Tibetan Language On-line

Teachers: Gen Franziska Oertle  and Gen Tenpa Tsering-la 

ONLINE COLLOQUIAL TIBETAN LANGUAGE LEARNING 

MAKING CONNECTIONS OVER THE SCREEN

The most effective and fun way of learning a foreign language is to immerse oneself in the world of native speakers. That said, we don’t all have the necessary causes and conditions to travel and immerse ourselves in the Tibetan-speaking world. Fortunately, when students cannot get to the mountain – SINI brings the mountain to them! 

The Heart of Tibetan Online Language Course enables students to learn Colloquial Tibetan from the comfort of home.

OVERVIEW

This student-centered course is a hybrid of live and recorded classroom instruction, consisting of 12 modules, Module 0: How to Learn (Online) introduces students to the world of virtual learning. Modules 1-11 introduce students to the fascinating world of Tibetan language and grammar. Like our residential Tibetan Language program at SINI, this on-line course is based on Franziska Oertle’s innovative text, The Heart of Tibetan Language

The Heart of Tibetan Online Language Course is offered in two tracks, a 6-month and 12-month long course. Both provide students with a solid foundation of Colloquial Tibetan.

Courses start on June 7, 2021. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

One former student described the course as

 “a revolutionary unlocking of the secret code of learning Tibetan.”

FEATURES AND ACTIVITIES 

Exciting and unique features of this course:

  • short, animated key-point videos providing an overview of each lesson
  • recorded webinars for every lesson, which explain the grammar in a thorough, yet accessible and engaging way
  • live webinars with instructors, featuring Q&A and learning games
  • forums for discussions
  • small group learning environment 
  • weekly 1:1 conversation sessions with native speakers
  • Digital language lab-like practice 
  • a challenge at the end of each module
  • a large variety of self-paced learning activities.

 

LIVE INTERACTION 

Students discover their own learning styles and design their individual paths of learning with personal guidance from instructors. An enriching and supportive learning environment, with friendly classmates, conversation partners, and additional resources, contribute to the student experience.

 

TEACHERS AND CLASSMATES

Several of our faculty are non-human persons. The two doggies རྒན་སེང་གེ་ལགས། [rgan seng ge lags] = Professor Lion and Gen Christabella, represent the synthesis of a traditional Tibetan and contemporary, student-centered approach to learning.

Among the classmates, there are a polyglot Ms. Giraffe, a devoted Ms. Ostrich, and a relaxed Mr. Sloth – each with their distinct personality and learning style. They keep the key-point videos and webinars engaging and enjoyable!

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

In the beginning, there was TIBETAN LANGUAGE IN RESIDENCE

ALL ROADS LEAD TO SARNATH

In the Fall of 2019, SINI offered the first residential, two-month intensive Tibetan Language course at SINI. Five international students made their journey to Sarnath to acquire the fundamentals of colloquial Tibetan language and experience first-hand the life of Tibetan Buddhist monastics and lay friends. 

FROM ‘GROUND ZERO’ TO ‘SIMPLE CONVERSATIONS’ IN 8 WEEKS 

Students began at ground zero, first learning how to read the Tibetan script. They joyfully progressed to being able to converse simply about a large variety of every-day topics, such as weather, shopping, food, health, etc. Unlike traditional educational settings, this innovative course was student-centered and engaging.

 

PERSONALIZED TUTORIALS WITH NATIVE SPEAKERS FROM CIHTS

Among the favorite activities of the students were the daily 1:1 practice sessions with native speakers from Tibetan University located in Sarnath, along with learning games, songs, and drills.

 

THE VAST AND PROFOUND OCEAN OF TIBETAN GRAMMAR

Grammar sessions unlocked a door to the profound world of Tibetan language, where letters have genders, verbs are distinguished in terms of volition, and sacred places are referred to with honorific language! The course was based on The Heart of Tibetan Language, a synthesis of indigenous Tibetan grammar and contemporary learning methodology, authored by our Tibetan teacher Franziska Oertle. The greatest reward was to see our students try to speak with SINI residents or even other Tibetans in Sarnath.

 

གནས་མཇལ་བ། [GNAS MJAL BA] VISITING (H) A SACRED PLACE = PILGRIMAGE

Our pilot course also included a wonderful pilgrimage to Bodhgaya and Vulture Peak, Varanasi, as well as participation in the inspiring Tripitaka Chanting Ceremony at the Dhammekh stupa. We are aspiring and working to make this into a regular annual program at SINI.