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A Guided Course for the Bengali Alphabet and Conversational Bangla
for A Guided Course for Conversational Bangla
A Guided Course for the Bengali Alphabet and Conversational Bangla The Alphabet, Grammatical Sentence Construction, Parts of Speech, Creating Sentences with an Initial Vocabulary
Using Software to Enhance Learning
Supriyo Sen Last Updated: August 2017, Toronto, Canada
Familiarization with course materials and setting up study environment
supriyosen.net - forlessonplan - Overview
Learning a new language does take some effort and hard work. Self study with formal text books in a classroom environment may take too long to produce visible progress. This course is designed for Internet users who want to learn the fundamentals of Bangla to be able to participate in conversations in Bangla.
This is an immersive 9 Lesson course that can be completed in 14 weeks of intensive study. You can also just follow the Lesson Plan and take the course at your own pace. I will help you through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
The Teaching Method
We know that a five-year-old child can speak in grammatically correct sentences in their "Mother Tongue." They do not have a large vocabulary at that point, but manage to express themselves adequately. Linguists theorize that humans are born with a "language instinct" and they pick up the nuances of grammatical construction from their parents' conversations.
The teaching method in this site emulates how a child would learn their "Mother Tongue".
Learning the Alphabet
First, you would have to familiarize yourself with the Bangla Alphabet - Vowels and Consonants.
Next, you need to understand how the sound of a Consonant is modified by Vowels (represented as diacritics). Finally, you have to learn the concept of Compound Consonants, where a consonant sound immediately follows another Consonant.
Words and Vocabulary
Words are made up from the letters in the Alphabet. A large vocabulary of words is useful only if you understand how they can be put together in grammatically correct Sentence.
Grammar & Sentence Formation
A grammar framework needs to be established early, incuding common Parts of Speech (like Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, etc.) similar to what you already know in English. Then vocabulary words are introduced within this framework. Sample sentences are used to put these words in a learning context. The learning process includes the student's ability to experience writing the Bangla sentences as
you learn new words.
This approach will appear to be different from most Bangla textbooks and the large variety of resources available on the Internet.
Your learning will be easier and your comprehension will be deeper if you work through the Lessons presented below.
We will be using two interactive ebooks on this site - https://supriyosen.net - "Learn the Bangla Alphabet" and "Introduction to Conversational Bangla". Many external sources (like YouTube videos) will also be referenced as necessary.
You have an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the course material by accessing the PDF versions of the instructional text at:
Lesson 1 - Vowels and Consonants - one week (10 hours)
supriyosen.net - forlessonplan - lesson1
There are 11 Vowels and 39 Consonants in common use in Bangla.
course material is Chapters 1-4 from "Learn the Bangla Alphabet" on supriyosen.net. Videos are provided with pronunciation of the letters of the Alphabet and sample Bangla words made from Consonants and Vowels only. Youtube videos with Kids songs with Vowels and Consonants are referenced as memory aids and Youtube links are provided for practising Handwriting.
Lesson 2 - Vowel Signs and Compound Consonants - one week (10 hours)
supriyosen.net - forlessonplan - lesson2
In Lesson 1, we covered the Basic Alphabet in Bangla. Bangla (like other Sanskrit-based languages) allows transformation of Vowels and Consonants. In this lesson the course material is based on Chapters 5-9 of "Learn the Bangla Alphabet." We will address two concepts common to all Indic Languages - Vowel Signs and Compound Consonants. When a vowel sound modifies a consonant, the vowel is written as a diacritic attached to the consonant. When two or more consonant sounds are pronounced together, a compound consonant is formed.
Lesson 3 - Words, Parts of Speech and Forming Grammatically Correct Sentences - one week (10 hours)
supriyosen.net - forlessonplan - lesson3
If you feel that you need more time to master the Bangla Alphabet, don't worry. You should come back and repeat Lessons 1 and 2, while you are going through other lessons. Repetition aids memory! Since all material is presented in Bangla and Phonetic English, you will have plenty of opportunity to solidify your understanding of Bangla Alphabets as we move forward in the course.
Lesson 3 is based on Chapters 1-3 of "Introduction to Conversational Bangla" and lays the foundation blocks of Bangla Grammar using your knowledge of English grammatical structure.
