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Are we teaching languages the wrong way?

Are we teaching languages the wrong way? A debate on language teaching in Tibetan refugee schools   Introduction In the last couple of years, probably for the first time in the history of Tibetan refugee education, Tibetan educators in India came into close contacts with education experts associated with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), India’s apex educational resource organization. I have been involved in these conversations from the very start. These interactions started in May 2013 when two English language teaching workshops were given by the NCERT to more than 60 language teachers of Tibetan schools. Since I was the coordinator of these workshops and attended many of its sessions, it provided me with a rare opportunity to listen and observe these dialogues and exchanges, without the emotive compulsion of being a participant. Around the same time, Prof. Krishna Kumar, renowned educationist and the former director of NCERT, became a... Read more

Time for Collaborative practices and Ind…

Time for Collaborative practices and Individual PGPs

The month of March, which is normally devoted for the teachers to decide and choose their collaborative practices and Individual Professional growth plans is almost at its final phase. It is hoped that all the teachers have already chosen own professional development practices and submitted the same to their school heads. Teacher professional development project is a very important move forward towards developing better Educational standard in Tibetan schools. The project came into being in 2014 with the recommendation of the Tibetan Education Advisory committee under the Department of Education, CTA Dharamsala. It started in 11 pilot schools and gradually replicated in remaining Tibetan schools in exile. A lot of emphasis and funds had been incurred towards its successful implementation because the quality of education depends upon the effective teaching and methodology used by the teachers. Under Teacher Professional Development guidelines and framework, the teachers are entitled to engage in two professional... Read more

Catching The Reading Bug

Reading is a pleasurable pursuit. Reading is also the foundation of learning, and our success in school and career depends a lot on our reading habit. In the book Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen wrote that no single literary activity has a more positive effect on students’ comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, writing ability, and overall academic achievement than free voluntary reading. Reading is not only crucial for academic success, it also plays a key role in nurturing our emotions and value-orientation. But often in schools, teachers and children find it difficult to cultivate reading habit or find joy and pleasure in what they were reading as part of the curriculum. In this short write-up, I would like to throw up some practical tips for you to catch the reading bug.  Read more

Creating Effective Rubrics

Professional Growth Plan – 2015 Goal: To learn to create effective rubrics to use as a tool to inculcate and teach students the habit and skill of self-assessment so that they can be independent and critical learners.  Rationale: I have realized that providing assessment on a finished product is of no much value. Instead if students are given the check list or rubrics for self assessment before hand, the standard of work they turn in turns out much better. After all, assessment for learning is better than assessment of learning.   Read more

MATH LESSON STUDY

MATH LESSON STUDY - 2014TCV SCHOOL CHAUNTRA – MIDDLE SCHOOL Math Lesson Study team members:1. Gen Lobsang Yeshi2. Gen Lhakpa Bhuty3. Gen Dolma Tsering4. Gen Kunsang Dolma Read more

A winter reading list for Tibetan teache…

Hay teachers and educators! Our much awaited winter vacation is fast approaching. We deserve this holiday after almost ten months of intense and rewarding works. It is the time for travels and tours, family and fun, rest and reading, and many more. In this post, I would like to share a few books to add to your winter reading list. This list is just a start-up and fellow educators are requested to add to the list. As Miller wrote: "lifelong readers start with encountering great books, heartfelt recommendations, and a community of readers who share this passion". Read more

An Effective Approach

For the last few years, the hardest challenge I have faced in my professional life is to assess students' work effectively considering the large number of students I have had to teach: four classes consisting of 30 students each on an average with extra responsibilities to shoulder. I have tried different types of assessment, but somehow I have not been satisfied with them. Is it because the methods of assessment change with the composition of the students? Is it because I have bogged myself down with poor planning? Read more

For My Good Teacher

Poem      : For My Good TeacherPoet        : Madam Karma Choedon laSchool     : Upper TCV School DharamsalaMessage  : Through this poem, she is requesting teachers to be more creative and give the children more opportunity to explore. We should restrain from the way we had been taught when we were in schoolClick here to read the poem Read more

