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Letters from Laos – “My ongoing education as an English teacher” by Ms Bounpheng Singhalath

“Hello again, I’m Bounpheng!”

This is my second letter on this blog – you can find my first letter here.

Hello! My neme is Bounpheng. I am 37 years old. I studied at University of Laos. I teach English at primary school Phang Heng sice 2016. I start at Sengthong District in 2011, but in 2013 I moved to Naxaythong District.

Learning english

I learn English at school not good, But I learn at University. I learn in University besi grammar, reading, writing and pronunciation.

In the University the teacher say repeat after her like in the normal lesson in Lao. I need more practise in pronunciation and activity.

Thoughts about the Project

I thinkk about the project when I heard about it fort he first time I want learn a lot of English and I was excited and also shy and afraid because I needed to talk.

At the beginning htey said that we need to practice and have more activity with children I like the activity in the afternoon with teacher Lao and teacher from German.

(Editor’s note: Ms Bounpheng has worked with 5 of our volunteer-teachers since October 2015 and she still speaks a lot about them. She keeps a daily reminder of them near the “English Corner” in her school – Ban Phang Heng Primary School – that Silja established earlier this year for her.)

Ms Bounpheng’s former English teachers in our project: Jule & Isabella (Team II), Silja (Team III), and Jessica (Team IV)

Daily School life

In the morning I teach English in the class. When I teach class 1 the ABC and the animals. In the other classes I teach many different topics.

I have lunch with my daughter and I relax 30 minutes and I prepare the lesson for teach class 4 and class 5.

In Activity Time we do sing the song and play the game in English because they can try speak English in a playful way. We all have a lot of fun.

Ms Bounpheng and Lea (Team V) dance and sing with the children during “Activity Time”

The future

In the future I need to have (editor’s note: “teach”) less english lesson to learn more english with Lea.

Prof. Martin’s visit in December 2017

Lea’s note: When Prof. Martin came to our schools during her recent research stay, she also visited one of Ms Bounpheng’s lessons. This is how Ms Bounpheng teaches English nowadays, after just two years in our project. Look for yourself, this is in grade 1:

(Editor’s note: Mr Khampanh, Head of the Research Institute of Educational Sciences (RIES), Ministry of Education and Sports, said in our most recent meeting 2 weeks ago: “When we visited your AfC schools we could see that this is different. The children speak. They have no fear. They speak English with self-confidence. Thank you very much and please continue.”)


Text by B. Singhalath

Photos & videos by L. Herrmann & I. Martin

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