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South Asia Department

Bengali Language 2 (Postgraduate)

Course Code:
15PSAC304
Unit value:
1
Taught in:
Full Year

Prerequisites

Bengali Language 1 (Postgraduate) or equivalent. Your language level will be assessed before entry to this course.

Workload

Total of 22 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week. In addition 12 hours will be spent in lectures and tutorials over the 12 week period.

Scope and syllabus

The course provides teaching and learning of intermediate level Bengali language with emphasis on practical written and spoken Bengali. The course covers word and sentence structure as well as idiomatic use and awareness of linguistic register in written and spoken Bengali. Communicative practice and structural knowledge is established through reading and discussing a variety of Bengali texts as well as listening to authentic language samples.

The course provides students with intermediate knowledge of Bengali and practice of using Bengali in a variety of everyday and more specialised situations, including the understanding and expression of opinions and different points of view. It allows students to interact with Bengali speakers in Bengali and to use original Bengali language sources within the level covered in the course. This provides students with a basis to approach research topics relating to Bengali language, literature and culture.

A series of special PG lectures with associated seminars structured around the six themes Structure, Texts, Identity, Society, Translation and Transformation (provided for PG students studying different languages) introduces students to general questions of the role of language in language-based scholarship and research and provides them with the critical and methodological skills to relate their language acquisition to the thematic aspects of the studies.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written exam (50%). One 3,000 word essay to be submitted day 5, week 1, term 3 (30%). An oral exam (10%) taken in May/June. Two written tests in week 2 of Term 2 and the week counting for 5% each. 

Suggested reading

1) The course will be based on

  • Radice, William Teach Yourself Bengali, Hodder Education 2007 (3rd ed)

2) and additional materials which will be made available throughout the course.

(1) Introductions, Courses, Dictionaries

  • Adhikary, Debasis, English-Bengali, Bengali English Combined Dictionary,
    Star Publications, New Delhi 1998
  • Bangla Academy Bengali-English Dictionary (The Bangla Academy,
    Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1994)
  • Delacy, Richard and Ahmed, Shahara Lonely Planet Phrasebook Hindi, Urdu
    and Bengali - Lonely Planet Publications, Victoria 2005
  • Nasrin, Mithun and van der Wurff, Wim Colloquial Bengali Routledge 2008
  • SAMSAD, Sahitya. Samsad Student Bengali-English Dictionary.
    SAMSAD, Sahitya. Samsad Student.English-Bengali Dictionary.
  • Seely, Clinton, Intermediate Bangla, Lincom Language Course Books, Munich 2002
  • Smith, William Bengali Reference Grammar Stockholm Oriental Textbook Series 1997
  • Thompson, Hanne-Ruth Essential Everyday Bengali Bangla Academy, Dhaka,
    2005 (2nd ed)
  • Thompson, Hanne-Ruth Practical Bengali Dictionary Hippocrene, New York 2009
  • Thompson, Hanne-Ruth Bengali 2 booklet (SOAS internal 2007)

(2) Literature and Culture (a selection)

  • Ahmed, Rafiuddin, The Bengal Muslims 1871-1906: A Quest for Identity Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1981
  • Bose, Buddhadeva The Selected Poems of Buddhadeva Bose translated by
  • Ketaki Kushari Dyson, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2003
  • Eaton, Richard Maxwell, The Rise of Islam and the Bengal frontier, 1204-1760 Berkeley, University of California Press, 1993
  • Ghosh, Amitav The hungry tide London, HarperCollins, 2004.
  • Murshid, Ghulam, The Heart of a Rebel Poet: Letters of Michael Madhusudan Dutt New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004
  • Ray Satyajit, Childhood Days, a memoir, translated from the Bengali by Bijoya Ray. New Delhi : Penguin Books, 1998
  • Seely, Clinton A Poet Apart: Literary Biography of the Bengali Poet Jibanananda Das, 1899-1954
  • University of Delaware Press, 1991
  • Seton, Marie, Portrait of a Director: Satyajit Ray New Delhi, Penguin Books India, 2003
  • Tagore, Rabindranath Selected Poems translated by William Radice, Penguin 2005
  • Tagore, Rabindranath Selected Short Stories translated by William Radice, Penguin 2005
  • van Schendel, Willem A History of Bangladesh Cambridge University Press 2009
  • Yunus, Muhammad and Jolis, Alan Banker to the poor: the autobiography of Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank Karachi, New York, Oxford University Press, 2001.

3) Additional resources relating to language-based scholarship discussed in the PG lectures

  • Austin, Peter, ed., 2008, 1000 Languages: The world-wide history of living and lost tongues, London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Baker, Mona, 1992, In Other Words: A coursebook on translation, London: Routledge.
  • Duranti, Alessandro, 1997, Linguistic Anthropology, Cambridge: CUP.
  • Geertz, Clifford, 1973/2000, The Interpretation of Cultures: selected essays, New York: Basic Books.
  • Pinker, Steven, 1994, The Language Instinct: the new science of language and mind, London: Allan Lane.