Angels for Children and the University of Education Karlsruhe
Overview of the history of Angels for Children and the progress of the “Teaching English in Laos” project set up in collaboration with the University of Education Karlsruhe
2003: The foundation “Angels for Children” is founded by Ingrid and Paul Engel and their sons Christian and Lars Engel (“Engel” means “Angel” in English) to provide equal chances and opportunities for underprivileged children. The foundation decides to focus on education in Laos, one of the least developed countries in the world, by supporting governmental schools in Ban Sikeud, 15km outside of the capital Vientiane. Background: Gerlinde Engel, Ingrid Engel’s sister-in-law, lives and works in Ban Sikeud as the head of a local garment factory and sees a dire need to help improve schooling for the children in this region. Ingrid and Gerlinde set to work.
2005: The renovation of Ban Sikeud primary school is completed: all buildings are modernized and new sanitation is built, also a library, staff room, sports hall and a sports field behind the school buildings. Angels for Children also pays a monthly bonus to the Lao teachers to ensure they do not need a second job to earn enough to make ends meet. 350 pupils are enrolled in Ban Sikeud primary school at this stage. The opening ceremony on 7 October 2005 is attended by the German ambassador, his Excellency Mr. Hans Guenther Loeffler.
2007: Angels for Children starts to support the nearby lower secondary school in Ban Phang Heng with teaching material.
2009: The foundation now also funds in-service training for the teachers of the lower secondary school. The decision is made to start renovations also in this school so as to support both primary and secondary education.
2011: On 11 November the lower secondary school Ban Phang Heng is handed over ceremoniously by Angels for Children, together with the next German ambassador, his Excellency Mr. Robert von Rimscha. The two-storey building has 16 classrooms, an office for the director and the foundation each, a staff room, a computer room and a sports hall. Around 650 pupils are enrolled in the school at this time.
2013: Angels for Children decides to also support the primary school in Ban Phang Heng, which is located right next to the secondary school.
2012-2015: To improve English lessons in the three schools, Angels for Children offers several scholarships every year to German high-school graduates and students so they can assist the Lao English teachers with their lessons. This work is done with a lot of engagement, but needs a more systematic approach.
2 July 2015: The first contact between Angels for Children and the University of Education Karlsruhe is made: Chairman of the foundation Christian Engel and his delegation visit Prof. Dr. Isabel Martin and get an insight into her work. The foundation subsequently invites her to set up a plan for improving the teaching of English at the schools in Laos.
September-October 2015: Prof. Dr. Martin selects and prepares materials suitable to the Lao school system, chooses methods and media, and together with the International Office interviews volunteers to build up a team.
English for Mopsy and me workshop
Western square dance workshop
28 October 2015: The two-and-a-half month pilot teaching project starts when Prof. Dr. Martin and her team of five graduates Alessandro Pola, Franziska Frister, Julia Bauer, Laura Kringe and Tobias Mayer arrive in Ban Sikeud. What is it all about?
1 November 2015: The first “Singlish” workshop for English teachers is held in Ban Sikeud. Some early impressions
2 November 2015: First meetings with Lao state officials from education institutions take place, i.e. the Ministry of Education and Sports (General director Noupanh Outsa), the Lao German Technical College (Director Somlith Virivong), the Vocational Education Development Institute (Director Soulikhamkone Sisoulath) and the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit” GIZ (German Association for international cooperation; Technical Advisor TVET Programme Dr. Siegfried Berg)
3 November 2015: The German delegation is received by Lao state officials from other institutions of education, i.e. the Faculty of Letters of National University of Laos (Deputy Head of the Department Mr Thongsouk Keomany), the Research Institute for Educational Sciences (Deputy Director General Mr Souksavanh Phonetheva), and the Teacher Training College Dongkhamxan (Director Ms Vila Sengsavang).
4 November 2015: The first team meeting with all persons involved from the foundation and the University of Education is opened with a motivating speech by chairman Christian Engel, which delineates the project plan and goals.
