Q. What is this program?
A. This is an afterschool Hindi Language program for preschool, elementary and middle school students. Currently it covers only greater Bay Area in California. However, we are inviting people from all over USA to contact us if they would like a similar program to be started in their region.
Q. In which cities do you have classes?
A. USHA currently holds after school Jano Hindi classes in many cities -- Foster City, Redwood Shores, Belmont, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, San Jose, Fremont, Pleasanton and San Ramon.
Q. How can I get a similar program in my city?
A. USHA currently holds after school Jano Hindi classes in many cities.
Q. When do the classes start and when do they end?
A. Classes start in October and end in the May. This is what we call one full year of Hindi. The class will typically complete one eduHindi Level in this much time.
Q. When does enrollment start?
A. Enrollment will open online at our website as soon as we have completed the formalities with that particular school. Thus we plan to have online registrations open soon after the school has opened around early September.
Q. How can I know that enrollment has begun?
A. Typically, as soon as the formalities are over with the school, online registration for that school will open on our website. At the same time, we send fliers home to each child in that school, if that school allows it. We hope you will know about it that way. Another way is to join our mailing list (please send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org). And of course, you may check our website in September which is when all schools will open for enrollment.
Q. If the class has already started, can I still enroll?
A. YES. Enrollment is open even after classes have started. The teacher will help the new students catch up with the rest of the class.
Q. My school does not have a Jano Hindi program, how can I get it started there?
A. Please send email to email@example.com and we would love to start a class at your school. Meanwhile we recommend that if another location works for you, you may enroll your child in that class.
Q. The day for the Hindi class at my school does not suit us; can I enroll in another location?
A. Yes, definitely, all public schools/sites are open to any child. Private schools (unless specified) are open only to their students.
Q. Can my child join USHA classes even though he/she has been learning Hindi somewhere else?
A. Yes, please consult the teacher for the school where you want to put your child or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be recommended the correct eduHindi Level for which you will be able to register your child.
Q. Why should my child learn Hindi? How will it help my child?
A. Exposing them to a second language can be one of the best things we can do for our children. Taking it further, teaching them their heritage language if that is the second language which is the case for most immigrants, would be far more advantages. Children derive many benefits from early language instruction, such as:
Q. What is the USHA philosophy on which the program is based?
A. USHA believes that Hindi learning can be fun for all children. Children learn very quickly once they are given the right tools, right guidance and the right environment suitable for the subject. USHA goes to great lengths to design and develop books, workbooks,, materials, games and accessories that are child-friendly, thus making the child want to learn.
Q. What is the teaching methodology adopted by USHA?
A. Jano Hindi Classes provide a very unique, creative, fun, highly interactive environment and focus on developing speaking, reading, writing, and understanding Hindi skills. The class is broken up into segments to offer learning opportunities of varying kinds so as to keep the children engaged and active. Children are taught in the same manner as they are used to in the regular schools with special emphasis on keeping them interested and self motivated. It also makes sure that each child is encouraged to proceed at their own pace.
Q. What will my child learn in the first year?
A. All of USHA classes teach reading, writing, speaking and understanding. In the first year they will learn the alphabet, colors, numbers, poems and beginning conversation.
Q. How will my child's learning continue in the following years?
A. Your child will be eligible to enroll in the second level, in the second year and so on, thus making sure the child keeps progressing in Hindi skills.
Q. Will my child get bored?
A. The class structure is such that the child is always engaged in fun and challenging activities that keep varying and our kids do not get bored.
Q. I want my kids to learn conversation Hindi alone, I do not care about reading and writing. Will my child learn conversation?
A. They will definitely learn conversation. Every eduHindi Level has strong conversation units. USHA believes that reading and writing support conversation and vice versa. Therefore, the curriculum is evenly strong in conversation, reading, writing, and comprehension. These four skills support each other as four legs of a chair. Latest research strongly suggests that learning how to write a foreign language is extremely beneficial for brain development.
