My name is David Schrep, and I was part of Team III in 2016/2017 in the “teach-the-teachers” project of the Angels for Children foundation and the University of Education Karlsruhe (“PH Karlsruhe”). I enjoyed my work at Ban Phang Heng Lower Secondary School, the work with my tandem-partners Mr Bounleud Sengsavangvong and Mr Souvanh Navong, and also the cooperation with the RIES carried out by my team-partner Anika and me a lot. So, when Prof. Martin sent a circular in December 2017 to ask who might be interested in a new project in Savannakhet, it was no question for me to volunteer.
Over the next few months, Prof. Martin completed the design and official framework for this university cooperation and we met a few times to discuss the steps which should be taken during my first weeks at SKU after finishing my Second State Degree. Finally, following the final exams of my 18-months-teacher-traineeship period (Referendariat),1 I was able to organize my prolonged absence from Germany. This meant moving out of my flat, having a part-time job, also working extra hours at school, organizing sufficient sickness insurance and also spending a lot of time for farewell parties with my friends and family. Then I was ready to embark on this new adventure, this time in the company of my lovely fiancée Veronika.
The first weeks of my time in Savannakhet were spent settling in our new little flat and getting oriented in my new daily life. Surprisingly, a special challenge was to buy a motorbike to get around in town. I was astonished how pricey motorbikes in Savannakhet are. Even second-hand ones with about 30,000 kilometers are hard to find under 800€ . Luckily my contact person at the university, Ms Phetsavanh Somsivilay and her husband Mr Khonesavanh Norasane, did everything they could to help me and finally I became the owner of one of the most common motorbikes in Laos – a red Honda Wave. Besides that, they also helped me with every other single wish or request I had.
After having spent one week getting used to our new set-up and each other, my new partners and I used our class time together to write the following introductions. So now, meet the first ten of the 30 Lao lecturers I now work with at SKU!
Hello! Everyone, My name is Thaithanawanh KEOKAISONE, I am 33 years old. I am a teacher of English; I work in Department of English, Faculty of Linguistics & Humanities Savannakhet University, Lao P D R (Laos) I am very happy to introduce you about the location of Savannakhet University (SKU) as Savannakhet University consists of two campuses. The first campus is Naxeng campus which is located in Naxeng village, Kilometer five Savan – Lak 35,( Savanlaksamxipha ) Kaysonephomvihane capital city, It has 8 ha, it is the campus to initially builds, second campus is Nongphue campus which is located at Kilometer 10 Savan-Xeno the 9B-road, it has 300 ha. It is the campus which having varieties of learning programs. It also places to integrate the economics corridor in the east and the west.
Hi everyone! My name’s Napha Khothphouthone and I am 27 years old. I graduated Animal Husbandry and Health Care And Apply language majoring in English, but Currently I work in Savavannakhet University in Faculty of Natural Science as a lecturer assistance. My subjects are General English, Vertebrate and English for Biology. I am particulary excited to teach English more than other subjects because it is the most difficult subject for many students in Laos especially who is not majoring in English course, Seeing them learning a language is like swimming for the first time. There are many factors that I’ve found such as our mother tongue is different away from English, English time table in semester is not enough. Students’ motivation is very important to develop English skill. Even though, I will do my best to students as I can.
Hello, I’m Thidaphone Liepvisaynavang. I’m 30 years old and my house is very near the SKU. I finished my studies in the field of English Pedagogy at National University of Laos in 2010. In my free time, I like to go shopping and I love collecting bag and earing. I love teaching, that the reason why I make the decision to work at SKU, Faculty of Linguistics and Humanities. I teach two subjects as public speaking for FLH’ students and English for Business for FBA’ students. In FLH, I respond to work in charge of Academic Affair, like teaching – learning plan, save students’ score, and curriculum of the faculty. Although, I work very hard, but I am happy to be here.
Hi, my name is To Em Vilaysouk. I am 22 years old. I was born in Phoxai Village, Kaisone Capital, Savannakhet Province. In 2017, I graduated for bachelor degree on major of Finance and Banking, Faculty of Economics and Business Management, National University of Laos, Vientiane Capital. Then I moved back for working in SKU (Savannakhet University) as a teacher of Faculty of Food Science. I am a scholar hunter since I was a student. Luckily, at Savannakhet University provides many scholarship opportunities either for teachers or students to apply such as exchange program, training or master and Ph.D. study program.
