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Marium Khan, Hindi-Urdu student Selected for the 2021 Critical Language Scholarship Program for Urdu

Marium is an India and South Asia Studies minor

The Critical Language Scholarship Program is a summer study abroad opportunity for American college and university students to learn languages essential to America’s engagement with the world.

From Marium: The Hindi classes I have taken here at UC Davis with Poonam ji have been instrumental to my progress. My parents both immigrated from Pakistan and have always spoken Urdu and Punjabi at home, but early language delays coupled with English schooling meant I was never able to pick it up. It's amazing how much of a culture is carried within language, but I had never been able to fully experience my own culture, and not being able to fully converse with my extended family really affected me as a person. When I transferred to UC Davis and discovered that Hindi/Urdu classes were offered, I felt I owed it to myself to finally learn the language, both for myself and as a surprise to my parents who always wanted me to speak Urdu. And my language learning has grown in leaps and bounds. Back in September I couldn't speak nor read a single word, but now I can hold a conversation and read paragraphs in the textbook without an issue! Poonam ji has been so patient and understanding with me, and the combination of spoken exercises in class along with daily homework reinforcing the material helped my brain grasp the new language easily. I hope to go on and complete the intermediate Hindi/Urdu series and minor in India and South Asian studies because of how welcoming Poonam ji was to me. Being chosen for the CLS for Urdu means that I can become a better Urdu speaker, not only for myself and my personal understanding, but also for the patients I hope to soon serve as a physician, and I have many thanks to Poonam ji for being supportive throughout my language learning journey.