Q. How will the teacher be able to teach a first grader and fifth grader in the same level?
A. USHA has been doing that for some time with success. The teacher has plenty of material and strategies to make Hindi learning fun and challenging to each kid according to his/her ability.
Q. How much homework is assigned?
A. We understand that this is an after school program and do not want too much HW. However, we do want our kids to learn, hence the teacher will assign about 30min/week homework. If it gets done, well and good, else they will do in class. Of course, teacher can fine tune the HW to suit the child. Child can of course move at his/her pace. However, some HW will be useful for progress to be made. More HW may be assigned if the child desires. Hence this is flexible.
Q. Can I enroll my child on a monthly basis or pay the tuition in 2 installments?
A. No. USHA has fixed costs because of which it does not do tuition on a monthly basis or on an installment basis. USHA believes that language can be learned only with regular classes for the whole year which is why it works very hard to get the rooms reserved for the whole year so as to hold classes for your child.
Q. My daughter does not know any Hindi at all and I wanted to check with you what level will you be starting at? Do you expect the kids to have any basic knowledge or will you start at the very beginning?
A. Level 1 is designed for kids who have never attended any Hindi class. We start at the very beginning!
Q. My son understands Hindi very well and can speak very well, but has never attended any class. What level do you recommend?
A. If your child knows conversation, it does give them a head start, but since they have not gone through any formal reading/writing, they would start at Level 1 also.
Q. Since when have you been in operation?
A . USHA was founded in 2006; however the curriculum has been in use since 2001. We have taught about 4000 students since 2006.
Q. Are the classes offered by other programs in bay area following the same books/materials?
A. No. USHA creates designs and publishes/manufactures its own eduHindi student material and teacher material in USA.
Q. Can my child get credit for these classes?
A. Children get foreign language credit for high school level courses that they do in high schools. This is the nationwide high school foreign language policy. Thus, if your child does Hindi in elementary and then joins Hindi in high school, whatever Hindi your child has learnt in elementary or middle school will make him/her do extremely well in the high school Hindi class.
At completion of Level 4, children become eligible to take the LTI (Language Testing International) examination which can qualify them to skip one year of High School Hindi, should they decide to do so. In case the child does not enroll for High School Hindi, this test result can be submitted with the student's college application as the certification provided by LTI is accepted by all colleges in USA.
Q. Can I buy the eduHindi textbook and workbook for my child to teach at home?
A. No. USHA policy does not allow such book sales. We highly recommend any of the Jano Hindi Classes that are happening in so many schools in Bay Area.
Q. What are your cancellation policies?
A. If USHA has to cancel a class due to low enrollment; USHA will do a full refund. If a cancellation is done by the parent after the first class (before second class), full amount is refunded and a $25 processing fee is deducted. There is no cancellation allowed after second class. The reason is that we have reserved the rental facility for the whole year by that time.
Q. Can my child get a makeup for classes he/she misses due to sickness or something else?
A. No. The class dates are predetermined and just like any program, there is no way to provide a makeup class. However, since the instructor is sending home regular emails, parents and children can easily catch-up at home.
Q. Do you offer a sibling discount?
A. No. USHA does not offer sibling discount. We believe sibling discounts do not make sense for a nonprofit which is already providing a service at extremely nominal rates. It would rather offer fair pricing across the board for all its customers.
Q. My child goes home by the school bus which he will miss if he attends this class. Do you provide transportation?
A. No. USHA is dedicated to providing quality Hindi classes and materials only.
Q. Is there any other policy that I should know?
A. Yes. There is a $2/min fee for pickups that are done 5min after the end of class.
Q. Is there a minimum and maximum enrollment requirement?
A. Yes. Just like any class announced by any organization has a minimum requirement so do we need a minimum enrollment so that the facility, teacher and office expenses can be paid. Our minimum is 10. Even though our minimum is 10, we try our very best to keep the class in any manner even if it is lower than that since by that time we would have spent 30 unpaid hours to set it up. The maximum enrollment is 20 after which we will open a wait list and we would try to open a second class if possible.
