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Nov 5, 2019

Building Update

Briefly, folks :

We didn't receive your donation yet!  Ever since the project went Live, GG (GlobalGiving) had major problems in its disbursements to India.  These have actually been stopped until they sort out the problem.

Don't worry!  We've worked out a "fiscal sponsorship" agreement with AVI-USA, so that GG will transfer your (and any future) donations to AVI-USA, which will forward it to the Auroville Unity Fund for us.

We're hoping to get your first monies for the Building real soon!

Stuff on the anvil and ready to start : the flooring in my office and the room next to it, and the upstairs toilets. 

And we're also planning to make the first shaft.  

We'll keep you updated.

Meanwhile, please spread the word to your friends, family, colleagues about the project!  Now that the funds bottleneck has been solved, let the taps flow!

Let's complete this marvelous building asap!

Love,

Tapas and Mita

for the Team of Auroville Language Lab.

PS : On November 20th, the Chief Resilience Officer of Chennai will bring a whole team from the Cooler Cities Action Initiative of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre, and the 100 Resilient Cities network to visit our building!  

We'll take them on a tour of the building and present all of its special features : the system of cooling without air-conditioning, lime, the cool-roof lime coating, vaastu, electromagnetic compliance, waste water recycling system, solar system, second-hand wood, etc. An Aurovilian architect friend whose research paper about our building was published in an Elsevier Journal on Building, will present on that paper and the advantages of lime.  And our two dear friends from the Auroville Probiotics House will present on the use of probiotics in our building, and the numerous advantages of probiotics in building construction.

One of the visiting team is a contributing editor to Rolling Stones magazine, so let's see if that visit gets us some coverage and helps get the message out!

PPS : We've also been doing a lot of tree planting around the building!  And our vortex which cleans the waste water for reuse is working perfectly now.

Oct 30, 2019

Results from the First GG Women's English Group

Passive Phase Listening
Passive Phase Listening

Hello all!

How time flies!

Our first GlobalGiving Women's English group has finished its Tomatis program.  They did the 40 hours passive and 30 hours active program of listening training, just as stated in our project proposal.  All reported a greater understanding of English, as well as less hesitation in speaking, more ease or flow of the language, and more confidence.

Maybe you can evaluate this yourselves?  Have a look at these Before and After videos and tell us what you think.  What do you hear and observe? Do you see any changes?  Please share your observations/thoughts!

M Video - https://youtu.be/waCTrtSc980

Unfortunately, due to the startup difficulties, only two of the four took the Language Lab's English level test before starting the program, in the middle, and after finishing.  But those tests - mainly grammar tests - revealed an improvement of 50%.  Which is amazing, considering the fact that everyone thinks one has to have classes specifically on grammar in order to learn it. Whereas, the 50% improvement was due only to the listening training, with no grammar classes at all!

Three of them followed up the program by joining English classes with a teacher in our Tomatis classroom.  (One could not due to work commitments).  The youngest just joined college.  Another qualified to start the process of joining Auroville as a "Newcomer".  The third is making progress writing emails, required by her job.  We will keep following them to see how they progress and what they need.  More individual sessions reading out loud with a teacher will definitely help further.

Meanwhile, it has been difficult to create another group to follow the first one.  We realize that actually, developing the project as we originally conceived it, requires one person dedicated only to the project, who can do the legwork required to spread the word to women.  It is true that we get a lot more men than women coming to the Lab on their own.  So reaching out to women, requires a woman dedicated to the task!  Inundated with so many different tasks and work, including our commitment to the daily programs for children with special needs (autism spectrum, learning disorders, developmental delays, etc), and so much work related to the Auroville collectivity in the last few months, there was very little time to do this PR work and reach out in the way the project requires.  But it is our Commitment, and we will keep it! 

The project requires new energy! Actually, we had depended on one of our wonderful women assistants to anchor this project.  But her maternity leave extended (3 months have turned into 11). We miss her terribly, but life circumstances got in the way!  She promises now to be back in January.  In the meantime, we'll reach out to the pool of Auroville volunteers for a Tamil-speaking woman to work either full-time or at least half time.  We have been praying for that angel to arrive soon!  As of yesterday, we might just have found someone who can lead us to her!  We'll keep you posted!

