International Sanskrit Examination Resource

Starting Sanskrit at primary level

If you need a tried and tested course which is easy for teachers to deliver, and a delight for pupils to follow from Class 1, the books suggested below are ideal.

Although learning of grammar is essential, the focus is on story-telling, incorporating elements of timeless wisdom.  Younger pupils, in particular, are also inspired by chanting the Bhagavad Gita and the Rig Veda.  Each lesson can be divided into 3 sections: some chanting, an introduction to a new grammatical point or story translation, and then quiet individual work on exercises and stories from the workbook. At the secondary level there is plenty of opportunity for thought and discussion about philosophical, cultural and social principles.  

There is no formal spoken language component, however students who study up to IGCSE become very familiar with simple Sanskrit sentences, giving them a firm basis for development of fluent Sanskrit speaking later on. Students familiar with Indian languages will probably progress more quickly through the stages shown below.

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PRIMARY LEVEL - AGE 4 YEARS onwards:

Younger pupils, in particular, are inspired by chanting the Bhagavad Gita and the Rig Veda.  Each lesson can be divided into 3 sections: some chanting, an introduction from the teacher to a new grammatical point or story translation (from workbook), and then quiet individual work on exercises and stories from the workbook.

Sanskrit is Fun, books 1, 2 & 3 and alphabet playing cards: ages 4 to 6 years

The Stories of Krishna, parts 1 & 2: ages 6 to 8 years

The Stories of Rama, parts 1 & 2: ages 8 to approx 10 years

SECONDARY LEVEL - AGES 10 TO 16 YEARS - leading up to IGCSE, AS and A Level examinations:

If pupils are joining the school at this stage and have not studied Sanskrit previously, there is a new introductory book.

Mahabharata Stories, books 1 to 3: age 10 to 13 years These books are modern, student-friendly study books.

IGCSE Parts One & Two: age 14 to 16 years  NB IGCSE Part One is currently available from the video section. (Part Two also soon available to download free)

Older course books are also available free from this website:

St James Sanskrit Course Book 1a and 1/Year 7, including the teaching of Sandhi:  age 11/12 years (available to download free)

St James Sanskrit Course Book 2, including teaching of Sandhi:  age 13/14 years (available to download free)

St James Sanskrit Course Book 3:  age 14 to 15 years (available to download free)

In addition:

The Sanskrit Epic Civilization Course: age 14 to 16 years and should be taught alongside the books listed above. (available to download free)

Specific IGCSE exam practice should begin several weeks before the exams.  This consists of working through past exam paper questions.  The exam preparation requires translation and vocabulary practice, as well as thorough study of set  literature texts. Normally the examination is taken at age 16.

UPPER SECONDARY LEVEL - AGES 16 TO 18 YEARS:

AS and A Level literature study booklets are available in the Tutors' section and a suggested programme of study is available from ISER. 

In addition: 'The Sanskrit Language, An Introductory Grammar & Reader Vols 1 & 2' , by Walter Harding Maurer (available on Amazon). This provides plenty of practice for the 'language' aspect of the AS and A Level examinations.

 

 


 Last update: 17.8.17