Hindi and Marathi

Coalition Language Representatives

Language representative photo

Vidya Nahar, a native speaker of Hindi, has been teaching conversational and written Hindi and Marathi to adults and children in the northwest suburbs of Chicago since 1998, through her institute, "Balodyan" (www.balodyan.com). She has written more than 100 children's Hindi and Marathi songs/rhymes and Hindi/Marathi plays to teach these languages playfully to learners. These songs and skits have been published in four books, and a CD of her songs has been recorded. Vidya has written A to Z in Hindi volumes 1 & 2, and A to Z in a Hindi picture dictionary, with more than 1,000 images. She has also written a textbook, "Hindi Learner 1," for novice learners of Hindi, which covers topics such as varNamaalaa, maatraaeN, self-introduction, family introduction, friend introduction, weekly routine, daily routine, weather, animals, emotions, India's map, extended family, likes, dislikes, festivals of India, etc. (www.balodyan.com). Vidya has attended several STARTALK Hindi teacher training programs and served as the director for five STARTALK student Hindi programs. She is well versed in STARTALK's learning philosophy and incorporates ACTFL's learning standards for global language acquisition in her classes. She uses technology in her language classes to assess, enhance, and reinforce her students' learning. She has organized the "Vishva Hindi Video BHAASHAN Pratiyogitaa" (World Hindi Video Speech Contest) since 2016. This is the first and only contest of its kind, where anybody, ages 7 to 18, can participate from anywhere in the world by uploading a video of their Hindi speech on the given topic on YouTube to win handsome prizes. Videos of these speeches and various projects of Vidya's Hindi students at Balodyan can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/user/Balodyan/playlists. Vidya also teaches yoga and pilates to five generations of participants in the northwest suburbs of Chicago (www.vyayam.com).

Milind Ranad received his Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Pune in 1980. He then attended the Film and Television Institute of India, where he received a Post Graduate Diploma in Filmmaking in 1985. He has been teaching Hindi and Marathi at various universities in the Philadelphia area for the past 19 years. He is currently an adjunct instructor of Hindi at Temple University, where he teaches Hindi Elements I and II, and Hindi Intermediate I and II. He is also an instructor of Marathi at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Elementary and Intermediate Marathi. He has also taught Hindi at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, the University of Sciences, and the Startalk Hindi and Urdu Program at Princeton, New Jersey. He enjoys teaching and is passionate about sharing his knowledge of Hindi and Marathi with his students.

Milind is committed to continuous learning and professional development. In 2005, he participated in a five-day workshop at the University of Pennsylvania on Communicative Language Teaching. In 2006, he participated in a five-day SALRC (South Asia Language Resource Center, University of Chicago) Pedagogy Workshop on Assessment Concepts and Theory. These workshops have helped him to improve his teaching skills and to become a more effective instructor. Milind was a participant in a Fulbright Hays project 2022-2023, which included a 30-day study tour of India with the aim of studying the impact of Climate Change and local activism to mitigate it and use the research material to create Hindi language syllabi and lesson plans.

In addition to teaching, Milind has worked as a freelance cameraman and a chief assistant cameraman for a number of feature films, documentaries, TV serials, and programs in the Mumbai Film Industry, popularly known as 'Bollywood' in India. He also wrote, produced, and directed an Indian feature film titled Lutaloot. This film premiered in Philadelphia in 2003.

He has been working as a freelance cartoonist in the U.S. and India for various newspapers since 1978. His cartoons have been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer. He has also published a book of cartoons titled Cartoonyatra. He is also a self-trained animator. He has done book illustrations and Political Cartoon work for book publishers, authors, and websites.

Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2019