SONJA BURROWS, PhD | Portfolio

School in India | A Middlebury CV Starr School Abroad

Project Description: This is an online language and cultural learning space for undergraduate students from Middlebury College and elsewhere preparing to study abroad in Delhi, India. The purpose of the learning space is to prepare students with no training in Hindi to begin to learn to write and speak the language so as to best prepare for their experience in Delhi. The space includes guided training in script writing and also in the pronunciation of letters, sounds and words in Hindi for total beginners.

Design: This space is built with a full-installation of WordPress and designed in partnership with staff and leadership at Middlebury’s School in India. Design highlights include clear navigation, vibrant visuals, and an in-depth inventory of original, video-supported and audio-supported pronunciation lessons created in collaboration with a media specialist, a Schools Abroad administrator, and a native speaker of Hindi. In this learning space, novice-level students learning Hindi can watch and study a complete set of guided video lessons to help them both visually identify and orally pronounce letters and words of the Hindi alphabet. Each lesson works to contextualize letters, sounds and words so as to maximize student learning and retention of the new language, while also supporting them bilingually so as to provide accessible learning for complete beginners with no experience with the Hindi alphabet. All lessons are prepared for students getting ready to travel to Delhi for their study abroad experience.

Additional Features: In addition to Hindi language-learning lessons crafted by this collaborative team of experts, this space includes cultural orientation materials for students preparing to study in Delhi, such as a custom-created, interactive map of the city including places of interest for students; a guide to cultural highlights in the city; and a visual gallery including photos of Delhi and beyond. Here, students can learn about local information such as markets in Delhi, how to use public transportation, and the best ways to navigate life in Delhi while they are studying abroad. While this space is designed for use primarily before students travel, it can also be supportive to students on-ground during their study abroad experience in India.

Sonja Burrows served as lead Instructional Designer on this project as part of her work with Middlebury’s Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry. Read more about this project here.


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