Learning styles

Learning styles Mrs. Nawang Lhamo, Assistant Headmistress, Upper TCV Senior school. Psychologist have proved through research evidences that every individual is capable of learning efficiently in his/her own way. They have also emphasized that there is no good or bad learning style nor is there a right or wrong style of learning. It all depends upon how a person's brain works to learn and store information efficiently. Therefore, the understanding of learning styles becomes crucial of effective learning to take place. Read more

How to write an effective lesson plan

How to write an effective lesson plan Mr. Lodoe Tsering, PGT Geography, TCV Gopalpur. A lesson is a written description to teach academic content. A lesson plan helps teachers organize their objectives and methodologies. A lesson plan determines the purpose, aim and rational of your class time activity. It also provides focus for the lesson you are presenting. A lesson plan is a fairly detailed plan of instruction. It helps you think through the best way to present the information to the students. You will need to develop clear and specific objectives. The following important components must be included in all lesson plans: Read more

The six facets of understanding

The six facets of understandingLobsang molam(mr)PGT history, TCV gopalpur Our analysis of " understanding" we treat it as one notion distinct from what we call ' knowledge'. The word understanding is not one achievement but several, and it is shown through different kinds of evidence. The synonyms of understanding are ' insight" and wisdom both clearly different from ( yet somehow related to) knowledge. Students must perform effectively with knowledge to convince teachers that they really understood understanding. So, the argument of performance assessment means, " to apprehend the meaning or import" of an idea. When we think of meaning or import in the broader sense, we refer to ideas like wisdom, the ability to rise above naïve, ill-considered or inexperienced point of view. Read more

Nurturing young minds

Nurturing young minds Kalsang wangdue (mr) head masterSenior section, tcv gopalpur   A reflection on the issue of discipline in schools, and duality of its existence. We must treat our children with respect and dignity that they deserve as future seeds os Tibet and the custodians of our rich culture. Read more

An interview with Mrs. Yeshi Dolkar on E…

An interview with Mrs. Yeshi Dolkar on English Language teaching Mrs Yeshi Dolkar (PGT English), TCV school Upper Dharamsala. You have taught in TCV schools for many years. You are one of the most experienced English language teachers. Tell us a little about how satisfied you are with the way we have taught English in TCV schools? Read more

The day you stop learning is the day you…

The day you stop learning is the day you stop living ARE YOU LEARNING? Chotop tashi (mr)TGT( eng.& soc..)TCV school chauntra I think most of you will agree with em if I say ' learning is very important and must make it continuous in our life ' but most of you will come forward angrily to chop my head off if I say that " most of us don't learn in our day to day life". Well, that is hard to deny, as it is the truth. According to what is seen in the Tibetan society, people mostly stop learning as soon as they acquire master degree or after getting a work experience of five years. Read more

Aims and Methods of Teaching Geography

Aims and Methods of Teaching Geography Mr. Lhakpa Dhondup, PGT Geography, TCV school Gopalpur. We know about the importance of Geography, so we must have proper ideas about aims and objectives of its teaching. Without the knowledge of the aims and objectives of the teaching of Geography; it is not possible for the teacher to teach the subject properly. So here are some of the objectives and methods of teaching geography. Read more

Strategies for teaching Social Studies

Strategies for teaching Social Studies Editorial BoardHere are some strategies for teaching social studies for making the students get involved in the teaching process in the class. They may help our teachers in trying to make social studies lesson as child-centered as possible.Case study: Read more

Simple techniques for effective poetry c…

Simple techniques for effective poetry classes Mrs.Tsering Bhuti, TCV school, Selakui Teaching of English has emerged as one of the most popular discipline in this cut-throat competitive world. It has come to be regarded as a service language, a tool rather than a subject. English, being a versatile language, it demands hard-working, creativity and zeal when it comes to teaching. Read more

Text book teaching can be fun too.

