Editor’s note: Meet the many lecturers of Savannakhet University (SKU) who have taken part in the cooperation project between SKU and the University of Education Karlsruhe since 2018!
Here they tell the stories of their involvement in the project up until 2020.
(Note to former German volunteers: You can apply for the Volunteer Programme with SKU after completion of your third phase of teacher-training following your studies at KUE (“Referendariat”). The next Call for Applications for the academic year 2021/22 will be issued in April 2021.)
I am Dr. Phetsamone KHATTIYAVONG, 53 years old, an Acting Dean of Linguistics and Humanities Faculty, Savannakhet University (SKU), Lao PDR. I was assigned to work as the Academic Contact of Erasmus + Mobility program of SKU and work together with PH Karlsruhe University of Education (PH KUE), Prof. Dr. Isabel Martin, the Academic Contact of Erasmus + Mobility program, Germany. This program started in the year 2017 at SKU, however, the Inter-Institutional Agreement between SKU and PH KUE to be signed at the late of the year 2018. I enjoyed my work to cooperate and work on exchange students and staff in the context of the Erasmus + year 2019 and 2020 between SKU and PH KUE and also working with SKU Erasmus’ team, including the project leaders and members, which it was my first time for me to work on exchanging staff and student mobility program. Over the last few years, throughout working while parting in this project I got lots of experience on the processes of work for exchanging staff and student motilities with PH KUE to manage our staff mobility for teaching, studying and training both in PH KUE and SKU. This exchange program has stated last February, 2019 and will be ended at the late of December 2020. In those, our staff also have worked and exchanged their researches in different topics with PH KUE’s teachers. Besides, we also got two programs from Erasmus + Mobility program: 1st program is “Tandem Teaching” and 2nd one is “English Course”. For tandem teaching, each semester our three English teachers have to attend their own class, normally depending on the subject they teach with PH KUE’s English teacher, David SCHREP, who observes and gets feedback to them on teaching methodology after the class. For English Course, the approximately 30 staff has good chance to attend the English Course with PH KUE’ teacher, David SCHREP for one and half hour a day on English teaching methodology. This course would benefit to their English teaching classes and help them make good lesson plans and know how to apply the suitable techniques and materials to teach their students to be more effective.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sitha KHEMMARATH (Vice-President)
Dr. Sitha was Prof. Martin’s first contact at SKU in March 2017 during her “Fact-Finding Mission” through mid- and southern Laos. He was instrumental in forging a formal cooperation out of this first encounter, together with former President Assoc.Prof. Dr Bounpong Keorodom. They both visited KUE back exactly half a year later, at the end of September 2017. In 2018 the official cooperation was signed.
Mr Bounthong Sengvilaykham (Chancellor)
Dr Bounthong is the important player behind the scenes in this cooperation. He makes sure every important transaction is carried out smoothly, even when there are no pre-established rules yet. With him everyone feels safe to step on new territory.
General Affairs and Cooperation Office
Hello, my name is Lanta KETOUKHAM. Currently, I am an acting deputy head of General Affairs and Cooperation Office (GACO) and English language instructor at Savannakhet University (SKU). I have been working in the International Relation Division (IRD), GACO SKU since 2013 for facilitating and collaboration with foreigner students, professors and visitors including Mobility program of Erasmus+ Project with Karlsruhe University of Education (KUE). This Mobility program is the first program of Erasmus+ in SKU. I have learned that it is the fruitful collaboration with the professors and students in the program especially when they mobilized to SKU for workshops, meeting, symposium, and contributing new cooperation projects.
My name is Phetsavanh Somsivilay, an academic staff at General Affairs and International Cooperation Office, Savannakhet University (SKU). I have worked as an international coordinator and teach English classes. I build and manage international partnerships with foreign governments and universities, such as the American Fulbright program and Karlsruhe University of Education (KUE) in Germany. In particular, the partnership between SKU and KUE under Erasmus Plus Program has brought German volunteer teachers and researchers into the university as well as provided new workshops and training opportunities for our staff. As a project coordinator, I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to contact with the International Office of KUE who work on the ground in terms of documentary process and facilities for each mobility program. I was also delighted to be assigned from the president of SKU to provide hospitalities and welcome those distinguished university guests who are proficient in second language teaching, IT and environment.
