In this lesson's video, the students became the teachers while we became the students -- and we invite you to imagine yourself sitting next to us and to practice answering the teacher's questions with us. The aim of this lesson is to learn the names of some objects commonly found in a Ladakhi classroom, while practicing the basic sentence structure "Is this a ...? Yes, it is a ... No, it isn't a ..., it is a ..."

The class was inspired by the Callan method which has been developed in 1960 by Robin Callan to teach students of English in Italy. The main characteristic of the method is its emphasis on using only the language one is learning from the first minute of the first lesson. In a true Callan Method lesson, the teacher asks questions at top speed (repeating each question twice to facilitate understanding and to give the students time to prepare the answer) and helps the students produce a correct answer by supplying any words they have difficulty recalling.

To help you remember the new vocabulary from this lesson, we have also prepared a section with some useful mnemonics. What is a mnemonic? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it thus: mne-mon-ic /nɪ'mɒnɪk; AmE-'mɑ:n-/ noun a word, sentence, poem, etc. that helps you to remember something An example of a mnemonic is the following short sentence which can be used to remember the order of the seven planets:

A mnemonic can also be based on similar sounding words or associations. So to make your life easier, we sat down with students from SPDS and tried to invent some mnemonics. The following searchable table shows these mnemonics. They are also available as a separate pdf file (see below) and are included in the downloadable textbook (see the downloads page).

Word & explanation

ཏག་ཏི་ (takti)

(white/black) board

I knocked on the board tac-tac-tac, and then I heard a horn tee-tee-tee.

? (kushu)


I cook apples, so you should eat them, man.

? (jola)


When I go to school with my bag I say Julley to everyone

? (kitap)


Key—Tap to unlock.

? (takchpo)


Take the Chinese bracelet and put it on.

ཀུར་རྩི་ (kurtsi)


Where is my kurkure? Tashi is sitting on the chair, crunching your favourite spicy snack!

? (kamisi gongrtsa)


The gorilla playing on a gong in a kamis is getting on my nerves (nerve is 'rtsa' in Ladakhi).

? (mik)


I see a mic with my mik. (Microphone is an eye for sounds).

ལག་པ་ (lakpa)

hand, forearm

"Hands up! I won't leave without a lakh1!" the thief shouted at pa.
1Lakh is 100 000 (here: Rupees).

? (tipi)


Tea + Pea = Hat

ཁ་ལེབ་ (khaleb)

lid, cover

The khaki laptop has a khaki lid.

ཡག་པ་ (yakpa)

seed, nut

The yak is eating a pile of nuts.

སོ་ (so)


The saw has many teeth. Moreover, it cuts wood just as a tooth cuts food.