Text book teaching can be fun too. Tenzin Dolma (Ms.) TCV school Chauntra. I have been an English teacher consecutively for about a few years. I have specially started teaching the medium section a couple of years ago. I loved and enjoyed teaching the language without the textbook as activities were the pillar of my teaching. The teaching basically revolves around developing the four skills reading, Writing, Listening, speaking. The best part of it was my children enjoyed their learning and the result too was obvious. Many of them did show surprisingly a lot of changes and improvement since from then. This year when I got class IX, I was little skeptical and unsure about how am I going to handle the textbook lessons. Will my children like the teaching as they used to do because I know that they are accustomed to my activity oriented teaching and suddenly switching on... Read more

Language teaching without textbooks

Language teaching without textbooks Mrs. Tenzin Dolma, TCV school Chauntra During our time, when we were in schools, the only facility accessible for our teachers was the textbook. Therefore the teaching had to be teacher oriented. But now a days there are lots and lots of things around us to use as teaching aids. Thus it depends upon an individual whether he/she makes use of it or not and to be true some still follow the monotonous textbook exercises and consider it as the backbone of their teaching. Even we followed the same a few years ago but the introduction of the child-centered learning in our schools was a real blessing in disguise. It has helped us to make our teaching enjoyable and tireless. It has benefited both the sides the children and the teachers. The former learned the lesson through fun and inculcated the quality of self-responsibility and the latter... Read more

Methodology on writing

Methodology on writing a story Miss Tenzin Dolkar, PRT, TCV school Chauntra.As said by Brian Kern, one learns to speak a language by speaking the language; one learns to write a language by writing the language. I have taught English to junior classes for the last four years and I noticed that many of our children think that the story writing is difficult. So taking this opportunity I want to share my experiences or my view points on how to make your children write a story. Read more

English Learning Strategies

English Learning Strategies Mrs. Pema Dickey, PRT, TCV Chauntra. 1 TARGETSSet small, achievable targets, e.g.:A) Learn 10 new English words or phrases every day, Mondays to Fridays(repeat on Saturdays, relax on Sundays).B) Study 15 minutes every day.C) Read the lyrics of an English song every week and try to understand its main content.D) Read and try to understand one short English text every week.Reaching your target step by step is much better than setting a huge target that you cannot achieve. Easy does it ... and keeps your motivation up. Read more

Teaching poetry in primary level

Teaching poetry in primary level Mrs. Pema Choekyi, TCV school Chauntra.Aims & Objectives:1. To enable the students to read with correct pronunciation, stress and intonations.2. To enrich the children's vocabulary.3. To encourage them to compose tune for the poem by themselves.4. To teach them rhyming words.5. To give opportunity to them to answer questions verbally as well as writing.6. To make them learn a complete poem with full enjoyment. Read more

Games for learning english

Games for learning english Miss Passang Tsamchoe, TGT English, TCV Gopalpur.English is taught as a second language in India. Hence, the main of teaching should be to help students acquire practical command of it. Practical command of English means that the students should be able to understand spoken English, speak English, read English and write English. The questions what should be taught and how should be taught are intimately connected because if better methods of teaching are devised, it is possible to learn more. Read more

Reading skill method

Reading skill method Mrs. Passing Dolma, TCV school Chauntra.Now days, we see Tibetan students showing less interest in reading books. They don't seem to care if their teachers and parents also wanted them to read. As the world is changing very fast, children are attracted more towards internet and games. So it is our responsibility to change their interest towards reading also. We must encourage them to read good books which are educational such as encyclopedia, plays, fables and books written by H.H The Dalai Lama and so on. I think, this is crucial time to make every Tibetan students get into the habit of reading books. Read more

Methodology on speaking

Methodology on speaking Miss Nyima Tsamchoe, TCV school Chauntra.The reason why our youngster are apprehensive when it comes to sharing views, ideas or speaking in English is not because they are taught limited English or lack of vocabulary. It is because of the typical shyness and low level of self confidence that our youngster tend to associate with the learning of English. This deficiency can only be cured by constant oral practice of the language. Speaking is the basis of good learning of the language. It is the foundation of language learning. And it is very necessary to make this foundation strong and firm. The more we speak the better our spoken language will be and the more confidence we gain. A good speaker always possesses good personality. Speaking is necessary for every stage of learning English. Read more

