The overarching linguistic objective of Tibetan education in exile is to guarantee all Tibetan students bi-literacy and bilingualism in both the Tibetan and English languages. Achieving this aim increases the likelihood that Tibetan children receive a high-quality, modern education to be successful in an ever-changing world.
Many Tibetans believe that Tibetan education in exile must help keep Tibetan history and culture alive in the global consciousness. It is primarily feared that with every passing year, the current condition of Tibet and Tibetans and the historical events of 1959 fade further away from people’s awareness. Tibetans must now become the best spokespersons for Tibet, the ones trying the hardest to keep Tibet and the Tibetan situation alive. Because English is primarily regarded as an international language, the younger generation of Tibetans must have the required proficiency in English to tell the world about their homeland. Their education combined with fluent English proficiency will enable them to find platforms from which they can speak eloquently to keep their culture and history alive in people’s hearts. Even if most Tibetan students cannot become spokespersons for their culture from behind a microphone, in today’s world, almost all of them can become spokespersons from behind a computer keyboard! Thus, for the Tibetans, education and English proficiency are not only tied to gaining individual success but also integral to the process of saving a culture.
In partnership with Kyitsel-ling, the Tibetan Nehru Memorial Foundation School has started activities aimed at accelerated English learning. One of their first steps was to add a wide selection of colorful and interesting children’s reading material in English.
English Phonics Workshop
An English Phonic Workshop was held in TNMF School on 24th and 25th March 2023 as part of the Accelerated English Learning Project. The workshop was organized to enhance the teaching skills of English language teachers in the school.
Mrs. Payal Chawla, a phonics expert, was invited to conduct the workshop. She started the workshop by giving an overview of phonics, its importance, and how it helps in improving students’ reading and writing skills. She provided various strategies and techniques to make teaching phonics interesting and engaging.
During the two-day workshop, the teachers were provided with hands-on activities to practice and implement the techniques taught. Mrs. Chawla also demonstrated how to create phonics games and activities to make learning fun for the students.
The teachers were also given practical exercises to identify phonetic sounds and understand their differences. Mrs. Chawla also explained the importance of recognizing the stress and intonation in words and phrases to improve the speaking skills of students.
The workshop was interactive, and the teachers were given time to ask questions and clarify their doubts. The workshop also included a session on assessment techniques to measure the progress of the students.
The English Phonic Workshop held in TNMF School on 24th and 25th March 2023 as part of the Accelerated English Learning Project f was a great success. The teachers found it to be informative and practical. The techniques and strategies taught during the workshop will help the teachers to make the learning process more interesting and effective. The workshop was a valuable learning experience for the English language teachers in the school, and it will help them to improve the reading, writing, and speaking skills of the students.
Inter House English Elocution Contest
On 14th April 2023, the Tibetan Nehru Memorial Foundation School organized an Inter House English Elocution Contest in the Assembly Hall. The contest featured participants from four houses – Gendun House, Sangay House, Dhamchoe House, and Tsultrim House. Each house sent one candidate for poem recitation from the middle section (Class V to VIII) and one candidate from the senior classes (Class IX to XII).
In addition to the house masters, language teachers played a significant role in preparing the students and organizing the event. The contest was also part of the ongoing Accelerated English Learning program, which is supported by the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation, Montana, USA. Our hope is that such activities that encourage the practice of spoken English will increase their fluency and proficiency in English.
The event was well-organized, and the students delivered impressive performances, making it challenging for the judges to select the best speakers and winning house. However, Ms. Tenzin Chosang from Class VIII won the best elocutionist award from the junior section, while Ms. Karma Yangchen won the best speaker award.