You will learn about the grammatical construction of Bangla, like the Subject, Object and Verb clauses,
especially the difference between English (Subject-Verb-Object) and Bangla (Subject-Object-Verb) sentence construction.
Lesson 4 - Nouns, Pronouns, Determiners and Verbs - two weeks (20 hours)
supriyosen.net - forlessonplan - lesson4
We will now start to use some of the most common Parts of Speech. In this lesson, based on Chapters 4-7 of "Introduction to Conversational Bangla", you will first find a small set of Pronouns, Nouns, Determiners and Verbs, enough to start making some sentences. Then we will start on a vocabulary enriching set of Pronouns and Nouns. Detailed study of Verbs will be in the next Lesson. In this lesson, we want to let you think in terms of the Subject and Object phrases, where Nouns and Pronouns are predominantly used.
Introduction to Conversational Bangla Chapter 4 - The Essential Parts of Speech – Nouns, Pronouns, Determiners and Verbs. The examples will show you how to use different Parts of Speech like Nouns, Pronouns, Determiners and Verbs. A minimal vocabulary is presented and examples are used to show the usage of these words. Some more difficult concepts like Verb conjugations is presented for the few verbs introduced in this chapter.
Lesson 5 - Verbs and Verb Conjugations - three weeks (30 hours)
supriyosen.net - forlessonplan - lesson5
We have looked at Nouns, Pronouns, and Determiners. It is now necessary to study Verbs. Verbs and Verb Conjugations are the most difficult topic for new learners because of the number of new words you have to memorize. Here, however, we will try to show you patterns in words and word-endings so that you can learn a lot of new words and predict the conjugations as you learn them. The course material is in Chapter 8 of "Introduction to Conversational Bangla." Extensive use is made of the Verb Conjugation Wizard to study patterns in the conjugated verb forms.
Lesson 6 - Sentence Construction in Bangla - one week (10 hours)
supriyosen.net - forlessonplan - lesson6
You should be able to make grammatically correct sentences with the rules of grammar you learnt in the Lessons so far. Instead of learning more words, let us start to make some sentences using the words you have already learnt. Extensive use is made of the Sentence Construction Wizard in working through the sample sentences.
Learn to use the Sentence Construction Wizard to make sentences with Nouns, Pronouns, Determiners and Verbs only. I will provide some help in a post and some exercises for you to use the Wizard.
supriyosen.net - forlessonplan - lesson7
We now will learn about some less common Parts of Speech and two Miscellaneous topics. This lesson is based on Chapters 9-14 of "Introduction to Conversational Bangla" and looks at Adverbs, Adjectives, Prepositions and Conjunctions. Two miscellaneous topics - Yes/No and Punctuation are also presented.
Lesson 8 - Review of Grammar Rules - one week (10 hours)
supriyosen.net - forlessonplan - lesson8
We have now covered the major Parts of Speech and should be able to form Sentences with the Words you have learnt. We will spend some time in reviewing the Grammar Rules you have learnt, before going back for more vocabulary building.
Go back to the Sentence Construction Wizard and expand upon the sentences you were creating in Lesson 5. This time apply some Adjectives and Adverbs and possibly use some Prepositions in your Sentences.
Video Clips for Course Material
These chapters review material already covered. No video guide is provided.
Lesson 9 - Review and Assessment of Course Material - one weeks (10 hours)
supriyosen.net - forlessonplan - lesson8
You have been through a tsunami of new information in this online course. If you have come this far, my heartiest congratulations! You may not remember all the words you learnt. You may have self-doubt on how deep your understanding is of some of the grammar constructs used here. However, you now have a pretty good basis for further study of the Bangla language. This would be a good time to record which parts you should go back to and what words you need to learn/relearn to carry on a conversation in Bangla.
On completion of this course, the student should go through each lesson and write an evaluation. This could be under the following headings.
On a scale of 1 to 5, how well did you understand and remember the material presented?
Which parts were the easiest to master?
Which parts were most difficult?
Can you suggest any approach that would have made learning easier?
Did you do the suggested quizzes in each lesson?
Total Time: 14 weeks of intense online study, investing 10+ hours/week for less than 4 months
Two different ways to write Bangla on a computer have been presented on this site. All these methods have the advantage of not requiring the user to have to install ANY software on their computer. All the Bangla on this site were entered using the second method as I wanted to also present the phonetic English with the Bangla.