FSI - Sinhala Basic Course (Volume 2)

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Foreign Service Institute Sinhala  - Image This is the second volume (of 3) of FSI Basic Sinhala, a course for the beginning student which is presented in three modules:

I Beginning Signs and Letters
II General Conversation
III Sinhala Structures

The modular approach to the presentation of second language materials is one which has been explored by Stevick for a variety of languages, and this particular module is largely based on a format he developed called "microwave." I had an opportunity to work with the format when I assisted Dr. Stone in the development of a trial version of "microwave" Hindi materials in 1966. Most of what I know or care about in language teaching is traceable to my association with Drs. Stevick and Stone, and I thank them for their inspiration and patient attention to a fledgling linguist.

I was introduced to Sinhala and Sri Lanka by Professor James Gair. Professor Don David de Saram taught me to speak the language. My husband Robert and my parents have always supported and shared my interest in Sri Lanka, most recently by modifying their own schedules to care for the children while I was away. Mrs. M. Tiruchelvam has for fifteen years now brought me into her own family in Sri Lanka when I was far from home.

The dwelling plans on pp. 254 and 255 and the photograph on p. 258 are by Robert MacDougall. They have been reproduced with permission. The photograph on p. 230 was contributed by Trelicia Gunawardana Bus route maps are by the Survey Department, Government of Sri Lanka. A few of the smaller photographs such as those on p. 175 were taken by W. Sugathadasa. All other maps and photographs were supplied by the Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Tourist Board.

You can find the other volumes of this FSI Sinhala Basic course here:
- FSI - Sinhala Basic Course (Volume 1)
- FSI - Sinhala Basic Course (Volume 3)

Sinhala also known as Sinhalese (older spelling: Singhalese) in English, also known locally as Helabasa, is the mother tongue of the Sinhalese people, who make up the largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka, numbering about 16 million. Sinhala is also spoken, as a second language by other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, totalling about 3 million. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. Sinhala is one of the official and national languages of Sri Lanka. Sinhala, along with Pali, played a major role in the development of Theravada Buddhist literature. Sinhala has its own writing system, the Sinhala alphabet, which is a member of the Brahmic family of scripts, and a descendant of the ancient Indian Brahmi script. The oldest Sinhala inscriptions found are from the 6th century BCE, on pottery; the oldest existing literary works date from the 9th century CE. The closest relative of Sinhala is the language of the Maldives and Minicoy Island (India), Dhivehi.

Sinhala is spoken in: Sri Lanka

Sinhala is also called: Sinhalese

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