Reported by Rigzin Wangchuk*
(TibetanReview.net, Dec30, 2014) – In order to inculcate interest and fluency in English reading, Tibet Charity organized at its centre in Dharamshala, India, a workshop on Extensive Reading from Dec 22 to 26. Its main objective was to enable the participants to gain interest in reading and to be able to do so without using a dictionary.
The workshop was conducted by Miss Sophie Muller, an English teacher from England, who taught a variety of techniques to make reading interesting. One of them was to ask the participants to read out aloud and then compose a conclusion before completing the story. The idea was to enable the participants to gain interest in reading and to improve their reading fluency.
This was the second time Miss Muller conducted such a workshop at Tibet Charity, a decade-old NGO working in Dhamshala with focus on providing a range of educational, healthcare, and animal care services. She conducted the workshop as a way to put her holiday to good use, helping adult Tibetan students who find reading difficult and unmanageable. “I feel motivated and find enjoyment in sharing the same story that I have read with the students,” she said.
Miss Muller has brought a full package of storybooks from Japan. They form a part of a collection at the library she has started at Tibet Charity. She said they were donations from friends and publishers. Tibet Charity will soon open the library to the public.
Urgen, one of the 14 participants in the workshop, says the workshop helped him to increase fluency in reading. He says the technique of imagining the meanings of the words without referring to a dictionary saves time and enables one to read more within a limited period of time. He plans to read Buddhist texts and scriptures as well as English stories in the coming days.
At a function to mark the workshop’s conclusion, Tibet Charity’s Director Mr Tsering Thundup hoped Miss Muller would come back again next year. Participants read letters to Miss Muller while expressing their deepest thanks to her.
* Ms. Rigzin Wangchuk is a student of B.A. in Journalism at the Madras Christian College (MCC), India, and is currently on internship at the Tibetan Review, Delhi.