Hello. My name is Thanousone Sangthongphet. I am 26 years old. Currently, I am a university assistant lecturer and also an administrative staff in General Affairs and Corporation Office, Savannakhet University (SKU). The first semester of academic year 2019-2020. I teach for 3 classes including Basic General English for Japanese and Vietnamese students and Basic Grammar for English year 1 students. I have participated and been a partner of this English course since September 2018 until now. This course is very useful for me because it can improve my English skills and especially for my teaching methods such as some activities, games, and others skills that very appropriate and be able to adapt in using for my own class. On completion on this project, I hope to use my new knowledge to work with the faculties’ lecturers in Savannakhet University and eventually other educational institutions in Laos to develop Lao educational.
Academic Affairs Office
Hi! I am Pathana INTHAPHOUTHONE. I am 29 years old. I have been working for Academic Affairs Office of Savannakhet University for 7 years. At the same time I also teach English Subject for some faculties too. I love and enjoy both of my works although sometime it makes me so tired and boring.
My name is Mr Vilaphon PHOTHISALATH, I’m 30 years old, I started work on April, 2019 in affairs academic office of Savannakhet University (SKU). My responsibilities are work on International Programmes, I looking for a teacher who can teach students in International Programmes. Moreover, I also teach student in this Programmes Science for Quality of Life, Asian and World Economic, and World Trade Organization Subject. Meanwhile, I’m looking for the way to improve my English language skill. So, I’m really lucky that this project gave me a chance to join learning English. I had a lot of special experience in this project Example method on teaching, prepare the class and communication with other person in English language and this project really help me a lot to prove my skill as well.
Student Affairs Office
Hello, everyone. My name is Souvannaly xayaseun, I’m 31 years old. I have been working as a Students affair office in Savannakhet University for six years. I works in the Dormitory‘s students Unit at the University and be responsible for inspect students’ living and lead the students do activities and teach the Tourism Subject also. I have a Bachelor of English degree for Tourism and Hotel from Sousavath Collage, Vientiane Capital, in 2011. And Master degree of Tourism Development from Maejo University, Chiang Mai province, Thailand, in 2018. In 2019 I enter the Training English Curse in Savavannakhet University with Teacher David Schrep, he’s from Russia. I’m very glad to study English with him and I hope to get more experience and improve my English as well.
Personal & Inspection Office
Hello, I’m Keoboutta SINGPATHOUM. I work for Savannakhet University as academic officer in Personnel and Inspection Office for 6 years. I have just partaken this project since May 6, 2019. The cause of I participated in the project that I would like to improve my English knowledge. So, I have decided my mind to join with David English Training Programme and Rebecca Dengler in Savannakhet University.
Quality Assurance Division
First of all, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Phiphavanh Xayavong but my nickname is Billy, so you can call me Billy. I am 26 years old and I am currently working as a planner and follow up staff at the Quality Assurance Division of Savannakhet University, Lao PDR. As an administrator, my main responsible is for a quality assurance and enhancement of all academic policy and professional duties. In addition, I teach first and second-year students in English.
Over the past two months attending English class with Ajarn Rebecca, I have learned a lot about English teaching, as a result, I developed highly effective teaching techniques and instructional methods, which have allowed me to foster fun games and an engaging learning environment that effectively for my own classes.
Faculty of Agriculture & Environment
Hi..My name is Phouthasone khouangvichit, I am a University lecturer and research assistant at SKU. My specialization is Environmental Science and Teaching English is one of my favorite programs. I have been joining the English training programs with David Schrep under the Erasmus+ project at Savannakhet University since 2018 and the 2019 phase is my second term as English trainee. Taking part in this program is an invaluable experience such as I have learned a lot of methods and tips that really useful that I can apply to the real classroom. In addition, the program helps me improve my four English skills which help me to access more opportunity for higher education and I hope that upon completing this program I will get a chance to joint as staff exchange or research exchange, teacher tandems, conferences, seminars, and workshops in Germany.
