We are excited to have completed the first year of our EDP Program using SINI’s own EDP curriculum and textbook. SINI’s Associate Director of the English for Dharma Purposes Program and textbook series author, Eden Merritt, completed the EDP Year One Textbook earlier this year, and she is now hard at work completing the Year Two Textbook, with an eye on Year Three. The three-part textbook series directly meets the needs of the students through a unique interlocking progression of language, skills, and content across the three years of the program, with each unit of study building on the foundation of language and content from the previous year. For example, the first unit of EDP 1 allows students to introduce themselves, their families, their homes, and their own personal experiences; EDP 2 expands the conversation in the first unit to discussions of the lives and traditions of Buddhists around the world; and finally, EDP 3’s first unit progresses to discussions about the future of Buddhism and questions around preservation.

Feedback from teachers and students has been positive in the scope and aims of the program, with student assessment demonstrating that students have achieved proficiency in the subjects and areas of target language. Students received a robust set of assessments, including reading, writing, vocabulary, and speaking exams. These assessments are very encouraging in demonstrating the efficacy of our language-learning program for our students.

EDP textbook with sticky notes
As we begin the second year of our hybrid in-person and online three-year program with a new textbook, new material, and new methods, we also welcome new students who have joined SINI and will study at the first-year level. There are currently over 45 students studying in the EDP Program with our next student intake occurring after the Tibetan New Year holiday in late February. Our program continues to grow, with several monasteries and nunneries around India and America interested in directly enrolling their students in SINI’s program or looking to bring the EDP curriculum to their own institutions. While a niche group, there is rising demand for an English course specifically for Buddhist monastics. SINI’s unique program and approach is generating interest not only for Tibetan Buddhist monastics, but also for Theravada monastics. The next few years is an exciting time for this program as it continues to grow and develop.