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Rhode Island College

M.Ed. In TESL Program
Language Group Specific Informational Reports

Produced by Graduate Students in the M.Ed. In TESL Program
In the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development

Language Group: Marathi
Author: Danielle DeSantis

Program Contact Person: Nancy Cloud (

UCLA Language Materials Project. 2011). As Marathi Speakers Learn English Danielle DeSantis TESL 539 Map shows the region in which Marathi Spring 2011 is the official language (No author. .

and Varhadii (UCLA Language Materials Project.aboutworldlanguages. Kisti. • It is spoken primarily in the Indian state of Maharashtra (where it is the official language of the state). is The green area shows the state that closely related to Hindi and Punjabi. Kudali. First speaks Marathi (The Technology Group. Marati. Malwany. 2011). • Marathi developed from Sanskrit and. Dangii. • There are as many as 42 dialects of spoken Marathi. 2011). Kasargod. Gawdi of Goa. thus. records of Marathi date back to the 11th century 2008). Nagpuri. 2011). 2008). . but is also spoken in Israel and Mauritius (Ager. (The Technology Group. Key dialects include: Cochin. Marathi Overview • Marathi is spoken by 70 million people as an L1 and an additional 2 million people as an L2 ( UCLA Language Materials Project.

Illinois (University of Chicago) • 2 -Pennsylvania (University of Pennsylvania) . 2011). Where are Marathi Speakers in the United States? • As of 2009. there were only 9 Marathi speakers enrolled as ELL students at the University Level in the United States (Modern Language Association. • 7 .

Discourse Variety Example of Marathi Script--1st article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Ager. but also casually in everyday speech (UCLA Language Materials Project. 2011). 2011). • Because Marathi has switched alphabets in its written form. . some Marathi text is not accessible to otherwise literate Marathi speakers. Marathi is used in formal situations. though there are 42 dialects--there is a high degree of intelligibility between the dialects. • Additionally. • As the official language of the state of Mahrashtra.

it was written using the Modi alphabet. Alphabet (Ager. 2011). • Like English. 2011) • Marathi has been written using the Devanagari alphabet since 1950 (Ager. • Before 1950. 2011). it is written from left to right (Ager. . 2011) (Ager.

. • Example. the Marathi 5 resembles the English 4. (Ager. Number Struggles Number Chart. The Marathi 7 resembles the English 6. 3). 2. 2011). Many numbers resemble English numbers (1. • Marathi students learning English may also struggle with the numbers. but many number also resemble the other English numbers.

or -tch • Marathi stresses the first syllable in each word. • There are few consonant clusters in Marathi. • It has 25 consonant sounds. – Therefore. Phonology • Marathi has 9-11 vowel phonemes (depending on analysis). Marathi students may struggle to produce sounds like -sh. Marathi students may struggle with inflection and stressing the correct part of the word as English is inconsistent regarding which part of the word or sentence will be stressed. . – Therefore.

. Morphology • Verbs may agree with subjects or objects. • Syntactical functions are accomplished through suffixes added to root words. nor the object it creates an imperative (UCLA Language Materials Project. gender. 2011). Verbs may also not agree with any part of the sentence. ku-tvree. and neuter): ku-tvraa. – Example: Dog can be said three ways (masculine. 2010). When the verb matches neither the subject. ku-tvre (Marathimitra. case. • Also. feminine. Passive voice and active voice are created by agreement between the verb and subject or object (respectively). suffixes are added to nouns to show number.

. – Example: I want(s) a book. The student may add the (s) ending in order to conjugate the verb to agree with the object. as the verb can agree with other parts of the sentence in Marathi. The Pitfalls in Learning English: Morphology • Students may struggle with maintaining subject-verb agreement.

Wa-ra means on. • Typically. • Unlike English. word order does not change between statements and questions. which uses prepositions. the word order used is SOV (subject-object-verb). Marathi uses “post positions. modifiers proceed the word that they modify. “te-ba- laa-wa-ra. • In Marathi.” – Example: te-ba-laa means table. (You like ice cream. Syntax • There are no articles in Marathi.” • Like English. – Example: Tula ice cream avadta? (Do you like ice cream?) Tula ice cream avadta.) .

”) Word order in questions may be incorrect. as the word order does not need to change in Marathi to differentiate between a statement and a question. Example: Bring me (the) spoon. as the student tries to use SOV in place of the English SVO. as they always follow the object in Marathi. Example: “You are understanding?” in place of “Are you understanding?” . The Pitfalls in Learning English: Syntax Articles are often omitted or added unnecessarily. 2010) Word order may become jumbled. Example: The horse on (instead of “on the horse. Why are are you watching (the) TV? (Gauri. Prepositions may be misplaced. Example: I the food bring.

” This indicates agreement with the speaker without having to interrupt his speech (Butler.” to be polite. • Likewise. Marathi speakers use the “head bobble. Marathi speakers are likely to use indirect eye contact. • Finally. a teacher may struggle to get an accurate answer from a Marathi speaking child. Communication Style • Like many Indians. For example. • Thus. • To this end. 2011). when a teacher asks. • Marathi speaker will almost never respond with a “no” in order to be polite. a teacher could potentially offend a parent or child be responding with the negative to an inquiry. whether or not he or she actually understands. 2011). usually they will tell you whatever they believe you want to hear to this end (Butler. “Do you understand?” the child will likely respond “Yes. when speaking with an elder (a teacher). In fact. a teacher should never force a student to “Look me in the eye!” .

) Marathi.d. Retrieved March 5.ucla. Language enrollment database. Macmillion Dictionary The Technology Group. (2011). from http://www. Marathi English-unofficial but officially so. 2011. References Websites: Ager. 2011. 2011 http://www. (2011).htm Butler. UCLA language materials project: Teaching resources for less commonly taught languages. (2010). Retrieved from March 14. shl/docstudio/ Retrieved from March 14. Retrieved March 5. 2011. from http://www. Omniglot: Writing systems & languages of the world.php?Id=8&CID =96 Gauri.macmillandictionaryblog.home Modern Language Association.marathimitra. from http://www.mla. 2011. from http://www.aboutworldlanguages. http://lmp. english 1958-2009. Retrieved March 26. Marathi. A. (2010).aspx?menu=004&LangID=93 . India: Communication style. Retrieved March 14. Retrieved March 14. (2008). S. (2011).culturecrossing. S. ( UCLA International from http://www.

from http://www.htm . from http://lmp. Retrieved March 3. (2011). 2011.omniglot. Modi alphabet for Marathi [Chart]. Retrieved March 3. from http://www. The states of India [Geographic Map].com/Marathi/#intro UCLA Language Materials Project. (2011).aboutworldlanguages. (2011). (2011).omniglot. Retrieved February 24. S. from 2011. S. 2011. from http://www. Retrieved March 3. (2008). Devangeri alphabet for Marathi [Chart].edu/Profile. Sample Text in Marathi [Chart].htm Ager.omniglot. References Maps The Technology (2011). 2011. Numbers [Chart]. from http://www. 2011. Retrieved March 2.ucla. Retrieved March 3.omniglot.aspx?menu=004&LangID=93 Images Ager. Area where Marathi is spoken [Political Map]. 2011.htm Ager.htm Ager.

Pleasant Avenue Providence. Director Educational Studies Department Rhode Island The M. in TESL Program Nancy Cloud. M. HBS 206 #5 600 Mt. RI 02908 Phone (401) 456-8789 Fax (401) 456-8284 ncloud@ric.Ed. in TESL Program at Rhode Island College is Nationally Recognized by TESOL and NCATE .Ed.