• Lhotshampas are one of Bhutan’s three main
• Majority of refugees from Bhutan are
Lhotshampas and were forced to leave in the
early 1990’s and have spent years in refugee
• Most of the Lhotshampa fled to Nepal or
Lhotshampa and the Refugee Crisis
• The Lhotshampa are of Nepali origin and
began to settle in southern Bhutan in the late
• In the 1980’s the Lhotshampa were believed
to be a threat to political order within Bhutan.
• Thousands of Lhotshampa were taken captive
and over 2,000 were tortured.
• The Bhutanese government changed its
policies and Nepali migrants were stripped of
their citizenship and considered illegal
• They were subject to discrimination and were
denied the opportunities for education,
employment and business prospects.
Changes for Southern Bhutan
• After the late 1980’s the Bhutanese
government tried to regulate language as well
as dress codes throughout the country.
• Schooling was no longer provided in Nepalese
and it was demoted from its position as an
• All southern Bhutanese (Lhotshampa) were
forced to wear traditional northern dress
when out in public.
In the Camps
•“Refugee people are poor in
wealth but rich in kindness,
helpfulness and ability.”
•Over 100,000 Bhutanese
were forced into camps.
•So far roughly 25,000 of
them have been resettled and
there are about 75,070 still in
Meet the Young People: Baradi
I’m a Bhutanese girl. I live in a refugee camp with my family. Though I was small when I
came from Bhutan I remember it well because my parents always talk about our beautiful
home, our land, and our animals. We have photos to help us remember. I remember
playing with my friends in beautiful gardens but today when I look around I see only
bamboo huts everywhere. Outsiders look at us and say that we are lazy people, that we
are getting everything and have comfortable lives in the camps, but this is wrong. We did
not come here through choice. In Bhutan, every day the army used to come to my village
and they would beat and torture my parents and the elders and take any food they liked.
We were able to bear this but they continued coming time and again. There is a saying,
‘the bird of the forest will be happy in the forest itself, not in a cage’. Like this bird, I also
won’t be happy until I’m a citizen of my motherland, Bhutan. I wish all people could see
that I’m not happy to be a refugee even if we are well looked after. My friends and I may be
educated but it does not have any value without freedom. I won’t be proud of my
knowledge until I have citizenship.
• Nepalese is written in Devanagari Script.
• There are 11 vowels. 6 oral and 5 nasal.
• Attenuated gender system. The gender is
restricted to non-human female animates.
• Only two genders for nouns. Masculine and
• Written in Subject Object Verb order.
A Family of Three
• The family I am tutoring spent years in a
refugee camp before coming to the U.S.
• Prakash (M) is 26, Rimla (F) is 22 and their
daughter Prajeeta (F) is 2.
• Prakash and Rimla were both born in Bhutan
and their daughter was born in a refugee
camp in Nepal.
Getting to Know Their Levels
• Day 1: Get to know you sheet with basic
simple present tense questions.
• Day 2: Low-beginning worksheets that dealt
with everyday vocabulary.
• Day 3+: Intermediate to High-Intermediate
conversational work. High utility vocabulary
and cultural introductions.
• Prakash and Rimla both know a great deal of
English and have completed schooling up
through the secondary level.
• I would classify both of them as mid to high
intermediate when it comes to their
knowledge of English, and highly proficient in
ð and θ
•Two sounds in
particular that we’ve
been working on are
the voiced and
voiceless “th” sounds.
•These don’t exist in
Nepalese and are
difficult for my
In Our Sessions
• Discussion work and coming up with new
• Learning the rules for crossing the road.
When, Where & Why.
• Getting a library card.
• Sample Job Applications and Driving Tests.
• Reading comprehension skills.
• Both of my tutees have a high interest in
learning English. Their main goals are to
become successful in their new lives and be
able to communicate with native English
• High motivation