Urdu III-IV Spring 2024 Syllabus

FORLANGC 131UR Urdu III and FORLANGC 141UR Urdu IV (full course)
Five College Center for World Languages
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Date span Assignment Self-assessment
Feb 5 to Feb 11

Tutorials and conversation sessions start this week.
Study Guide 21 homework due at tutorial.
Look ahead and begin Study Guide 22.

Feb 12 to Feb 18

Review Study Guide 21.
Study Guide 22 homework due at tutorial.

Feb 19 to Feb 25

Study Guide 23 and Study Guide 24 homework due at tutorial. 

Feb 26 to Mar 3

Study Guide 25 and Study Guide 26 homework due at tutorial. 

Mar 4 to Mar 10

Study Guide 27 and Study Guide 28 homework due at tutorial.

Mar 11 to Mar 17

Study Guide 29 and Study Guide 30 homework due at tutorial. 

Mar 18 to Mar 24

Spring Break - no sessions, no self-assessments.


Mar 25 to Mar 31

Mid-Term Evaluation Week for Full Courses 
Schedules for review and evaluation will be communicated to students.

Writing Skills Assessments will be distributed.

Apr 1 to Apr 7

Study Guide 31 and Study Guide 32 homework due at tutorial.

Apr 8 to Apr 14

Study Guide 33 and Study Guide 34 homework due at tutorial.

Apr 15 to Apr 21

Study Guide 35 and Study Guide 36 homework due at tutorial.

Apr 22 to Apr 28

Study Guide 37 and Study Guide 38 homework due at tutorial.

Apr 29 to May 5

Study Guide 39 and Study Guide 40 homework due at tutorial.

May 6 to May 12

Review of Study Guides 21-40
Tutorials and conversation sessions WILL meet this week for review

May 6 to May 13

Writing Skills Assessments will take place.

Graduating seniors need to see that home campus senior grade deadlines are met.

May 13 to May 17

End of the Semester

Final Oral Evaluations
Individual oral evaluations will be scheduled in this time period.
Do not make travel plans until you know the date and time of your individual oral evaluation. 
Graduating seniors need to see that home campus senior grade deadlines are met.

FORLANGC 131UR Urdu III and FORLANGC 141UR Urdu IV (full course)
Course Description and Requirements

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Director: Janna White
Contact Information: fcmlp2@umass.edu or 413-542-5264

Course Description

Mentored Urdu III and IV are part of the Mentored Language Program administered by the Five College Center for World Languages. Mentored courses focus on all four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) using one-on-one tutorials with a language mentor, small group conversation sessions, and guided individual study. Students follow a series of detailed study guides outlining homework assignments and preparation steps for tutorials and conversation sessions.

Students enrolled in accelerated Urdu III and IV complete both courses within one semester. Students complete all assignments and the final oral and written evaluations for Urdu III by the mid-semester point; students complete all assignments and final evaluations for Urdu IV during the regular final evaluation period. Students receive separate grades for each course.

The Mentored Urdu program covers both spoken and written Urdu with an emphasis on developing speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. The prerequisites for the Urdu III and IV accelerated course are Urdu I and II or the equivalent. Students starting the course also must demonstrate previous success in language learning and evidence of self-discipline in managing independent work. Urdu I, II, III, and IV together cover material roughly equivalent to one year of college-level Swahili study in a more traditional classroom course.

The syllabus for this course assigns materials at a pace necessary to complete the assigned materials within a semester. Students who fall behind this pace will be in danger of not passing the course and should discuss their situation with the program director. Students who prefer to move faster than the assigned pace are most welcome to do so. Students who find themselves significantly ahead on the syllabus should contact the program director to see what accommodations might be made to facilitate the faster pace.

Course Materials

Textbooks may be purchased online or through a special order at your local bookstore.

Beginning Urdu: A Complete Course by Joshua H. Pien and Fauzia Farooqui (Georgetown University Press, 2012). ISBN: 9781589017788. Please purchase the book online or special order from a local bookstore.

