བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། Heart of Tibetan Online Colloquial Tibetan Language Course: Mr. Sloth's 1-Year Class
བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan Online Colloquial Tibetan Language Course is student-centered, a hybrid of live and recorded classes, consisting of 12 engaging 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.
This on-line course is based on Franziska Oertle’s innovative text, བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan Language.
Watch a short introduction HERE
བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ།The Heart of Tibetan Online Colloquial Tibetan Language Course provides the student with a solid foundation in Colloquial Tibetan, using the Central/Exile dialect. Students gain a deep and profound insight into the Tibetan way of thinking and viewing their language, as this course introduces the indigenous concepts and categories used by the Tibetans themselves.
Graduates are able to carry out simple conversations about everyday topics including: school, family, free time, food, weather, and shopping. Having learned a variety of tenses, students will be able to converse using the three times.
…TO FIT YOUR LEARNING STYLE
Two Tracks to choose from provide students with a solid foundation of Colloquial Tibetan:
Ms. Giraffe Track (7-month intensive course).
Ms. Giraffe is a polyglot and a bookworm. She likes to read and study at a brisk pace.
Mr. Sloth Track (1-year course).
Mr. Sloth likes to be thorough and take his time. He prefers a more relaxed pace.
བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan is designed in such a way that if you are planning to dedicate about an hour daily to your Tibetan language learning process (for six days a week, as taking rest is important too,) we recommend the 1-year course. (Except for one, every Saturday you have one hour of live class, one weekly 1:1 tutor class and 1 hour of SLC meeting - the rest is your self-study time.)
If, on the other hand, you have more time to study and wish to dedicate about two hours per day or more, the 7-month course would be more suitable for you. (You have 1-2 live classes a week, one every Saturday and one every other Tuesday or so, one weekly 1:1 tutor class and 1 hour of SLC meeting - the rest is your self-study time.)
Students with scheduling changes who start with Ms. Giraffe can always switch into Mr. Sloth, as need be.
…TO FIT YOUR SCHEDULE…
You can participate in this course independently of where you live and what your work or study schedule is, as the majority of the learning activities are asynchronous and self-paced; you can do them at a time that is suitable to you.
Live webinars, held on Google Meet, will be offered in different time slots, for your convenience. All live webinars for Mr. Sloth students will be on Saturdays. For Ms. Giraffe, every other week, there is also a class on a weekday. All webinars will be recorded and made available in the event that students need to make up a class, or for purposes of review. Those will be on YouTube, privately shared with your gmail account.
*Students who know they will miss a class ahead of time can send in their questions beforehand, and watch the recording afterward.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
- Live Webinars with Tibetan Language instructors, Franziska Oertle, Gen Anastasia Stoliariva, Gen Lhakpa Tsering-la and other assistants featuring speaking practice, learning games and time for Q&A
- 5-minute animated key-point videos providing an overview of each lesson
- 1-4 Pre-recorded webinars for every lesson, which explain the grammar in a thorough, yet accessible and engaging way
- Written and/or live meeting discussion Forum about soft skills
- Small group learning environment
- Weekly 1:1 sessions with native Tibetan-speaking conversation partners for enjoyable speaking practice
- Digital language lab-like practice
- A challenge (final product) at the end of each module
- A large variety of self-paced learning activities.
Live webinars are an opportunity for students to ask questions, play learning games with classmates, sing Tibetan songs, practice newly acquired language skills, discuss culture, share observations, and more. There are, on average, three live webinars per lesson: one in the beginning, one in the middle, and one at the end. Each lesson (except for module 1) is covered in two weeks in Ms. Giraffe’s Track, and four weeks in Mr. Sloth’s Track.
KEY-POINT VIDEOS & PRE-RECORDED WEBINARS
Each module includes:
- a 5-minute animated key-point video, which gives an overview and introduction to the new topic
- several innovative and engaging 30-minute webinars detailing key grammar points. These videos will be available for your review throughout the course.
Click on sample key-point video.
And here is a sample of a webinar.
