Following the Teachers’ Day celebrations at the Lao-German Technical College, we would like to introduce some of the wonderful teachers at the Lao-German Technical College who are our students now. We have two Beginner classes, one Elementary class, and one Technical English class. Each class is taught five times a week for one hour in the evening. We are more than happy about the fact that our teachers are all very motivated and eager to learn English. We enjoy teaching them a lot, despite the problem that the proficiency levels within the classes differ quite a lot – “differentiation” is the didactic-methodological keyword for us teachers here – a true challenge for us!
“Beginner I” class (teacher Lena)
The Beginner I class has 19 students in total, three of them women. The class takes place from 4:30-5:30 p.m. As mentioned above, the teacher-students are really eager to learn and even asked to extend the teaching time. I agreed to that, so on Tuesdays and Thursdays we prolong the lessons by half an hour. “Beginner I” means the students already have a basic knowledge of English so they are not true “Beginners”.
My task is now to figure out in which basic areas they are still lacking. In the first week it turned out that they have great difficulties when it comes to listening comprehension (due to lack of previous exposure to spoken English), but at the same time their knowledge of vocabulary is quite large. Another issue is pronunciation as some sounds like [l] and [r] are hard for them to pronounce, so these are the issues we are going to focus on first.
“Beginner II” class (teacher Denise)
The Beginner II class has 18 students who come from different sections of the LGTC. Unlike in Lena’s Beginner I class, here we really start from zero. But bo pen jang because since we started our class they really put their hearts and souls into learning English and soak up everything new. Teaching the Beginner group always gives me great pleasure and at the same time I build up my pedagogical and methodological repertoire as I teach English to students without even the remotest possibility of switching to my mother tongue (or another language) when difficulties arise. Teaching strictly monolingually is both a great chance and challenge!
“Elementary” class (teacher Denise)
Another 15 staff members of the LGTC take part in the Elementary class. The teacher-students of the Elementary class have a wider range of vocabulary at their disposal and a good (elementary) knowledge of English. Pronunciation will be one of the main issues as they, too, face problems with word stress and the right pronunciation of words, especially those with the sounds [l], [r] and [th]. All students are eager to improve their knowledge and show joy and commitment while studying English.
I am therefore really looking forward to the next 3 months teaching the Elementary class. As an English writing assignment, I asked them to write a short text about themselves, their work at the LGTC, and the reasons why they take part in the class.
Herewith they would like to introduce themselves to you, our readers:
My name is Khamsavay GNOMMILAVONG. I am the deputy director of the LGTC and I am responsible for academic affairs. I am part of the English class because I want to improve my speaking skills to be able to communicate with foreigners when they come to visit the college. I would also like to improve my writing as I have to write many letters, project proposals and other things in English.
My name Ketsana SIPHONEPHAT. My main duty is to teach physics but I also work at the academic affair section at the LTGC. Our college cooperates with many different international companies as we are aiming to be the best college in Laos. The whole staff including me is very willing to improve our English skills in order to communicate easily with our cooperation partners. I am really happy that we have the opportunity to study English with the teachers form BHS, Germany. My English is better compared to the start of the English class. I can speak with foreigners easily and I expect to be even better at the end of the course. Thank you very much Denise!
Hello, my name is Phonesouk INTHAXY. I am 25 years old. I live in NongVang village, Vientiane capitol, together with my family. I studied at the LGTC from 2007 until 2010 and finished my studies with a high diploma degree. After I finished my bachelor degrees in 2013 I started working at the LGTC I am a teacher in the electrical section. My subjects are electrical installation, electrical drawing and building automation. I want to improve my English that is why I am happy to have English classes every day.
My name is Chanthavy SAVANPHET. I am a teacher in the electrical section at the LGTC and I teach about installations in buildings. I have been working at the LGTC since August 2011. At the moment I am doing my bachelor degrees at the Vocation Development Institute. It pleases me to study English to gain more knowledge in English grammar, pronunciation and especially to learn the vocabulary of the engineering field which I need for my subject. I used to take part in English classes about electrics thought by foreigners but I did not understand all of it. I hope that I will understand more after the English class at the LGTC.
My name is Bounthavy SIPHONEPHAT. I am a teacher at the LGTC. I did my high diploma degree at the LGTC and continued with my bachelor in the faculty of engineering. At the moment I am doing my electronic master in the evening after my work at the LGTC. I am responsible for the academy in the electrical section and I am also the contact person for our international cooperation companies in electrical matters.
My name is Thipphavanh BOUDCHALEARN. I am a teacher at the LGTC and teach about environment. I also work at the academic section. There my responsibility is to keep score for stundets of every section. I want to study English because I would like to improve my skills in speaking as I have problems in pronunciation when I talk English to foreigners.
My name is Syphone SYBOUNHEUANG and I work in at the LGTC. I am a teacher and I teach about 24 hours a week about industry control systems such as pneumatic and hydraulic, PLC and machine drive. In my opinion my subject is very difficult. I learn English to improve my work and because I want to communicate with foreigners in English when I go to other countries. I hope my English teacher can help me with that.