Chapter 13 (PDF) and full audio files available for free download from publisher’s website at http://press.georgetown.edu/book/languages/beginning-urdu. Under “EXPLORE THIS TITLE” is a download link to the full audio.


1. Successful mastery of the material assigned on this syllabus and its accompanying study guides. Students are reminded that their two final comprehensive oral evaluations will cover all material assigned for each course regardless of whether it was used or discussed in tutorials or conversation sessions.

2. Fourteen to sixteen hours per week of independent study (at least two hours per day). The program provides weekly study guides that include instructions for both oral and written practice. The guides also include preparation for conversation sessions and homework to be handed in at each tutorial.

3. Weekly 60-minute individual tutorials with the mentor assigned to the course. Mentors will go over written homework assignments, answer questions brought by students, work on individual issues with pronunciation and grammar, and provide practice drills in preparation for written and oral evaluations.

4. Weekly 90-minute small group conversation session. Conversation sessions are led by the mentors and/or native- or fluent-speaking undergraduate or graduate student conversation partners. Conversation sessions provide practice with both speaking and listening comprehension. Conversation sessions constitute the primary practice for the oral fluency portion of the final evaluation.

5. Weekly homework assignments submitted by the tutorial meeting. Weekly homework assignments should be submitted in hardcopy at the start of each tutorial session. Homework must be submitted on time at the tutorial to receive credit. No late submissions will be accepted. When a student is absent from their session or the session is rescheduled, the assignment is due at their next tutorial. At the end of the semester, every student’s two lowest homework scores will be dropped. Students who submit all homework assignments will have their two lowest scores dropped AND receive 3 points of extra credit on their final course grade, equivalent to a partial letter grade. Mentors can provide feedback and comments on late submissions, but students will not receive credit. Any exceptions due to illness or other emergencies must be cleared by the program director. Self-granted extensions will not be honored.

6. Weekly self-assessment reports submitted on time. Self-assessments are due at the end of each week and are recorded as “on time” as long as they are received by 9:00 am the following Monday morning. Late self-assessments will only receive partial credit. The self-assessments help students to evaluate their own progress in learning the language and their overall development of language learning strategies, and also alert the program staff to any problems with preparation or logistical details of the course.

7. Writing skills assessment for each course. The first writing skills assessment will be done at mid-semester and the second completed at the end of the regular semester.

8. Final comprehensive oral evaluation for each course covering listening and reading comprehension, conversational fluency, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and cultural knowledge. Students in the accelerated course sequence take the first final evaluation at mid-semester and the second during the regular final evaluation period.


10% attendance, preparation, and participation in all tutorials and conversation sessions, plus on-time submission of homework and self-assessment reports 

40% overall quality of the homework portfolio 

10% writing skills assessment (assesses ability to write short paragraphs, dialogs and essay topics) 

40% final comprehensive oral evaluation covering listening and reading comprehension, conversational fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. The final oral evaluations must be completed in order to pass the course.

Grading scale: A (94-100); A- (90-93); B+ (87-89); B (84-86); B- (80-83); C+ (77-79); C (74-76); C- (70-73); D+ (67-69); D (64-66); F (63 or lower).

Students in the accelerated format will receive separate grades for each course.

Final grades are submitted by the program director based on final evaluation grades and the student’s overall course participation record and homework portfolio.

Study Guides, Homework Assignments and Self-Evaluation

Weekly study guides serve as the student’s primary guide to the course and are essential to a student’s independent learning. The study guides are accessed through the course website and contain live links to any online materials students need to access. Students are responsible for accessing the online study guides and downloading printed copies for themselves as necessary.

Most of the study exercises included on the guides are activities students do on their own. Some of the texts and online exercises include answer keys. Students are expected to use these keys to evaluate their own work. Exercises that do not include or lend themselves to simple answer keys cover material that will be “checked” through the process of using the material in tutorial interactions and conversation sessions.

