director of the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre of Durban SA elaborated on the importance of the word ‘shabd/word’.
Compiler of the workbook, Ramnarain said, “Acquiring an extensive vocabulary is a huge challenge in learning a second language and vocabulary is the foundation for comprehension. By extracting words from the prescribed texts and making continuous additions to and use of your workbook, memory retention will be enhanced, thus encouraging better expression,” she said.