Hello everyone, My name is Viengvilaiphone Botthoulath. I am 26 years old and recently working as a lecturer at the Department of Food Processing Technology, Faculty of Food Science, Savannakhet University. Currently, I am mainly teaching for Food Microbiology, Food biochemistry, and English for development and technology subjects in my department. I am particularly excited in participating the English course with David from University of Education Karlsruhe, Germany. This would be enabled me to refresh my English as I will gain a stronger understanding of English teaching techniques and also perform even better to think of new ideas for further studies. I am truly glad to get the chance to be a part of this training.
Hi..My name is Phouthasone khouangvichit, I am a University lecturer and research assistant at SKU. My specialization is Environmental Science and Teaching English for Forestry and Environmental Science Studies is one of my favorite programs. My role as lecturer in the university has allowed me to direct, guide and facilitate my students, as well as my team and colleagues. I am a young professional teacher who always believes that positive thinking will lead to succeed in every career. Learning is the process never end and I always love to learn new things, explore new methods in order to serve the best fit for new era of teaching and learning process through research activities in SKU.
Hello! Everyone. My name is Khanthanaly Panvilaysone. I work at Savanakhet University, Faculty of Linguistics and Humanities, almost 10 years. I am married and have a lovely son. I am an English Teacher. My favorite subject on teaching English is Speaking Skill. There are many reasons, why I like this subject because I want all of my students to speak out to communicate with people from oversea. On the other hand, I think if you can speak English you will be the one who have a chance to get a good job. Especially, I like to help all of my students to practice their English Speaking. The last I think speaking is the key to open your eyes to understand each other.
Hello! Every one. My name is Sitsanou Phouthavong, I’m graduate science and technology education Master degree from Khonkaen University, Thailand. I had started my work since November, 2012 at faculty of education, Savannkhet University under the Ministry of education and sport. Now, I have done my work with two duties under responsibilities, first I do with the officer and a lot time I have taught students year I, II and III such as English 5 (English for Physics), Mechanic, fluid of Physics and Electrostatic-electrodynamics. But in the office my responsible is scores and syllabus.
These innovative robot learning materials are a donation by fischertechnik organized by Mr Ralph Hansmann from the PH Karlsruhe, which Prof. Martin brought over and help me to practically teach about technology and to bring the subject closer to students. In easy electrical circuits, series and parallel connections, electronic connections with transistors, capacitors, resistors and LEDs. Step by step, this play-and-learn construction set will teach the basics of electronics. So the robot I made with Fischertechnik is help me understand more phenomena of electric circuit and make me more the basics of electronics understandable.
Hi, I’m Visai SENGSOULIYA, 29. I graduated at Teacher Training College on the majors of Mathematics and General English as well, but I prefer teaching English to Maths. I work at the Faculty of Education and my task is making teaching-learning schedules. When I have free time, I like to surf the net to find new, interesting and appropriate lessons to make my class more exciting. I would like to give some recommend of being students at the university, it is not easy as in the high school, because you don’t just only study in the classroom, but you have to participate to the after-class activities, doing reports to the teachers and so on. But on the other hand students can gain more knowledge and skills through the activities they were attended. That’s why the life of being students in the Savannakhet University is more challenge!
Hi, my name’s Thongter Lovanthack, I’m 30, I was born in Outhoumphone District, Savannakhet Province. I graduated bachelor of English Education in 2013 from Savannakhet Teacher Training College, I started working as a teacher at Savannakhet University in December 2013. I am the teacher because I love students, I love teaching and learning. It is good feeling when I see my students can speak English with their friends and others; I mean it’s so awesome!!! And otherwise, I have to improve myself too for high education in the future. Perfect teacher is good preparing before class, He/she always being on time, that teacher is available to help students on lessons, he/she is kind and friendly with students, and one important thing he/she should have a good class management and can involve the students into the lessons.
Text & photos by D. Schrep & tandem-partners, with editor’s note by I Martin
1 Editor’s note: Students enrolled in German teaching degrees study two school subjects plus pedagogy/didactics (and often more minor subjects depending on the degree and respective federal regulations). After completing their “First State Exam” – or, more recently, “Bachelor of Education” and then “Master of Education” – they can apply for an 18-month-traineeship period at one of the “seminars” in their federal state. This is a tertiary institution of education which cooperates with the teacher-mentors of the local schools and which mentors the trainee-teachers through their practical and theoretical work at their assigned schools. Their teaching is visited and assessed regularly, and after passing their “Second State Exam” at the end of this phase they are finally qualified as full teachers and may apply for their first full teaching post. Becoming a teacher in Germany thus takes around 7 years.