Each study guide also includes work that should be handed in for feedback from the course mentor and to become a part of the student’s homework portfolio. If students have access to an answer key for any homework to be handed in, they are expected to use the answer key ahead of time to correct their own work. They should bring the page with noted corrections to the tutorial and have the mentor clarify any remaining confusions.

Remember that language learning is cumulative. Completing assignments will help students make the most of their sessions and build a strong foundation in the language. Missing assignments will negatively impact students’ course grades and their ability to progress through the semester, as each week’s content builds on previous material.

Homework assignments should be clearly labeled at the top of each page in English with the student's name, the date, and the Study Guide number.


The University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Five College Center for World Languages are committed to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students.  If you have a documented physical, psychological, or learning disability on file with UMass Disability Services (DS) or your home campus, you may be eligible for reasonable academic accommodations to help you succeed in this course.  If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please notify the program director within the first two weeks of the semester so that we may make appropriate arrangements.  For further information, please visit Disability Services at https://www.umass.edu/disability/ or your home campus office of disability services. 

Academic Honesty Policy

Students must adhere to all University of Massachusetts Amherst and Five College policies regarding professional conduct and ethics, including policies covering non-discrimination, sexual harassment, and academic honesty. University of Massachusetts Amherst Academy Honesty Policy: Since the integrity of the academic enterprise of any institution of higher education requires honesty in scholarship and research, academic honesty is required of all students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Academic dishonesty is prohibited in all programs of the University.  Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and facilitating dishonesty.  Appropriate sanctions may be imposed on any student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty.  Instructors should take reasonable steps to address academic misconduct.  Any person who has reason to believe that a student has committed academic dishonesty should bring such information to the attention of the appropriate course instructor as soon as possible.  Instances of academic dishonesty not related to a specific course should be brought to the attention of the appropriate department Head or Chair.  Since students are expected to be familiar with this policy and the commonly accepted standards of academic integrity, ignorance of such standards is not normally sufficient evidence of lack of intent. More information about the Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures may be found online here: https://www.umass.edu/honesty/.

Importance of Communication

Practice communication skills similar to what you would need in a professional work or internship situation: check email twice per day; read email carefully and respond in a timely manner; contact the office by email or phone about questions or issues; take a proactive approach to solving any problems or issues that come up. Save fcmlp2@umass.edu in your address book to help ensure that important messages about your course do not end up in your spam folder.

Schedules and Schedule Changes

Each student will be assigned regular weekly tutorial and conversation session times. Any temporary or permanent changes in these times must be worked out with the director of the Five College Center for World Languages, who maintains the master schedule of all tutorials and conversation sessions. Email questions related to schedules to your course organizer. Do not ask your mentor directly for changes because they may not be aware of other scheduling issues affected by the change. The mentors have been instructed to refer anyone who requests schedule change to the program office.

Students who miss tutorials or conversation sessions will not be provided with make-up opportunities. Students who know ahead of time that they will need to miss a future session should inform their course organizer with as much advance notice as possible. 

In the event that the mentor or conversation partner has to cancel a session due to illness or another emergency, every effort will be made to provide an appropriate make-up session or substitute.

Snow emergencies and snow days: Winter snow emergencies occasionally cause delays and cancellations of Five College bus service, early closings of campuses, or snow days being declared on one or more campuses. Because we do not want any students or mentors to get stranded away from their home campus, we will generally cancel tutorials and conversation sessions if 1) the National Weather Service has issued a warning for severe winter weather for the time period of the sessions; and 2) the students and or mentors affected would have to travel to other than their own campus. We will not cancel if the mentor and the students involved live on the same campus, unless that campus has cancelled classes for the relevant time period. If a snow day has been declared in the morning, tutorials and conversation sessions may still take place late in the late afternoon or evening if the weather has cleared and the buses are running. Cancellations due to weather will be sent by email. If you have weather related questions, email your course organizer or call the office at 542-5264.