Faculty of Business Administration
Hello ! Everyone, my name is Boutsaba LATTANATHONGSAI, I am 31 years old, I am a teacher of English and accounting, I am in the Department of Finance and Banking of Faculty of Business Administration of Savannakhet University, I teach General and Accounting for Banking , I am responsible for the Research Unit , I have the opportunities to join the English course, because, I would like to upgrade my English background, I have learnt new teaching methods, I have Beccy and I had David, the teachers who have taught in this project , I wish to improve my English teaching skill more better than I have previously teaching. I also hope to participate in this project for the exchange training for teaching and learning abroad in the future.
Hello! My name’s Soulang LATSAVAT now I’m 34 years old and a teacher of accounting in Department of Finance and Banking of Faculty Business administration of Savannakhet University, I study English with this Project because I need to improve my English skill to use to communicate with other people as well as teacher form other country to joy some knowledge with them as soon as I have known and study with a teacher his name’s Devid who has taught in this project I wish to improve my English skill more better than I also hope to participate in this project for the exchange training for teaching and learning abroad in the future.
Faculty of Education
Hello! Everyone. My name is Sitsanou Phouthavong, I’m 31 years old. I have graduated from Khonkaen University, Thailand, holding Master degree in Science and Technology Education. I have been working at Faculty of Education, Savannakhet University under the Ministry of Education and Sport since 2012. Currently, I have two main responsibilities as a teacher and officer. As my first duty, I mostly teach mechanic, fluid of physics, electrostatic electrodynamic and English for physics s for the first, second and third year students. My second duty is as an officer who is responsible for the Academic Affairs of Faculty.
I’m very happy to join the English Class and exchange my knowledge among participants.
Faculty of Engineering
Hello everyone, My name’s Khonesavanh Norasane, I’m 33 years old. I finished my master in VietNam University on environmental science and I work at savannakhet University since 2012 until now almost 8 years. Frist time I work for faculty of food science but currently I work for faculty of Engineering and my responsibility are department of academic, cooperation department of faculty and I also taught environmental engineering for the freshman student.
I’m very happy to join the english course with super lecturer who’s understand what participants needed and this is the best oppotunity to improve my English and I hope the course going to be continued in next year.
Hello I am Sisavanh Soumphonpakdy (male) I graduated from National University of Laos Where I studied Engineering. I have 3 years of experience in Savannakhet University. Currently I am a teacher volunteer at Faculty of Engineering. I enter this English Course project because I believe that the three most common reasons are to prepare for a career, to have new experiences, and to increase my knowledge. I learned about teamwork and sharing idea from this Course. It’s a good opportunity for me. Because it help me to make new friends.
Faculty of Food Science
Hello, my name is Sompasong khemmarath , I’m working at Savannakhet University ,about my hometown, I was born in the capital city of Laos (Vientiane) but my village is so far from the city about 37Km far .
Since 2009 ,I moved to Savannakhet . About my free time I love to travel to new place the I never been to before.
Hello my beloved readers! My name is To Em Vilaysouk but normally people called me Em. I am 23 years old who work in the Department of Economics for Rural Development and Business Extension, Savannakhet University. I feel very happy to join an English project as David’s class. After joining, my English skill has been improving especially in Speaking skill. Besides, in this project I’ve learned many tips and methods which benefit for adapting in my class. I hope that the great project like this will happen in the future because I would definitely join it again to reach my English goal as C1 level at least, to be able speak as native speaker and writing in academic field.
Faculty of Linguistics & Humanities (FLH)
Hello Everyone, and welcome. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Chanthalakone Souydalay, I am 29 years old and I am a volunteer teacher in the English Department, Faculty of Linguistics and Humanities, Savannakhet University. I am responsible for overseeing student extracurricular activities, repairing computers, and teaching English in the English faculty at SKU. In 2020, I will have the great opportunity to study in Germany at Karlsruhe University of Education during the 2nd semester of the academic year 2019-2020 (01 March 2020 to 31 August 2020). I would like to further my studies in this English course with teacher Rebecca Dengler in order to increase my knowledge and proficiency level. I first entered the course on 14th May 2019. I entered this third course on 6th November 2019. Thus far, I believe that studying in this program will help me bring my experiences and use them to help improve teaching pedagogy, research, and new technologies at Savannakhet University.