Your learning process will be supported and enhanced by:
- A large variety of learning activities, materials, and resources to enhance learning individually and in partnership with classmates
- Sophisticated electronic flash-cards (Anki)
- Learning games and songs
- A digital language lab-like speaking practice
- An ePortfolio
- A variety of assessment activities
- Dialogue podcasts
- White Wednesday Talks about topics around Tibetan culture
We use the Moodle platform to host activities, learning materials, and student resources. During the first weeks, in Module 0: “Learning How to Learn (Online),” you’ll be introduced to Moodle. You will learn how to navigate, and how to make the most of this useful tool. You can visit our landing page here.
Moodle is accessible from any device, and offers technical support for users throughout the term of your class.
བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan Online Colloquial Tibetan Language Course is designed around the textbook བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan Language, Vol. 1, which is a unique synthesis of indigenous Tibetan grammar and contemporary learning methodology. The traditional Tibetan style and contemporary style of learning are each represented by a doggie teacher, Gen Sengey la and Gen Christabella, respectively. The textbook includes dialogues with activities, vocabulary, cultural information, a phrasebook, detailed grammar explanations, rubrics, etc. The text is accompanied by a workbook that provides a variety of exercises to practice listening, reading, conversation, and grammar skills.
The course fee does not include the textbook as some students like the ebook and some prefer the hard copy. Having the textbook བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan Language, Volume 1, and exercise book is highly recommended as the course is designed around it.
You can order the latest edition of the hardcopy from Dharma Publishing here. Or you can purchase it from the Vajra Bookstore in Kathmandu, or LTWA in Dharamshala, however that is the first edition and the QR codes which give access to the audios are no longer working. (You can access those audios over this website though.)
The ebook (both textbook and exercise book) is available on Google Play for a very affordable rate. Exercise book. Textbook.
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.
1:1 CONVERSATION SESSIONS WITH NATIVE SPEAKERS
Based on many years of teaching Colloquial Tibetan, we’ve found 1:1 practice sessions with native speakers an important, if not an indispensable part of the Tibetan language learning process. So, once a week, students have the opportunity to practice newly acquired language skills with a language partner over WhatsApp, Telegram, or another face-to-face digital platform. The timing will be set by the student and partner, based on mutual agreement. Lesson worksheets will be provided, along with guidance designed to ensure a successful practice session. Our team of Tibetans Conversation Partners in India is a group of kind, patient, and skillful mentors and tutors, who enjoy supporting your language learning as well as giving you a unique glimpse into Tibetan culture.
TEACHERS AND CLASSMATES
On your journey of learning, you’ll be supported and accompanied by our team of main teachers, both Tibetan and non-Tibetans, with their assistants, the language tutors, and your dear classmates. In the live sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with a larger group of classmates from all over the world. You’ll also be part of a smaller learning community of about four students, with whom you’ll work and learn very closely and regularly, at your own pace. At times, you may be conversing in your mother tongue within your learning community.
If you have any pets, we recommend that you include them in your learning process, as they are great listeners and don’t mind smaller, or even larger, grammatical mistakes :-)
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.
NON-HUMAN COMPANIONS & HUMOR
In addition to your human classmates, you’ll also have three imaginary non-human classmates, the polyglot Ms. Giraffe, devoted Ms. Ostrich, and extremely relaxed Mr. Sloth. They are the VIPs of the key-point videos, and serve to keep the webinars engaging and interesting with their different learning styles and questions. These non-human companions represent our love for animals. They also illustrate the different learning styles of typical Tibetan language students, and represent the diversity of linguistic, cultural, and religious backgrounds, age-ranges, personalities, and approaches to learning that we are looking forward to accommodating in this course.
Last but not least, we believe that learning should be joyful, and thus cherish humor and smiles. We have a feeling that the three of them will naturally contribute to our inherent joyfulness and delight in learning! They keep the key-point videos and webinars engaging and enjoyable!
Evidence shows that students learn more effectively in a classroom where they are invited to bring themselves fully, develop caring for classmates and instructors, and reflect on their process of learning.
