June 15 - August 20, 2017
American Institute of Indian Studies
The CLS Punjabi Program in Chandigarh, India is a flexible and learner-oriented language acquisition and cultural immersion program. Students spend 20 hours per week in the classroom, with additional activities, classes and excursions outside of these hours.
Chandigarh is the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana, and is located near the foothills of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas in North-West India, 245 kilometers north of New Delhi. Chandigarh is a fairly recent city, having been planned and built post-Indian independence in 1966. The hosting organization in Chandigarh is the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS). AIIS is a consortium of 71 American universities with South Asia Studies Centers and is recognized by the Government of India as an institution of higher learning and research. AIIS has been instructing American university students and scholars in Indic languages for over 50 years.
In Chandigarh, students will spend their time in grammar, conversation, pronunciation, journal writing, and dictation language classes in order to hone the four skills of language development – listening, speaking, reading and writing. The CLS Program works with students to set both short and long term learning goals, and the faculty works collectively and individually to help students achieve these goals throughout the summer institute. Students are placed in small classes according to their level indicated on their application, the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) exam score from the spring, and an in-country placement test.
In addition to formal evaluations such as tests and quizzes, student–teacher meetings are held every week to discuss student progress and language-learning goals. Classes are held five days a week from 9am until 1pm. In the afternoons, students attend a cultural activity class or meet with their Language Partner for Punjabi-conversation practice. In the past, students had a choice of Bhangra dance, cooking, Gurmat sangeet, Bollywood dance, embroidery, or painting as their cultural activity class. Students also can complete homework in the afternoons with the help of teachers, or request additional tutoring.
Weekly activities supplement formal classroom instruction and include guest lectures, monolingual guests such as shopkeepers or tradespeople, and music and dance performances. Several local group excursions take place over the summer, allowing students to explore the area, gain in-depth knowledge of culture and history, and meet locals from different backgrounds. In the past, such cultural excursions have included visits to the local market, Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake, and a local pind (village). Students also travel on one overnight excursion to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple. Towards the end of the program, each student works with his or her instructors to complete an independent project of their choosing. In the final week of the program, students of all levels present their projects entirely in Punjabi to their classmates. CLS participants live with host families to maximize language learning and the cultural immersion experience. In the mornings, institute-provided transportation picks up students from their homes and takes them to school. In the afternoons, students are free to stay in the institute to study, or arrange their own transportation home or around the city. While most weekends are scheduled with CLS excursions or activities, students have 2-3 free weekends over the summer which they can use to rest or travel around the state or country, distance permitting.