My position within this project is to teach English to students, Lao to staff, and also support my colleagues while studying. I hope to continue developing my knowledge in order to help Savannakhet University provide a higher level of education within the English Faculty than in the past.
Lastly, I want to thank the President of SKU, chairman, my colleagues, and the Erasmus+ Project for supporting me and for giving me this opportunity.
Koungnang SINGKHAMPASERT. I’m 27. I am an English teacher and academic assistant to responsible for students’ certificate and transcripts in the Faculty of Linguistics and Humanities, Savannakhet University. I had a chance to pass the interview and the exam to participate in the first English course, after that I had participated on the first course on the 25 of September 2018 to February 2019. Then the second course has started on the 14 of May 2019, I also passed the exam and interview to participate in this course again.
Now I have a chance to participate on the third course about techniques of Teaching and Learning English Programme of Erasmus Project on the sixth of November 2019, I am a teacher partner in the third course too and have a special experience with my partners from this project as know about new techniques of teaching English and get some good feedback from the partners in the class when I do mistake.
This project is very important and interesting, and also be good and helpful for me, so I hope to achieve and gain the best information and lessons from this project to improve, my knowledge as my teaching skills and also I wish this project is going to continue next year.
Finally, I would like to say thank you very much to the President of Savannakhet University and the Dean of the Faculty of Linguistics and Humanities, who supports me to get a good opportunity. Then I would like to say thank you so much to the Erasmus project, who create this project to help the teachers at Savannakhet University as me to get a chance to improve my self. And the last person that I really need to say thank you from my heart is Ms. Rebecca Dengler, who teaches, helps and gives me some advice and the best techniques of teaching English for me.
Hello, my name is Phonsavang Xaikhongkham, I’m 26 years old and I’m a volunteer English teacher at Faculty of Linguistics and Humanities (SKU). I really like to work with new people because it helps me to get more experience, for example, speaking to foreigners and native speakers. This project allows for this type of educational interaction. I’ve been a part of this project since September 24, 2018 and I’m so proud to be a participant of it. The reason why I decided to be in this project was because I really like to learn English and hope to gain insight about English teaching techniques. Learning English will be a good benefit as well. In addition, being a part of this project will allow me drastically improve my English knowledge and English skill. My goal is to use this knowledge that I will learn from this project to help my students with their English skills. Lastly, I would like to say thank you to the president of SKU and the Erasmus Project for providing me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This chance to study in Germany next year is a dream come true and I am so grateful. I would like to say thank you to Mr. David Shrep to teach me last year. I especially want to say thank you to Miss Rebecca Dengler for supporting me and also teaching me good techniques to use in the class. I hope this project continues in the future and hope to be a part of this project again.
SABAIDEE!!! My name is Souphansa INTHICAK. I’m 30 years old, I’m English teacher at FOH, SKU. I have worked here since 2015. I really love work with another people especially I love teaching and help them to be a good at English as much as I can, that while I need to join the English course with Rebecca Dengler. So it really good opportunity for me to be Rebecca’s buddy and also I can pass automatic. When I have been a participants in this project I can earn a lot of teaching technique and improve my English skill. Hope fully this project will be carry on the next year.
Hello Everyone! First of all, Let me started to introduce myself, I am Thaithanawanh Keokaisone, I am a Lao English teacher. I have worked in SKU since 2012 until now, I have one thing to share with you in this a little writing about the “Tandem-Teacher work 2019”. I had David as tandem –teacher of mine, I worked together for one semester, I also attended his teaching class for staff teachers training. For the plans of tandem –Teacher, first we discussed about the schedules for the classes and the subjects, then I had appointment to discuss about the problems of students in learning English in general, after that we plan the lesson plans and set up the lesson aims, David created the lesson aims guide. For the next, I planed the lesson by following the course syllabus for each subject. What I did, I planed the lesson and let the tandem knows what lesson is about. Then we went to the class, let one teaching and one is observing. The observational seat is at the back of the classroom, one teacher or tandem- teacher sat and observed the interaction between a teacher and students worked in the class. Finally, the observer will give the reflection of teaching or the time will be arranged for feedback before the next class started. One thing to remember, while working in classroom, Teachers never feedback, tandem –teacher has to note what he has seen, the end of teaching time will bring to the reflection session. If you give directly feedback while teaching, that is impolite to trust your mind.