For this reason, བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan is student- and learning-centered, rather than teacher- and teaching-centered. བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan classroom is a joyful and supportive place to learn the Tibetan language!
བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan methodology is based on Dr. Fink’s “6-fold Taxonomy of Significant Learning.” In this model, we encourage and accompany you to reflect on your process of learning, including the higher dimensions (aka ‘soft skills’) of caring, the human dimension, and metacognition. Students share reflections about the process of learning with classmates and teachers in our written or live class forum and the ePortfolio. The result is that, in addition to learning the Tibetan language, students learn how they learn best.
The prerequisite for this course is that the students know how to read and pronounce the Tibetan script fluently. No speaking skills are required as we’ll begin from the very simple phrases and sentences. (For example, if you have studied Classical Tibetan before, you are fine.) If you do not know how to read in Tibetan yet, you need to sign up for the “Alphabet Pre-Course'' to acquire those skills before the official start of the main course. During the main course, module 1, which is about how to read, will be very brief, just a review.
Students with some prior knowledge of the Tibetan language are welcome here, as there are many layers and subtleties to be discovered.
We encourage and expect our participants to be open, curious, and flexible about online learning, and all that entails. To be successful, the student should enjoy working effectively in groups, being self-responsible, and be willing to learn on a digital platform.
Alphabet Pre-Course will take 5 weeks, with 2 live classes and 1 practice session with a native Tibetan tutor every week.
During the live classes students will learn the Tibetan alphabet and reading rules according to the Central/Exile dialect.
Additionally, to facilitate quick acquisition of reading fluency, all students will be divided into small learning groups. Students in the small groups will be working on reading tasks together. The tasks will include short reading exercises that are to be completed and checked by one’s learning buddy regularly (daily or every two days).
By the end of the course students are expected to be able to read any kind of Tibetan text, including Sanskrit mantras transliterated with Tibetan script.
SINI is a non-profit service organization with a mission to preserve Tibetan culture and Dharma, to build “Bridges of Goodness” through education, interdisciplinary collaboration, and cultural exchange. It is important to us to make this course accessible to everyone who wishes to study the Tibetan language. We have, therefore, tried our very best to keep the costs as reasonable as possible, and we humbly ask for your assistance and understanding.
The cost of tuition for བོད་སྐད་སྙིང་པོ། The Heart of Tibetan Online Colloquial Tibetan Language Course is $ 600 for Ms. Giraffe’s 7-Month Class and $750 for Mr. Sloth’s 1-Year Class. The price for the alphabet pre-course is $100.
We offer a scholarship to support the continuation of the monastic tradition. Please see the course listing especially for monastics to access that discounted tuition rate. The rates are: $525 for the Mr. Sloth and $420 for the Ms. Giraffe course.
WORKSTUDY & PAYMENT IN RATES
If the tuition amount is difficult for you to afford, please do not feel shy to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’ll try our best to put our heads and hearts together to find a solution that can work for all parties. There is also a possibility to pay the tuition in monthly installments.
BE A SPONSOR ($108)
We are trying very hard to keep the price of the courses affordable and are covering the bare minimum. If you like and can, please consider sponsoring the Colloquial Tibetan Online Course here. With $108 you support others for whom the course rate might be less affordable than for yourself and support the overall development of our programs.
Opening Ceremony Mr. Sloth & Ms. Giraffe Courses: Sunday 11th of September 2022
Starting date Mr. Sloth & Ms. Giraffe Courses: Saturday September 17th 2022
Ending dates: Ms. Giraffe: May 15th 2023
Mr. Sloth: September 16th 2023
Alphabet Pre-Course Starting and Ending Dates: July 16 - August 20, 2022
WEEK BY WEEK SCHEDULE & HOLIDAYS
Here is the schedule for the two courses which show the holidays and free Saturdays.
If you drop out and there are people on the waiting list and we can replace you, you receive:
Module 0: 70%
Module 1: 65%
Module 2: 55%
If you drop out and we can NOT replace you, you receive:
Module 0: 55%
Module 1: 40%
Module 2: 30%
Later: You don’t get anything back