Q. Do you provide classes on weekends?
A. Yes, but very few on an exception basis only. You may use Advanced Search and select Saturday/Sunday which will show the choices available.
Q. I am not sure my child will like the classes. What should I do?
A. Since we started our classes in 2006, ALL kids have told us that they have liked these classes. They all want to come back for the consequent levels. We recommend that you register for the class and let the child be exposed to the first class. The child will get a pretty good idea of what he/she will learn, what they will do in class and how the instructor teaches in class, besides seeing all the materials he/she will be using and getting. Parents are welcome to come and observe the first class as well. You may cancel after the first class if you wish.
Q. I just got to know about the classes and 3 classes have already been held. What can I do?
A. USHA allows enrollment up to 5-8 weeks after classes have started. The reason being is that, from past experience we know that these classes can be caught up by the child with teacher help. It is always recommended to join class this year rather than delay it by yet one more year since this way the child will finish the current level and move to next level next year. We recommend that you talk to the teacher in case want to join after the initial 5 classes. However, there is no prorating of classes as the class is already underway and so are the fixed costs; besides the teacher will be bringing the child up to speed with the rest of the class.
Q. I see the fees for the Sandpiper is much more than other locations. For example Foster city is $415 whereas for Sandpiper it is $455 and additionally $55 for material fee (total $ 520). Any reason why is it so expensive out at Sandpiper School?
A. All our fees in Bay area vary depending on how much rental fee we have to remit to the hosting site. Hence there isvariation. Being a nonprofit, we do not have a flat rate structure, but instead we try to adjust the tuition according to the facility costs we incur.
Q. I want to transfer to another school but their fees are higher. Do I have to pay the difference?
the tuition difference has to be paid prior to doing the transfer.
There will be $25 transfer fee if the transfer is done after December 1.
There is no transfer fee for transfers between classes until Nov 30.
Q. My son has been learning Hindi (reading and writing, matrasetc ) at home for few years now.And I am afraid that level one will be just too basic for him and he might get bored and not gain much during the year. Is it possible to have the teacher assess his Hindi knowledge prior to assigning him to any level?
A. That is exactly what we recommend. If you want to save time, please find out what your child knows and then call the teacher to find what level suits the child. We do not want him bored at a lower level. As a standard practice, kids enrolling in Level 2 and above, who have not done our eduHindi level will be tested by the teacher to make sure that the child is ready for that level, thus ensuring that the child will enjoy the current level he/she is enrolling in. That said, a language is not something that can be rushed and nobody gains by putting the child at a level which is too high for the child. We have observed that teaching them for few months at home is not sufficient enough to say that they have done one level, and those children will not get the most out of our classes since they would always be playing catch-up. We are finding that even some kids, who have done Hindi somewhere else for a whole year, are not ready for our Level 2. Their Hindi 1 concepts are so weak that we recommend that they enroll in our Level 1.
Q. What is the qualification?
A. Our teachers are all highly qualified and trained professionals, with post graduate education and many with Bachelors and Masters in Hindi. Above all, what they all have in common is – their passion andcommitment to teach and their love for Hindi. They also undergo special Hindi training under the guidance of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages(ACTFL).
Q. Does the tuition paid to USHA for these classes qualify for tax deduction since USHA is a 501c(3) like any other school?
A. NO. USHA is a non-profit, however the tuition you give to USHA is not a donation but instead you are receiving services (Hindi classes) in return. Hence, they do not qualify for tax deduction.
Q. Is there anything that a parent should do to support the child's learning of the Hindi language?
A. Yes. A language cannot be learned without using it. Hindi is being learned by the child so the child may use it with their family members and friends. Thus, whatever Hindi parents can speak will go a long way to supporting the child. The child also gets a chance to show off their learning and feel proud of it. For younger children, parental supervision of homework will be useful for the child and parent alike. This homework time brings Hindi to the home and builds the rapport between parent and child in Hindi. For those parents who may not know the language itself, we recommend that they purchase the supporting textbook which has English, the Learn Hindi CDROM and perhaps they themselves can join the adult classes. Once the child realizes that the parent is also learning, their enthusiasm doubles and they will become your teacher thus increasing their learning speed and confidence.