5 November 2015: The delegation is invited for lunch at the residence of the German ambassador in Laos, his Excellency Mr. Michael Grau. Press release by the German embassy
18 November 2015: The team attends the English “Speaking Zone” at the Faculty of Letters of the National University of Laos. Field trip to the National University of Laos
21 November 2015: The first “Falang-Friendship Feast” is held by the German volunteers and the Lao English teachers. I. Falang-friendship-feast
2 December 2015: 40th anniversary of Laos People’s Democratic Republic.
3 December 2015: The Deputy Director of the Research Institute for Educational Sciences and Director of the Foreign Language Resource Centre, Mr. Kampanh Phimsipasom, comes to visit the Ban Sikeud and Ban Phang Heng schools with a delegation of seven staff.
13 December 2015: A “Modern Western Square Dance” workshop is held by the German team and Prof. Dr. Isabel Martin for the teachers, to which the English staff of the Teacher Training College Dongkhamxan is also invited, who participate with eight teachers and the Head of the College.
13 December 2015: Start of the TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) conference in Vientiane in the Don Chan Palace. At the reception Prof. Dr. Isabel Martin and Johannes Zeck are introduced to his Excellency, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kongsy Sengmany, Vice Minister of Education and Sports, who is interested to hear more about the project.
Media from the TVET Conference
14 December 2015: Christian Engel and Prof. Dr. Isabel Martin are invited to lunch at the German Embassy on the occasion of the visit of the Parlamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Thomas Silberhorn, and several Vice Ministers.
15 December 2015: The cooperation between Angels for Children and the University of Education Karlsruhe is signed and sealed by a “Memorandum of Understanding” during the Xmas Dinner for AfC staff at the Wattay Airport Restaurant.
MoU between AfC and the PH Karlsruhe
16 December 2015: Participation in the “Speaking Zone” of the Dong Dok National University of Laos.
16 December 2015: Meeting with Thongsouk Keomany and Anne Talavera, English Fellow Programme, US Embassy at the Faculty of Letters at the National University of Laos.
16 December 2015: Concert at the Catholic Church, Vientiane, with the German team supporting the choir led by Marie Guillot, German Embassy. Christmas concert
Press release by the German Embassy: German Embassy’s Christmas Concert
17 December 2015: The Deputy Head of the English Department of the National University of Laos, Thongsouk Keomany, visits Ban Sikeud and Ban Phang Heng with the Deputy Head of the English Department, Bounthay Chanboualapha and Vice Dean Ketkeo Phanthanivong.
17 December 2015: Baci ceremony for the German team in Ban Sikeud.
19 December 2015: The second “Falang-Friendship Feast” is held in the secondary school Ban Phang Heng. II. Falang-friendship-feast
29 December 2015: Meeting with Peter Deacon, team leader BEQUAL program, Australian Institute; Meeting with Alison Bullock, Teaching and Learning Resources Specialist.
29 December 2015: Meeting with Tata Keovilay, project leader of English Fellow Language Program, US Embassy; cooperation options are discussed.
4 January 2016: Meeting with Mr Khampanh Phimsipasom, Deputy Director of Research Institute and Director of Foreign Language Resource Centre.
4 January 2016: Meeting with GIZ: Dr. Siegfried Berg, Technical Advisor TVET Teacher Education Programme, and Eberhard Frey, Head of Vocational Training.
5 January 2016: Vice Minister of Education and Sports, assoc. Prof. Dr. Kongsy Sengmany and His Excellency, German Ambassador Michael Grau, visit the AfC schools in Ban Sikeud and Ban Phang Heng, where the German team shows the new kinds of lessons held in English. The Vice Minister is accompanied by Chandy Phommabouth, Director General of the Department of Teacher Education, Xomphou Keopanya, Director of Education and Sports Service of Vientiane Capital, and Somlith Virivong, Director of the Lao German Technical College.
