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Title: SAMS101: Introduction to Conversational Samskritam I
Placement: Fall semester
Pre-Requisites: SAMS099
Course Website:

Course Overview:

SAMS101 is a one semester online introductory course for students who wish to learn Samskritam (aka Sanskrit). In this course students develop limited competency in each of the major communication skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. This course focuses on teaching students phrases necessary for fundamental, daily communication in Samskritam. Students also begin to develop elementary reading and writing skills in this course.

Course Objectives:

  1. Converse in simple Samskritam using present and past tenses.
  2. Recall and use vocabulary pertinent to every day conversation.
  3. Pronounce, read and write all vowels, consonants, and consonant-vowel combinations in the Devanagari script correctly.
  4. Recognize and write selected conjunct characters.
  5. Read and write words and sentences with selected conjunct characters.


Core Content – Topical Outline:

Part 1:

  • Conversation
    • Correct pronunciation of letters, words and sentences
    • Introductions
    • Telling time
    • Seven question words (who, what, where, when, why, how, and how many) and the appropriate responses
    • Usage of present tense in the singular and plural
    • Usage of nouns and pronouns in three genders
    • Usage of common commands
    • Vocabulary: general household items
  • Listening
    • Recognition of letters in the alphabet and simple words
  • Reading & Writing
    • Consonants, vowels, consonant-vowel combinations
    • Selected conjunct characters
    • Simple words with conjunct characters

Part 2:

  • Conversation
    • Correct pronunciation of words and sentences
    • Usage of the past tense in the singular
    • Usage of indeclinable words and kinship nouns
    • Creation of conversational skits
  • Listening
    • Recognition and recollection of sentences used in daily conversation
  • Reading and Writing
    • Daily conversations
    • Simple skits in Samskritam

Grading Plan:

5% - Class Attendance

20% - Homework Assignments

30% - Unit Exams

20% - Final Project

25% - Final Exam on Part 1 and 2

Grading Scale:

A = 90-100%

B = 80-89%

C= 70-79%

D= 60-69%

F= 59% and below

Course Assignments, Exams and Projects:

     1. Class Attendance (5%):

This course includes a mandatory, once a week, 1.5 hour contact class by video conference. A Samskrita Bharati trained teacher will lead this session. The time will be used to practice conversational skills, introduce new topics, and answer any questions. The only excused absences are those due to sickness or family emergency. In such cases, an email from a parent of the student must be sent at least 24 hours before the start of the class in order to excuse the absence.

2. Homework Assignments (20%):

Homework is assigned as indicated in the weekly syllabus on the course website. Students are expected to complete the homework before midnight on Sunday of each week. All homework assignments are to be submitted via the course website. 5% per day late will be deducted from assignments submitted late. Extensions must be requested at least 24 hours before the deadline for any assignment.

3. Unit Exams (30%):

Unit exams will be administered at the end of each unit in order to track the student’s progress in all aspects of Samskritam learning. Exams may be oral or written. A total of two unit exams will be administered during Fall 2017 as indicated in the class schedule. Students are to complete all exams without the aid of any textbooks, notes, or other people.

4. Final Project (20%):

This project allows the student to apply the speaking and written skills gained in part one of the first semester. Students are expected to use the knowledge gained in part one to create and write a simple conversation between a minimum of two characters depicting an everyday scenario. The project should be a minimum of two pages, and hand written in Devanagari script. The file must be scanned and submitted in PDF format on the course website.

 In addition to the written portion, students must record the dialogues using their own voice and submit the audio file. A sample will be provided at the course website. The project will be graded on pronunciation, correct grammar usage, handwriting, vocabulary, and creativity. There will be various deadlines for different portions of the project to ensure that students are working on the project throughout the semester.

5. Final Exam (25%):

The final exam will be administered at the end of the semester. The final exam will test the student’s written skills and knowledge of the topics in part one and two. The final exam will take place during class time and is proctored by the course instructor. Students are to complete all exams without the aid of any textbooks, notes, or other people.

Course Expectations:

Students are required to have access to a computer, scanner, webcam, microphone and the internet for this course. Teachers primarily use email to contact students and it is imperative that students respond in a timely manner.

 Apart from the weekly class, students are expected to spend ample time studying the course material and completing the homework. Students are expected to honor academic integrity when completing all assignments and exams.


 Required Texts and Materials:

The following texts and materials will be required for this course.

         First-year SAFL Textbook [Mukulam]

        First-year SAFL Workbook [supplement to Mukulam]


        The Concise Samskrit-English Dictionary’ by Vasudeo Govind Apte


        Saṁskṛtabhāṣāśikṣaṇam (Level 1 DVD Set - Lessons 1-40) – Online link for video will be provided by SAFL Team or SAFL Instructor.

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