Q. My son's class is a combination Level 1 and Level 2 class. What will be your strategy to teach different levels?
A. If we had enough kids we would have different levels but sometimes this is not possible even if we wish it to be due to various reasons. USHA has distinct, structured, fun and easy curriculums for all levels. Thus, even if there are 2 levels in one classroom at the same time, each child is learning and being taught at their level. Our teachers are trained and can easily teach large classes of up to 20 children.This particular class of 10 kids - is very small by our standards thus making it easy for the teachers who are used to teaching larger numbers. USHA has been conducting mixed level classes for a while, especially in private schools which are small by nature, where we cannot expect even 10 kids each level. Hence the class conducted there is of mixed levels. A combination class is a known feature and we treat it carefully, seriously and have not had any trouble with it. Teachers know how to take turns between levels and give proper attention. The reason we have to resort to this is so that we can reach the minimum enrollment, otherwise the class cannot exist, since below the minimum the class becomes financially unviable, which would cause both classes to be shut down.
Since we want your kids to have this opportunity, we have no choice but to merge the levels. Based on our experience with mixed classes we can say,
please do not worry.The kids will get a great experience. The higher level kids will feel more confident in front of the lower level kids and the lower level kids will look up to the higher level kids as role models. All in all we have found it to be a good experience.
Q. The tuition fee for our school has gone up significantly from last year. You are a nonprofit, how can you keep increasing fees?
A. USHA is a nonprofit and tries to do the best pricing it can. However, it can do only what it can afford. The average rental fee has kept on going up and the schools/sites have informed us of more fee increases to come as they also grapple with their budget problems. USHA does not spend a penny on wasteful expenses at all. It runs on basic accounting principles and tries to provide the very best quality, convenience and value to the community. It is however not a charity organization but an educational nonprofit exactly like any regular school. Thus, we have expenses such as faculty salaries, room rental, website registration, marketing, administrative, research and development of curriculum and publishing costs and few more categories not listed here.
Unfortunately, the very fact that we rent from the schools makes the effort required very high since the schools have put in place many steps
and processes to be followed at each step. All this requires a monumental amount of time, patience, effort and huge amounts of organization and tracking since we have to deal with 60-70 schools, about 20 school districts and each one has their own system that they want to be followed. Given the fact that we try to serve the Indian community at about 60-70 schools, you can understand how large this effort is and how much manpower it needs. We start applying to them in May of the previous year. After that we need approval from the school, then the district and then flier approval and a host of other approvals as well. At each step of the way we have to communicate with various people at each site and then we have to wait for their response: just to give you an idea of the process.
But this is the only way to bring Hindi at your door for your convenience! The price for this convenience is the management of each school, each school district and each of their paperwork and none of this is free or instantaneous. If we do increase any fee it is only to cover costs nothing else. In order to stay as a non-profit we are bound to charge only what is necessary for the smooth operation of this entity. USHA exists for serving the Hindi language - that is USHA's charter and it will do whatever it takes to put Hindi on equal footing with other foreign languages.
Q. I went through the Hindi books and I noticed that everything is written in Hindi in these books. Even the homework pages had Hindi colors listed. For people who don't know how to read Hindi it might be very difficult. Do you guys have any kind of cd for these books which has English/Hindi translations? This is just a feedback from my side as it might be harder for me to explain to my daughter as days goes by.
A. We do have the same textbook with English meaning and transliteration exactly for this purpose ...i.e. for parents like you who want to learn along and help the child at home. (you will find it under Products on our website.. your teacher will have a copy also).That textbook is only for parents and not for kids since once the kid receives that it will take them much longer to learn the alphabet and they do not need it anyway.They are here to learn Hindi and this curriculum has worked very well for the past 10 years.