Almost two decades ago, Arun Prakash accepted a job at Bellaire High School in Texas to teach the school's first Hindi language course. After using photocopies and binder throughout these years to teach his classes, Prakash has finally come up with a 480-page textbook, Namaste Jii, which is believed to be the first high school Hindi textbook in the United States.
From the Houston Chronicle:
It was 1989, and Prakash, a college-trained businessman, accepted $15 a day to lead the hourlong class. "It was more or less gas money," he recently recalled.
Prakash had no textbook and no worksheets, so the novice teacher invented his own lessons, writing them by hand until he got a computer equipped with a Hindi font.
Over the years, Prakash has stuffed countless photocopies into binders for his students. But this fall, for the first time, they will get a hardcover textbook — one Prakash wrote and had published in India this summer.<snip>
"Need made me do it," Prakash said.
Bellaire is one of only two public schools in Texas with Hindi classes, according to state education records. But as India becomes a bigger economic power, interest in its native tongue is growing. Texas, with the fourth-largest Hindi-speaking population in the United States, is poised to become a leader in Hindi instruction.
According to ABC13, the textbook covers the first two years of high school Hindi and is the equivalent of one year of college-level
Mr. Prakash said that Namaste Jii took almost eight years to develop using the curriculum that he wrote for his classes at Bellaire and at the University of Houston. Dr. Herman Van Olphen, director of the Hindi Urdu flagship program at the University of Texas at Austin, served as advisor on the book.
Click here to visit Bellaire High's Hindi Department.
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