The secondly, I also would like to share the experiences with you all, I have already been to Germany. I studied there as the student exchange for one semester in 2019, I spent my opportunity there for six months in Karlsruhe University of Education, it is new location for me to study hard. I like learning German language. In the future, I am going to plan to establishing the German Language Center in my university, this really need helps from German Teacher, especially, Prof. Dr Isabel Martin always help asking others to cooperate with us, and Rebecca also helped me to check the blog post. I did not joint her class in Savannakhet University(SKU), I heard her class from teacher staff is very nice, however I will spend my time to asking help in teaching English in SKU until I can stand as a professional in teaching.
Thank you so much for opening eyes reading this!!!
Hi, I’m Thidaphone Liepvisaynavang. I’m 31 years old. I am an English teacher at Faculty of Linguistics and Humanities, Savannakhet University and also a head of academic affair of the faculty in charge of students’ curriculum, and teaching-learning activities. I had a good opportunity to join in the first course on December 25, 2018 to February 2019 and second course on May 14, 2019 too. I also a luckily to be a tandem teacher with Mr. David Schrep in first semester of academic year 2018-2019. I have a lot of experiences in the courses with my partners and Ms. Rebecca Dengler from this project such as some new techniques of teaching English, how to encourage students to study, and also take my knowledge to improve myself and students English skills. This course make me more confident to speak English, so l am expected the project will be going on next year.
SABAIDEE! My name is Vilaphong SITTHIDETH, I’m 28 years old, and I’m an English teacher at the FOL, SKU. I’ve worked here since 2015. I like working with young and new people, especially help them learning the language (English). Anyway, I’ve decided to join the English Course with David since September 2018 and now the English Course for English teachers with Rebecca Dengler since November 06th, 2019 as a participant. Why I decided to take this project because I would really like to earn the knowledge and the new experience of English either teaching technique and learning it as well. Learning English with Beccy can help me to understand and improve my English teaching skills a lot, I can apply those into my teaching and help my students learn English effectively. As being part of this course, I do hope I will be able to gain the knowledge of English teaching and the technique for improving my English teaching, I have learnt so many things from this course such as games for students, lessons planning, technique of teaching and so on. I wish this course will carry on in the next year.
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Sabaidee! Hello! My name is Napha Khothphouthone. I work in Savannakhet University as teacher and I like my job a lot because I strongly believe that 90% of luck is given to us by other people so being a teacher I can meet people from Laos and even from over the world. In my time I like reading and gardening. Even my students call me teacher but I see myself as a student. And I am learning the lesson of life. Rebecca is a great teacher of mine she opened up eyes and my mind to the new teaching styles and teaching methods which I can apply to my class and improve my English. It is very glad to know her. Thank you very much for your great class.
I am Mr. Vannasinh Bouttathep, 29 years old, I am an External Relation Officer at Savannakhet University. I have entered training in English course since the second half of September, 2018 because I want to upgrade my English skills. I am a member of 34 in English course, What I expect to have is good in English proficiency
Faculty of Information Technology
My name is Somsanouk XAYYAVONG. I’m 33 years old, I work in Faculty of Information Technology at Savannakhet University. My position is voice deputy of Multimedia technology department.
I joined the project on November 2019. The main reason to join a project that I want to communicate with foreigner, I want to study aboard and the last I want to improve my English skill for teach by English language.
I’m a Participants in this project. I think special experience is warm up before class because it make student wake up and ready to study, Especially the game that speaking at less 30 seconds don’t stop, it is good activity.
Texts by SKU staff, collected by R. Dengler & D. Schrep
Photos are selfies or taken by family or friends of the authors