Hello my name is Many WAENKHAM and I am 26 years old. I come from the Saiyabury province. I work at the LGTC as a teacher and I teach welding. I am studying English because I would like to speak English very well. With better English skills I can earn more money and that offers me more opportunities like traveling to England and Germany.
My name Ba PHENGSOUPHY. I am a teacher at the LGTC. I work here since 2011 at the human resource development section and I also teach politics to the students of the LGTC. I used to study English but I hardly ever speak that’s why my speaking skills are not very good. It’s a great chance to study English with a foreign teacher. I do hope this course will help us to improve our English skills. If possible it would be great to have other English courses afterwards. A problem for me is that the English class starts at 4.30 p.m. and finishes at 5.30 p.m. After class I have to take the bus back home which is far from here (15 km). I arrive at home at 6.30 p.m. There I look after my daughters. But I try my best to reconcile work and family life as I am very happy to study English with my colleges.
Hello. My name is Bouakham SYPASIRTH. I work at the LGTC as a teacher at the agro machinery and heavy machinery section. I hope to improve my knowledge and English skills in the English Elementary Class because English is very important for my work. When I am able to speak English very well I can communicate with other people about my job more easily.
“Technical English” class (teacher Lena)
The Technical English class consists of 10 students. Four of them are English teachers and the others teach technical subjects to the College students like electricity or mechanics. The aim of this class is to gain a broader knowledge of Technical English and also to support the English teachers with English teaching methodology and didactics. We are working with a book that has been especially picked for the specific purpose needed for this class. The books have already been given to the teachers (see photo). Our great thanks goes to BHS Corrugated for purchasing the books. So far we have started with some basics but will soon dive into the field of Technical English proper.
My name is Vieng Khom PHYATHEP. I am 36 years old. Apart from teaching English, I am also responsible for the library. In the future I want to be an English teacher for the technical part at the LGTC. I am really looking forward to teach my future students in the field of technical English.
Hello, my name is Moukdala KEOMIXAI. I am 25 years old. In my free time I love to listen to English songs and watch English films. I often go for a walk along the Mekong River and visit the night market afterwards.
I am a teacher at the LGTC, before that I was an assistant secretary. Unfortunately I do not know much about teaching methodology and didactics so I am very willing to study hard in this area in order to become a good English teacher.
My name is Sisomseune YATSADAHAK. I am 54 years old. I am a teacher and also responsible for the automotive section. I teach theory and practice at the automotive section. I dream of creating a Lao cartoon or becoming a professional photographer.
My name is Mr. Somphou KHAMPHILA. I am a teacher at the LGTC. My duty is to teach general mechanics. Unfortunately, my English is not that good but I want to study hard and practice reading, writing, speaking and listening.
I am Vilayphone KHAMSANG. I am 24 years old. I am a teacher at the LGTC. I teach the basics of computer science such as the history of computer, how to use a computer and how to use Microsoft Office correctly. This also includes how to handle computer problems.
In the future I want to improve my English skills and do a master degree somewhere in Europe.
Hello, my name is Mrs. Akina YADSADAHUK. I am 25 years old. I live in Xaysavang Village, Xaythany district, Vientiane capital. I am an English teacher at the LGTC. I have been working here for two years now. I work at the affair academe section. My duty there is to keep the data of the first and last year students. My aim is to do a master degree in Europe.
My hobbies are listening to English songs. This helps me to improve my English skills. I also like to study English grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. I often use the internet for practising and from time to time my husband joins me as his English level is pretty good.
My name is Mr. Khamseng BIDABOUTH. I am a teacher at the LGTC and I am also the head of the metal machining section. I teach many subjects like mathematics, technical software, and technical mathematics, practice and so on. I am studying English because I want to improve my English skills in order to pass on my knowledge to my students.
My name is Phonesavanh CHACHUEYANG. I have been a teacher at LGTC since 2010. Now, I am responsible for teaching GM students with the computer and the CNC program. In the future I want to be an expert of the CNC technology.
My name is Mr. Saythong INSARN. I work at the LGTC and also for the Ministry of Education and Sport. I am 36 years old. Apart from teaching my responsibilities are also coordinating and planning. I am teaching English for the automotive section and also the theoretical part of welding for the welding section.
In my free time I like walking along the Khong River Bank, playing football with my colleagues or reading a book from time to time. At the weekend I often go to Vang Vieng city because my parents live there, aged 75 (father) and 74 (mother). I am very happy to join the English classes with Lena, she is very good.
Thanks for reading!
Hello, my name is Vacki WANGYENG. I am 28 years old. I am a teacher at the LGTC and also responsible for working as coordinator in the cooperation-development and the IT section. Apart from this, I am teaching in the automotive technology and heavy equipment field about automotive electrical/electronic systems at the LGTC.
Today, I would like to talk about the benefit of learning English. As we know nowadays, English is very important and useful for human to communicate all around the world. Teachers have to improve themselves to gain more working experience and need to speak English to communicate with others all over the world. That means they have to work internally and externally to make team work efficient. When you are able to communicate with others in English you will have good chances to exchange experiences in order to improve and modernize your working place.
That is why I decided to learn English with the BHS volunteers to improve my English skills. I hope to succeed in the English course.
Text and photos by L. Wink & D. Burkhardt