Games on teaching vocabulary

Games on teaching vocabulary Mrs. Ngawang Dolma, TCV school Chauntra.I have been teaching English in lower classes for the past twelve years. Within these years I had learnt that small students love to learn their lesson through games. They learn quicker and give full participation and attention while learning. Here I want to share some games which I searched on internet vocabulary. I shared these games with some of my colleagues and the lesson went successfully. Read more

Effective methods for Enhancing Speaking…

1. Effective methods for Enhancing Speaking Skills. Lhakpa Dolma (Ms.) TCV Selakui school.English is a language of global communication in this fast growing world. It has become so much part of our life that we can't do away with it. Language is communicated broadly through four major skills namely listening, speaking, reading and writing. In Tibetan schools, children are good in writing and reading but they need to go a long way to improve their speaking skill.  Read more

Method of teaching spelling

4. Method of teaching spelling Miss Kunsang Lhamo, TGT English, TCV Gopalpur.To know English language it is very essential to know the spelling of words. Writing correctly solely depends upon the knowledge of spellings. There is also competitive value of spellings. In different competitions students often have to express themselves through language and for this writing correctly is very essential. Read more

Techniques of writing well

Techniques of writing well Karma Sithar(Mr.), PGT English, TCV Bylakuppe.ATTITIDE ABOUT WRITING, one way of spoiling our chances of learning how to write competently is to believe that writing is a natural gift. A person with such attitude thinks that they are the only one for whom writing is extremely difficult. They feel that everyone finds writing easy and he/she is the only one who is not good at writing. They hardly try at all. Their self-defeating attitude sometimes becomes reality. This must not be at any cost. One is as good as anyone else. Read more

Celebrating Exile I: Education and Outlo…

Celebrating Exile I: Education and OutlookA classroom is where the doors are shut and windows open Behind one such closed door, in front of the stunned and staring eyes of my classmates, our teacher demanded from me a recitation of the poem we were told to learn by heart the previous day. My poor memory could retain only the first few lines, and then I went blank. Read more

Challenges facing school education in ex…

Challenges facing school education in exile Tibetan community; what teachers are saying?In his inaugural speech on the First Tibetan Teachers meeting, Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration said—Department of Education (DoE) in the past has arranged a scholarship for Tibetan school children to study in the U.S, where top 20 students from all the Tibetan schools were selected and SAT was conducted. Surprisingly, the highest score of SAT was just 54% against required 90%. He then said—local Indian students admitted in Tibetan schools usually perform better than their Tibetan classmates. Read more

BEP and Vernacularization Why mother-ton…

BEP and Vernacularizatio Why mother-tongue based education? (Kalsang Wangdu) In 2004, the 'Basic Education Policy for Tibetans in Exile' (BEP) was promulgated by the Tibetan administration in Dharamsala. This has caused a considerable excitement as well as anxiety in various constituencies of the exile Tibetan community. However, most of the discourses in the public domain revolve around the issue of vernacularization of curriculum and instruction, thereby relegating to oblivion more important aspects of the policy. As a result, Read more

BEP Myths debunked

Most of the issues discussed in exile community, be it in media or any public forum, are political in nature. Discussions on education-related issues are rare, if not nonexistent. While we find popular Tibetan websites and journals flooded with articles on situation inside Tibet and exile Tibetan polity, how often do we get to read about the problems and challenges that we face in the field of education today? For instance, no matter how naive, most Tibetans are cognizant of Middle Way Policy and the fact that it is the official standpoint of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA); but how many of us are aware of CTA's Basic Education Policy (BEP) and its salient features? Read more

Building classroom culture

Why this program? For many years I have noticed and experienced a phenomenon that disrupts smooth running of classes. It may sounds like a very minor thing, but its accumulated impact on learning may be huge. The phenomenon is that in between each class periods, many students simply waste their time by just roaming in and around the classes. Some of the students were so out of control that they would affect the whole atmosphere of the class in such a way that teaching learning becomes difficult to take place. When a teacher enters the class, he or she needs few minutes to settle the situation down before starting the actual lesson. Read more

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