Drawing/Artwork is an essential element
Drawing/Artwork is an essential element
Time for self-expression through painting!
Time for self-expression through painting!
Active Phase - Perfect listening posture!
Active Phase - Perfect listening posture!
Exercising the Audio-Vocal Loop!
Exercising the Audio-Vocal Loop!
Aug 2, 2019

First GG Women's English Batch Phase One over, Phase Two just started. The results are marvelous!!!

Who said Language Learning was difficult????
Who said Language Learning was difficult????

Dear friends: all of you who gave to our project :

We have fabulous news!

The GlobalGiving English Women's first batch started.  There were 5 of them, and one dropped out due to inability to commit the time.  But the four others continued.  They did the entire one month of daily listening training, two hours a day Monday to Friday... They did the entire Tomatis process of listening to English as babies in the womb (the intra-uterine listening rich in high frequency sounds), in what we call the "Passive Phase".  Then, a three-week break.

They just got back yesterday (Monday) to start the "Active Phase".

All report being able to understand English much better than before, and their ability to speak has vastly improved!

In fact, one of them, N., floored me completely today : She hardly ever opened her mouth and had this huge blockage towards speaking English.  And she was excruciatingly shy.  You could feel that something wanted to get past her throat, but it just wouldn't.  I'd had her in class some years ago in our old building as well.  Today: gosh, you should have heard her speak!  Wow. I couldn't believe how she answered my questions easily. Turns out she went to the Auroville Entry group today, which vets people who want to join Auroville.   She described to me the questions they asked and reported her answers.  She was speaking English!!!  When I commented on how her English had improved, and asked her how she felt, she said "I am so happy," with the biggest smile!  I know how frustrated she was earlier, that no matter how much she tried and how many classes she would attend and how much time she would work with the software on our mediatheque, she still could never speak English.  So that big huge blockage has dissolved! She is speaking now, even before the Active Phase!

The other younger one, M, also extremely shy earlier, was laughing and repeating the Active Phase exercises, as were R and J.

But what is the most flabbergasting information : We did our regular English level test which allows us to determine whether someone is a Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced student.  This test is basically a Grammar-based test. We'd done this just before the start of the program.  We redid the tests after the one month Listening Training and the 3-week break, just before they got back on Monday. Their performance was significantly better!  What is remarkable is that they did not attend a single grammar class, nor work on the computers in this time.  The improvements in grammar were entirely due to the Listening Training alone! 

Which just goes to prove what Dr. Tomatis said in the 1950s : that babies learn language, including grammar, in the womb!  By re-creating those womb-like conditions sonically, through our Tomatis machine, we can help people assimiliate (rather than "learn") the language, break down blockages, get over the need to mentally translate all the time, imbibe grammar "naturally", gain confidence enough to start speaking and have the speech flow!

In the world of education, this is revolutionary and ground-breaking!

We do have videos of them reading and also answering a few basic questions before they started the program, and now, just before the Active Phase. The difference is remarkable and we'll put the videos up on our Youtube channel in a few days.  It's SO exciting!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeTIG0y-sBMlyywZNdZcAng/videos

We'll keep you posted about their progress in the Active Phase.

ALL THIS BECAME POSSIBLE THANKS TO ALL OF YOU! 

None of this could have happened without you and your donation to the project.

So, an enormous Thank You!

By the way, in other news :  have a look :

- Computer link :https://transsolar.com/news/newsletter-june-2019-online

- Mobile link : https://mailchi.mp/133413f0a158/tsnewsletterjune2019?e=dd883081c1

One of the world's leading Climate Engineering firms, focussing on constructing buildings and climate responsive eco-cities, is studying our building as a Climate-Responsive building!

Please do us the pleasure of writing back if you see this and read this!  We'd LOVE to hear what you think about all this. Do you think your money was well spent????  Hoping to hear from you soon!

Links:

 
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