Tibetans keen to learn English, catch up with 'smart' Indians

Last Updated 11 September 2011, 06:14 IST

Their eagerness to master the language can be experienced at a vocational institute in this county near the Tibetan capital Lhasa, where a number of teenagers are being trained to speak in English.

Tashitseten, who teaches English at the institute, says that even in Tibetan villages, people have realised how important it is for their children to learn English if they want to earn well.

"I have been teaching English for several years now and the institute has seen a remarkable increase year-by-year in the number of students who want to learn the language," he says.

In the beginning, the students are taught basic English terms and the focus is not on writing but speaking, he says.

Tashitseten says he encourages his students to communicate in the language even after the class is over, as it would help them grasp it easier.

Lousang, a student in his class, says he is learning the language as he wants to work in big hotels and earn well in future.

A girl student sitting next to him says she hopes to become a translator one day and travel around the world. She believes that it would be an asset for her if she becomes proficient in the language.

Most of the students at the institute feel that their Indian counterparts are far better than them when it comes to English language and want to be as smart as them.
Even in the Tibetan University at Lhasa, students are showing greater interest in English now as demand for interpreters is growing in the country.

Officials concerned say English is among the most popular courses in the university, which has 13 colleges and 8,000 students.

Apart from English, Science and Technology is in demand among the students.
Wei Hong, Deputy Director of the university's international exchange programme, says that she has herself studied English as a main subject in the same university.

"We receive many foreign delegations every year and take part in educational exchange programmes. My knowledge of English has helped me convey my ideas to them properly and also understand their views," she says.

Wei says the university students are being trained in the language by excellent teachers.

(Published 11 September 2011, 06:14 IST)

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