Dr. Nawang B.Phuntsog

Grant Category: Fulbright-Nehru Senior Researcher
Field of Specialization: Education
Name: Dr. Nawang B.Phuntsog    
Official Address: Department of Elementary & Bilingual Education
California State University
Fullerton, California
Indian Host Institution: Central University of Tibetan Studies
Sarnath, Varanasi
Duration of Grant & Start Date : Duration: 4 months
January 2012

Brief Bio:
Dr. Phuntsog earned his Doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts. He is at present associated with the department of elementary and bilingual education, Californian State University. He has organized international conferences exploring the challenges and opportunities of schooling of Diaspora children in multicultural, multilingual, and multi-national contexts. Dr. Phuntsog's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals. He has been invited to several international conferences including three organized by the Harvard University, Boston, one by the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and one by the University of Oslo, Norway. Dr. Phuntsog edited a book, "Schooling and Tibetan Culture in Transnational Context", in 2011. He has conducted research in bilingual education in the US and in India. He has high levels of multilingual skills in Hindi, Tibetan, and English allowing him to conduct research in bilingual settings effectively. He has chaired the Search and the Personnel Committees of the Department on several occasions. Since 2008 he has been participating in a four-year Mentoring Project along with 26 other Fetzer Fellows. Specifically, he has been exploring and developing a curriculum for contemplative education.

Dr. Phuntsog's Fulbright-Nehru research study is threefold. Through this research Dr. Phuntsog plan's to engage the 6th grade Tibetan children and their teachers in linguistic and academic discourses using the English language medium in all content areas. It is important to ascertain the perceptions of teachers and students with regard to the challenges associated with an abrupt shift in the medium of instruction from Heritage to English language. The intersection at the shift from Heritage to English language medium of instruction is a critical facet that must be understood in all its complexity. The second part of this study thus entails a systematic classroom observation designed to unravel the mystery that lies at the nexus of this transitional stage. Finally, the causal relationship between the effects of Heritage Language on math and science achievements of 6th grade Tibetan children is investigated.