FSI - Sinhala Basic Course (Volume 3)

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Foreign Service Institute Sinhala  - Image This is the third 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

Many individuals and institutions, both here and in Sri Lanka, were instrumental in bringing this series of lessons to its present form. Acknowledgments are made in the foreword to the second module, General Conversation.

This module is intended as a reference manual on Sinhala structures which will supplement and expand on the brief notes which appear in module II, General Conversation. At the present time most of the students for whom Basic Sinhala has been prepared begin the study of Sinhala after they arrive in Sri Lanka. The organization of language instruction there differs in some important ways from that at the Foreign Service Institute. Generally all aspects of course presentation and design are the responsibility of the classroom teacher.

The teacher presents the structural analysis of the language to the students, writes and present: special materials as required by individual needs, and conducts the actual audio-lingual instruction. The number of students involved in basic Sinhala courses at any given time is limited to a small official staff, but the specific goals and needs of the students, ranging from the language of agricultural development to that of cultural affairs to that necessary simply to answer the Embassy phones in the evening, are so disparate as to place demands on the classroom teacher way out of proportion to their numbers.
This module has been revised in consultation with the classroom teachers at the Embassy with the following objectives in mind:

(1) to simplify the task of presenting Sinhala structures in class and thereby to free the teacher for other work;
(2) to enable the teacher to write additional materials on new topics as required by student needs without constructing an entirely new course, and
(3) to assist the student in assigned homework and review. Grammar is considered a dry topic by some and a fearsome one by many others.

For either audience we hope these pages have been relieved somewhat by the pictures of other kinds of "Sinhala structures" which were generously provided to us by the Ceylon 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 2)

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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