English for Dharma Purposes

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Vision

The English for Dharma Purposes program empowers monastics. Khenpos, lopons, and qualified lay practitioners learn English through modern teaching methods and subjects. Modern curricula include science, art, culture, and new fields of knowledge. This program is part of an urgent effort to translate Tibetan texts and provide skillful Dharma teachers globally.

Goal

This unique three-year residential program provides a foundation for Dharma service in the world. Students develop basic communication skills, including comprehension, speaking, and writing. Committed students advance to supporting both written and oral Dharma translations. Faculty are qualified to teach English as a Second Language. All instructors are skilled at tailoring their teaching methods to serve the Dharma community. Students who are selected to participate at the Institute receive a full immersion experience.

Students practice conversation in natural settings, take field trips to sacred and historical Buddhist sites, make Dharma presentations, and experience innovative teaching methods. Working toward language fluency, students live, eat, and work with native English-speakers. Teachers, guests, and staff share residency with students. This provides a well-rounded experience, with thorough engagement in real-life dialogues.

INFORMATION FOR Prospective Students

Mature students, primarily monks over 25 years old, are welcome to apply. The academic year begins the third Monday in September and concludes on April 15th.

Each three-year cohort of the English for Dharma Purposes program has approximately 17 students. Classes are small, ranging from 5 to 10 students, and focus on the needs of each individual student. The emphasis is on learning everyday vocabulary and developing both written and verbal communication skills.

To apply, please send an email to info@sinibridge.org

Program Structure

Classroom activities include: teacher instruction, group work, personalized instruction, individual assignments, and student participation in class discussions.  In addition to classroom instruction, students also receive personal tutoring from teachers and volunteers. Students may attend field trips to the local Dhamekh Stupa, Ganges River, Bodh Gaya, and other sacred sites of historical importance.  

Results

The institute has developed a core curriculum for teaching monastics. All English instructors are volunteers and professionals in their field. Faculty generally serve a minimum three-year commitment to the program.

Fifty khenpos and lopons have graduated English for Dharma Purposes since the start of the program. SINI provides both continuing education and on-going opportunities for our graduates. We host short workshops and seminars, which foster innovative connections in a number of fields. These interdisciplinary exchanges have helped to promote new dialogues. They have contributed to advancing educational thinking, policy, and change, in India and beyond.