27 January 2016: The closing round table conference of the pilot teaching project takes place at the University of Education Karlsruhe. Participants include the chairman of the foundation Christian Engel and the project leader Johannes Zeck, a member of the advisory board Daniel Wensauer-Sieber with Elke Sieber, Prof. Isabel Martin, and the five members of her first team Julia Bauer, Laura Kringe, Franziska Frister, Tobias Mayer, and Alessandro Pola. A little press conference is held in the afternoon and an information session for new volunteers in the evening, which is attended by 30 students.
14 February 2016: Internationally renowned storyteller Richard Martin visits Angels for Children and does a Storytelling Workshop for both teachers and students in the secondary school.
15 February 2016: Richard Martin offers a second Storytelling Workshop in the primary school Ban Sikeud. In the evening the new volunteers Isabella Stryj, Jana Brecht and Jule Reissig arrive in Laos.
19 February 2016: The award ceremony of Ban Sikeud primary school as a “Model School” takes place in the presence of several Lao officials; the school is one of six model schools in the whole pronvice Vientiane capital (700,000 inhabitants) and the first one in Naxaithong district. Press release by the German embassy in Laos
17 March 2016: New workshop “Games for the Classroom” by Team II with the Lao teachers.
25 March 2016: New workshop “Methods” by Team II with the Lao teachers.
31 March 2016: Departure of Team II back to Germany. Meetings with Prof. Martin for documentation, reports and evaluation of this second project phase on 6, 12, and 18 April and 14 June.
6 April 2016: Closing round table conference of the pilot teaching project (Phase II) takes place at the University of Education Karlsruhe. Project leader Johannes Zeck, member of the advisory board Elke Sieber and Prof. Martin discuss the new results, insights, and further steps.
Presentation of long-term strategy for the cooperation to the Chancellor of the University, Mrs Ursula Woell.
1 May 2016: Meeting of the Angel-for-Children Board in Weiherhammer, Germany.
6 May 2016: Interviews with 14 applicants for “Teaching English in Laos” internship (Team III, September 2015 – April 2017).
27 May 2016: First date of the first “Teaching English in Laos” Seminar at the University of Education in Karlsruhe. The names and tasks of Team III are announced: 9 project volunteers + 2 volunteers for our new satellite project with the private Sunshine School in Vientiane. Johannes Zeck gives a presentation about “Living in Laos”, Prof. Martin explains the tasks and then holds a “Singlish” workshop together with Heike Müller (student assistant and lead singer in the “Singlish” band).
27 June 2016: Kick-off information session for Bachelor students of Education for primary schools at the University of Education Karlsruhe about the new “profile” choices for individual in-depth studies. Prof. Martin introduces and is in charge of the following two “profiles”: 1) “Teaching English in Laos” starts in the summer term 2017 with a preparatory seminar which is followed in the winter term by an internship in Laos. 2) “Teaching How to Teach English in Laos” starts in the summer term 2018 and is eligible for the revenant volunteers.
24 June 2016: Second date of the seminar. Topic: “Teaching English in Laos”. Review of teachings materials for pupils and teachers and guest lecture by Dr. Michiko Weinmann (Deakin University, Australia) on “Language Education in Global Contexts: Reconceptualising the ‚Asia literacy‘ debate in Australia”.
28 June 2016: Same kick-off information session, but for Bachelor students of Education for secondary schools.
8 July 2016: Gerlinde Engel and “Linda” aka Bouangeun Hanthavong with Thonee visit foundation family in Karlsruhe for the weekend: Daniel Wensauer-Sieber and Elke Sieber with Max. All together, they visit their cooperation partner at the University of Education on campus: Prof. Martin, the Chancellor (Mrs Ursula Wöll), the Head of the Foreign Affairs Bureau (Ms Simone Brandt), as well as members of Team I, II and III. Also present: Reporters of “Auriska PH-Radio” and the newspaper Badische Neueste Nachrichten.
15 July 2016: Prof. Martin and Dr. Daniela Schlemmer are invited to Weiherhammer by Christian Engel to discuss the joint AfC/PH strategy and to visit BHS Corrugated.
