New Master’s Degree Program in US Targets Teaching of Hindi

New Master’s Degree Program in US Targets Teaching of Hindi

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Over the past decade, 
there has been an increasing interest in the U.S. in the study of Hindi 
as an important world language due to India’s
 emergence as a political and economic power in the global age. This is 
reflected in the current upward trend in student enrollment at the 
secondary and post-secondary levels by heritage students (irrespective 
of their home language, which may be Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, etc.) 
who recognize the growing demand for Hindi-speaking professionals in the
 business, scientific and health sectors.  Enrollment is also on the 
rise for non-heritage students who see opportunities for the use of 
Hindi in the U.S., especially in local businesses in which there are a 
large concentration of people of Indian origin
 (hospitality workers, tax accountants, information technology), in 
addition to law and medical practice, and also worldwide due to India’s 
economic ties across the globe.

Given the current trend and future 
projections for the growth of Hindi (the third most common language 
other than English spoken in homes in the states), leaders in the Hindi 
education field recognized the need to build capacity for the teaching 
of Hindi in the U.S. (where most Hindi teachers lack formal teacher 
preparation) that would support the training of a “new breed of 
teachers” prepared to teach Hindi to 21st century digital 
learners. These teachers would learn about research-based best practices
 for effective teaching of languages that include language learning in 
real world contexts and in contemporary learning environments 
incorporating the use of current and emerging technologies. With well 
trained teachers, who actively engage students in learning Hindi for 
meaningful, real world purposes, the vision is to attract yet a greater 
percentage of students who “value” and wish to further pursue the study 
of Hindi for its long-term worth in our modern society. (It is well 
documented that instructional practices influence students’ inclination 
to study the language and impact efforts to promote the teaching and 
learning of Hindi).

A Master’s Degree Program in Hindi and 
Urdu Language Pedagogy was developed at Kean University with support by 
federal funding. This program is the only master’s degree program in 
Hindi and Urdu foreign language pedagogy in the U.S. Although there are 
domestic institutions of higher education offering undergraduate and 
graduate degree programs in Hindi and Urdu as foreign languages,
 none of these institutions offer undergraduate/graduate Hindi/Urdu 
teacher preparation programs or a concentration in the field of 
Hindi/Urdu language-specific language pedagogy at the graduate level. 
Graduate level pedagogy programs are also non-existent in the Hindi/Urdu
 language field in other countries, including India and Pakistan.  The 
program builds upon Kean’s well established reputation for teacher 
education due to its innovative approach to Hindi and Urdu teacher 
preparation and the potential development of a corpus of research 
lacking in the field of Hindi/Urdu language pedagogy.

The first cohort of MA students will 
graduate from the program in spring 2018.  Applications are currently 
being accepted for the next cohort of students which begin the program 
in fall 2018 and are available online at


While the application 
deadline is June 1, 2018, interested individuals are encouraged to apply
 as early as possible as partial scholarships are available on a limited basis
 for the first 10 qualified applicants (subject to availability of 
federal funding on an annual basis).  The program seeks applicants who 
are Native/Advanced speakers of Hindi or Urdu that reside in the U.S. 
and possess a Bachelor’s Degree. Applicants should be willing to 
complete the 2-year 30-credit program which consists of seven online 
courses and four onsite courses (offered at the Kean University Union 
Campus for 3-weeks during 2-consecutive summers and include clinical 
practice). Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to: 
teach in private schools and/or government schools, 
colleges/universities and in heritage language community schools using 
contemporary research-based best practices in language education; 
conduct research on second language-specific pedagogy or in the field of
 Hindi/Urdu Second Language Acquisition leading to a doctoral program; 
and/or pursue Alternate Route teacher certification options available in
 NJ and in most states in order to teach in public school settings. For 
additional information, interested individuals may contact Janis Jensen,
 Program Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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