Cablegate: Sri Lanka: Fy2005 Post Language Program Direct

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) SUMMARY. Embassy Colombo requests a FY2005 direct
funding grant of USD 9,487 for comprehensive language
training programs in Sinhala and Tamil. Post proposes a
program utilizing Saturday excursion courses for students at
various levels, language instruction for Marine Security
Guards (MSGs), language immersion opportunities for officers
with language designated positions, and procurement of
language instruction materials. The program will enable 32
DOS American employees, eligible DOS family members (EFMs),
and MSGs to better integrate into the local community,
maximize job performance, and improve cultural awareness and
sensitivity. This proposal augments Embassy Colombo,s
existing language instruction program by offering more
flexible training options for a wider audience within the
Embassy community. END SUMMARY.

Saturday Excursion Language Instruction
2. (U) Post proposes theme-based Saturday excursion language
classes for a variety of audiences. Each three-hour
excursion class would begin with an hour of group classroom
instruction and a two-hour field trip around Colombo
immediately thereafter. Language instructors will debrief
students at the end of the field trip. These excursions will
provide participants with a number of important benefits
including: learning practical vocabulary, increased
confidence in handling real-life, practical situations, and
increasing comfort levels in host country.

3. (U) Target audiences:
a) DOS American Employees, DOS EFMs, MSGs at the
beginning level;

b) DOS American Employees, DOS EFMs, MSGs at the
intermediate level;

c) Language-designated officers and others at or near
the 2/1 level.

4. (U) Saturday language instruction excursion classes will
be drawn from the following proposed themes:
a) Asking directions: directional vocabulary,
physical markers, public transportation survival phrases,
followed by scavenger hunt in Colombo

b) Marketing I - vegetable market: produce
vocabulary, numbers, weights and measures, followed by field
trip to Colpetty Market

c) Marketing II - fish market: fish and bargaining
vocabulary, followed by field trip to fish market

d) Emergencies: emergency vocabulary, asking for
help followed by field trip to police station or hospital

e) Religion: etiquette for Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim
and Christian places of worship; followed by field trip

f) Cooking: food preparation vocabulary, followed
by cooking demonstration

g) Restaurant: food, ordering, and manners
vocabulary, followed by restaurant visit

h) Holidays: Sinhala and Tamil New Year traditions
and vocabulary, followed by field trip

i) Perahera (Sinhala) and Deepavali (Tamil) holidays:
specific vocabulary and traditions, followed by field Trip

5. (U) Cost of Excursions: Six excursions for the beginning
audience with two instructors at USD 100 each, six excursions
for the intermediate audience with one instructor at USD 60
each, and six excursions for the advanced audience with one
instructor at USD 60 each. Instructor costs are USD 10 per
hour. Total cost, including transport, is USD 1,320.

MSG Group Language Courses
6. (U) Embassy Colombo would like to offer in-house language
training for the MSG Detachment. Combining self-study and
two hours classroom instruction several times a month, we
hope to enhance job performance and the enjoyment of living
in Colombo through increased confidence in using Sinhala or
Tamil. Due to the MSGs' unusual work hours, these classes
will be held at the Marine House. Several field trips in
Colombo will be incorporated into the program. We intend to
offer three two-hour sessions per month throughout the year
at a cost of approximately USD 20 per session. Marines
would also be able to attend immersion field trips detailed
above in our proposal. Total cost for 36 sessions would be
USD 720.
Immersion for Language-Designated Officers and Others
--------------------------------------------- --------

7. (U) Post believes immersion opportunities for officers in
language)designated positions and other officers at the 2/1
level are important tools to consolidate language learning
and allow language-designated officers to be more effective.
Post proposes a two-week immersion program at the beginning
of each language-designated officer,s tour. Post will work
with language instructors to find suitable homestay locations
for students. Officers will receive four hours a day of
instruction, as well as several hours of guidance while
visiting cultural sights and learning local customs. Post will
pay transport costs for officers. Total cost per officer:
USD 640. Post has four language-designated
officers and one officer at or close to the 2/1 level. Total
cost for five officers: USD 3,200.

Teaching Resources
8. (U) In order to enhance our students' language learning
experience, we request funds to procure materials for
language instruction at Post. Please note that Sinhala to
English and Sri Lankan Tamil to English teaching materials
are not readily available. Post currently uses materials
more than 30 years old which feature outdated pedagogy not
useful to instructors or students. Post would like to
commission beginning Sinhala and (Sri Lankan, not Indian)
Tamil written instructional materials at a cost of USD 2,000
each. These resources will benefit current and future
students for years to come, and could also be shared with FSI
language instructors. Total cost USD 4,000.

9. (U) Post would like to procure materials needed for the
language instruction room to view news broadcasts and Sinhala
and Tamil language films:
Video-cassette or DVD player : USD 132.
Television (21-inch) : USD 255.
Tamil-English and Sinhala-English dictionaries USD 100
Total cost for teaching resources USD 4,487.

Budget Summary
10. (U) For USD 9,487, Embassy Colombo can significantly
improve its local language communication skills in two
languages for DOS American employees, DOS eligible family
members (EFMs), and MSGs.

Saturday Excursion Language Instruction: USD 1,320
MSG Group Language Courses: USD 480
Immersion for Language-Designated Officers and Others: USD

Teaching Resources: USD 4,487

11. (U) Embassy Colombo appreciates the opportunity to submit
this proposal for FSI,s Post Language Program Direct Funding
Initiative, and looks forward to FSI,s favorable
consideration. Post Language Officer is Cody Taylor, who can
be reached at telephone number (94) (11) 247-2855, fax number
(94) (11) 247-1092, or by e-mail:


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