Fluent Tibetan: A Proficiency-Oriented Learning System
For Novice and Intermediate Learners
by William A. Magee and Elizabeth S. Napper
"Fluent Tibetan is a significant and unmatched achievement in the field of teaching colloquial Tibetan."
The most systematic and extensive course system available in spoken Tibetan language, Fluent Tibetan focuses on the Lhasa dialect, and was developed by language experts working in conjunction with indigenous speakers at the University of Virginia under a grant from the International Research and Studies Program of the Department of Education in Washington, DC.
--The Tibet Journal
Fluent Tibetan is based upon courses developed by the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Institute (FSI) for diplomats needing to learn a language quickly--a model unsurpassed in its effectiveness. The method acquaints students with the sounds and patterns of Tibetan speech, through repetitive interactive drills, enabling the quick mastery of increasingly complex structures, and thereby promoting rapid progress in speaking the language.
Fluent Tibetan is the best course available anywhere for learning on your own. The package consists of textbooks and audio recordings, arranged in fifteen units. The first three units are devoted to recognition and pronunciation of the Tibetan alphabet and its combinations in syllables and words. With unit four, vocabulary and grammatical patterns are introduced in situational dialogues. Each dialogue is followed by extensive drills repeating the vocabulary and grammatical patterns in different contexts thereby teaching how to use the language creatively. The exceptionally clear voices in the dialogues and drills are both male and female indigenous Tibetans. The glossary is both Tibetan-English and English-Tibetan.
Fluent Tibetan roughly corresponds to two semesters of college-level language study in the Lhasa dialect of the spoken Tibetan language. Having completed this course, students should be capable of intermediate level speech as defined by the University of Virginia's Tibetan Oral Proficiency Guidelines formulated by William Magee. It is the first text recommended for language study by the Sera IMI House at Sera Monastery for Western monks as preparation for entry into the Geshe studies program.