Review Comment

[MDES 1614] Urdu for Heritage Speakers

February 07, 2020

Ahmad, Aftab Gold_nugget
[MDES 1614] Urdu for Heritage Speakers

Aftab Ahmad is the best professor I have ever had. He teaches this 5 credit class with so much passion it doesn't feel like you're taking 5 credits. I barely spoke urdu when I came into this class and thought "I'm probably going to drop this after shopping period", but Aftab taught me, who was basically illiterate in urdu, the language in 2 weeks.
He makes class so fun with anecdotes, and discussion on current world affairs. If you're struggling even a little bit he will instantly recognize it and make sure you get over whatever rut you're in.
I think the success of this course is most accurately measured by the fact that I can go out and get absolutely wasted, and still be able to text my mom in flawless urdu. Aftab did that.

Also he's super flexible with deadlines and exams - i think he's just a good person.

Workload:

Short daily assignments (honestly takes 10-15 mins and are a good break from other tougher subjects)
quiz 1-2 times a month (basically you just have to study a list of vocabulary)
dictation 1-2 times a month - sounds scary but is honestly such a grade booster.

December 07, 2017

Ahmad, Aftab Gold_nugget
[MDES 1614] Urdu for Heritage Speakers

An amazing professor! He really cares and tries hard to make sure everyone is included!

Workload:

Short hws every night. Sometimes quizzes or dictation. Not too much!

September 24, 2016

Ahmad, Aftab Gold_nugget
[MDES 1614] Urdu for Heritage Speakers

Truly and by far the best language instructor I have EVER had. I have taken classes in 9 different languages since I was a child and he truly is the most gifted, patient, and talented instructor I have ever had.

Workload:

medium...as expected

May 28, 2016

Ahmad, Aftab Gold_nugget
[MDES 1614] Urdu for Heritage Speakers

Professor Aftab is excellent! He structures the course well, reviewing the very basic at the beginning and picking up the pace as the semester progresses. Over time, he incorporated more reading such as news articles and longer/more difficult passages. The spring semester of UFHS was more work than the Fall semester but it was definitely more enjoyable as well. I picked up so much vocabulary and many grammar constructions. Taking it a yearlong instead of just the Fall definitely improved my speaking and listening skills because at the end of the Fall my reading and writing improved quickly but listening to news and having conversations or debates with good vocab was still difficult. After UFHS with Aftab, you'll be ready for the world! You don't just learn Urdu, the interesting topics covered in the class expose you to an array of different thoughts and give you a new angle to look at and understand life and many cultural issues central to South Asia.

Do note that how much you learn in this course depends on how much effort you put in. Some people wrote a paragraph for daily homework for example that for analysis of a passage and some wrote 2 pages. If I liked a topic in particular I sometimes spent an hour or two writing my views on something because I would read up on it and look up urdu words etc.
Make the most of it. Aftab is great and so is urdu literature.

Workload:

class held 4 days a week with daily homework assignments. Midterm. Final. journal/2 pages in urdu on any topic due weekly. quizzes (almost) weekly.

May 20, 2015

Ahmad, Aftab Gold_nugget
[MDES 1614] Urdu for Heritage Speakers

Prof. Aftab is the best professor I've had at Columbia! Take the class if you're a heritage speaker, take Elementary Hindi-Urdu with him if you're not. You'll learn so much about the language, culture, life in general, philosophy, morals, ethics and Aftab himself. It's probably because this class meets four times a week that you get to know him and his thoughts so intimately (plus the fact that it's a yearlong), but this class is incredible.

Workload:

Really up to you. Short homeworks daily, midterms and finals are very easy - he makes sure the class is more fun than pressure, but he expects you to put in effort regardless.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1614: Urdu for Heritage Speakers Aftab Ahmad 2012 Fall MTWR / 2:40- 3:45 PM 1
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1615: Urdu for Heritage Speakers: Urdu for Heritage Speaker Aftab Ahmad 2012 Spring MTWR / 2:40- 3:45 PM 1