A Unique Intensive English Course in India
by Ken and Visakha Kawasaki, Directors of Buddhist Relief Mission

Noel Coward sang that only Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun, so it may seem strange for English teachers to choose to spend one month of the hottest season in India, but for some, the experience is well worth the heat.

An exciting Intensive English Course sponsored by Buddhist Relief Mission and Young Buddhist Student Literacy Mission is held at Bodhisukha School, which is in a monastery in Northern Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal. Courses were held in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012. (In 2013, the course was held in BuddhaGaya.) We need teachers. Are you interested?

The syllabus, which covers all four ESL skills, is cooperatively developed by the teaching team, and each member is free to teach according to his or her own methods, incorporating favorite lessons from other courses.

The students, most of whom are Buddhist monks and nuns (A few upperclass boys from Bodhisukha School and temple boys participate.), are so disciplined and so eager to learn that they spend almost 100% of the hours during the month in study and preparation. Even at the end of a full day, they are ready for more.

Classes are held from Monday to Saturday, four to six hours per day. Evening sessions are informal and include discussions on social issues and various videos. The evening sessions are led by the teachers on a rotating basis. (For the most basic students, the Principal of Bodhisukha School, himself a Burmese monk, offers an additional one and a half hours of grammar instruction.)

All instructors are provided full room and board during the course.Food is mostly Burmese and vegetarian, though non-vegetarian dishes are available. The teachers' rooms have air conditioners, and the classrooms have ceiling fans.

Buddhist Relief Mission (BRM) is a very small non-profit organization incorporated in Michigan. BRM cannot offer any remuneration to teachers, but, since it is a 501(c)3 organization, BRM can provide a letter certifying that all expenses, including round-trip airfare, were a donation and are deductible from US Income Tax.

This Intensive English Course, which is free from any testing and grading, can be a unique and exhilarating experience for any ESL teacher. For anyone interested in learning more about Buddhism and how it practiced, the course would be particularly exciting.

Buddhist Relief Mission invites ESL teachers to apply for positions in the coming course. Please send your resume to <buddhist@brelief.org>.