For the majority of us, learning a foreign language is easiest when immersed in the sights and the sounds of the language in everyday naturalistic setting. Thus, in the Burmese language class, every effort is geared toward providing the natural surrounds of the language in multiple ways. For beginning students, this entails conversing with native speakers, watching Burmese films, participating in classroom activities with fellow classmates, and an annual award reception with various items from Burma as prizes. In addition to these activities, more structured components of learning include the use of John Okell's Burmese text, supplemented by www.seasite.niu.edu/Burmese, which provides ready access to self-guided studies, and exploration of topics on Burma. Using these different techniques, at the end of the first year, the students are expected to have achieved the basic level of four essential skills in the Burmese language. As for more advanced students, there are greater opportunities to specialize in their areas of interests, such as choosing the readings pertinent to their interests, and to practice their language skills with individuals from the local Burmese community. To round off the experience, regular encounters with authentic Burmese food are provided in a variety of settings, complete with Burmese karaoke.
Information on Beginning Burmese [Distance Learning Course] can be found here.