I arrived in picturesque Landour 4 days before Uttarakhand decided to close down all schools due to Covid-19. But that didn’t stop me. I holed up at Doma’s Inn and joined the Landour Language School via Skype lessons.
The Landour Language School is the oldest Hindi and Urdu school in India being set up in 1905 and to this day run out of Kellogg Memorial Church in an Army Cantonment in Mussoorie, India.
If you study there full-time, you’ll have four 50-minute lessons a day. It’s best to pack them into your morning so you can enjoy your afternoons. I had 2 classes from 8.20am – 10am. Then 1-hour 20-minute break with 2 more classes after that. So at 1pm, my classes were done, and I was ready to work on my YouTube channel.
The Course Book
In each class, you work through the 30 chapters in their Introductory Hindi Course book. Each chapter has a dialogue, new vocab, and multiple readings to be completed. What each chapter is strangely missing is a grammar section! So Lalit has made his own grammar notes which he gives to student.
The book is good and each chapter takes you through a different tense you need to learn in Hindi. I’ve already written a post showing exactly how the coursebook works and the School’s language learning philosophy.
At Landour there are some great teachers and some not so great. Meaning, some enjoy teaching and want to be doing it. It’s these teachers you need to find.
My favourite teachers are Lalit, his wife Archana, and Alka. I haven’t met all the teachers, so I’m sure there are some more good ones too.
Lalit is the best and most methodical in teaching you each new chapters’ grammar.
Archana is a very sweet and bubbly lady who is best for drills and conversation. She’ll help you review tenses with drills to keep them fresh in your mind.
Alka is lovely. With her, I enjoyed practising conversation and completing the readings in the coursebook.
My advice is, if you don’t like a teacher, request a new teacher. It feels mean, but if you’re stuck with an uninspired teacher the class becomes torture for you. After all, you’re paying top dollar for this learning experience.
Value for Money
At ₹700 it’s not cheap in India. But it’s also not as expensive as some online tutors are charging foreigners, if you want to know how to hire a good online Hindi teacher, I’ve written an article on that.
In my opinion ₹700 is overkill for a 50-minute Skype class. That’s $15 NZD and our minimum wage in New Zealand in $17. Considering this is India and the cost of living is so cheap, and considering what teachers earn in India, you’re definitely paying a premium. It’s simply overpriced for what you’re getting.
As you’ve seen in my videos, I arrived a few days before the school shut down and moved to online classes. So this was my bad luck. Perhaps my experience would’ve been better and I’d have been happier with the price if I’d been studying in that big beautiful church, interacting with other students, and having classes in-person with the teachers… I think so.
Good alternatives in a cold climate are less. So not much can be done. The price leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but it is what it is. There are other options if you want to study Hindi in India too, I went and checked them out.
Overall, Am I Happy?
Overall Landour Language school is good and I’ve noticed a good improvement in my understanding and reading of Hindi. My spoken Hindi hasn’t improved as much as I’d have liked.
Now that I’m home in Delhi, I hope that my speaking will improve as my parents-in-law only speak Hindi.
Have you studied at Landour? Please leave your review and recommendations in the comments.