20 July 2016: Second strategy meeting of AfC and Prof. Martin with PH Chancellor, Mrs Ursula Wöll.
20 July 2016: Meeting with Maximilian Richter of the PH “ZIM” (Centre for Information Technology and Media of the PH Karlsruhe) about a PH TV News Series about our project.
22 July 2016: Third and last date of the seminar. Topic: “Workshops and Special Tasks in Laos: Special Task Managers inform their team about the shared work ahead”. Individual meetings take place beforehand to prepare the task reports.
Hand-over of Certificates for Team I and II and subsequent joint dinner.
10 August 2016: Bernhard Fuerst visits Prof. Martin in Karlsruhe for a working session on the selection of books for teaching technological English at the LGTC .
September 2016: Project Phase A begins with Team III at the primary school Ban Sikeud, the primary school Ban Phang Heng, the secondary school Ban Phang Heng, the Physics/Chemistry Lab at Phang Heng (new), the Lao German Technical College (new), and, in affiliation, at the Sunshine School in Vientiane (new).
Prof. Martin arrives on 9 September, followed by the new volunteers David Schrep, Pauline Kern, and Kerstin Petter on 14 September, and a week later, by Thorsten Feldmann, Silja Aleke Schäfer, Juliana Kase, and Julia Kessner. Denise Burkhardt and Lena Wink arrive shortly after.
12 September 2016: Drafting of new timetables at the schools and, for the first time, at the Lao-German Technical College for the manifold teaching tasks of the new volunteers, with the assistance of the coordinators Mr Thaysong Insarn and Mr Vacky Vangyieng.
13 September 2016: “Teaching-the-teachers” starts: Prof. Martin introduces the systematised programme, the different new course books (Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate), and the detailed course plans for 18 weeks to the different groups of teachers (and teaches the first lessons).
14 September 2016: Workshop “Methodology” with Prof. Martin at the LGTC, subject: “Teaching materials for conversation practice”.
16 September 2016: Meeting with the Head of the English Department of the National University of Laos, Mr Thavone Sounthone, and the Vice Head of Department, Mr Bounthay Chanboualapha.
First class “English Conversation and Speaking Practice” with English teachers of LGTC, held by Prof. Martin and volunteers
Prof. Martin interviews 32 teachers from the LGTC who want to take part in an English class and German volunteers
19 September 2016: Start of BHS Recruitment and Training Programme at the LGTC (funded by SEQUA) with 44 graduates from Ban Phang Heng Secondary School;
Meeting with Mr Khamsavay Gnommilavong (Deputy Director of LGTC);
Prof. Martin interviews 32 teachers from the LGTC who want to take part in an English class.
20 September 2016: Meeting with the (other) Vice Head of the English Department Mr Thongsouk Keomany at the National University of Laos
21 September 2016: Satellite project begins at the Sunshine School in Vientiane with the Director Didi [“Sister”] (Cathy Lee), Prof. Martin, and the volunteers Juliana Kase and Julia Kessner
Meeting with the Deputy Director of the Research Institute of Educational Sciences and Director of Foreign Language Resource Center, Mr Khamphanh Phimsipaso, and his team Viengkham Phonpraseuth, Vongmani, Viengkham, Kohnesavanh, and Manoly Dongvan
22 September 2016: Meeting with the German ambassador, His Excellency Michael Grau, and Michael Heller (Deputy Head of Mission)
Prof. Martin interviews 18 more teachers from the LGTC who want to take part in an English class.
23 September 2016: “English Conversation and Speaking Practice” with English teachers of LGTC continues with Prof. Martin and volunteer Denise Burkhardt
24 September 2016: First Falang-Friendship Feast with Team III and all teachers who take English classes with the volunteers
26 September 2016: Meeting with Mr Somlith Virivong (Director of LGTC) and visiting German consultant Lena Schindler (Planco Consulting GmbH)
27 September 2016: Follow-up meeting with Tata Keovilay, project leader of English Fellow Language Program, US Embassy;
Meeting with Mrs Sabine Smolka-Gunsam (GIZ) at the LGTC
1 October 2016: Invitation of Team III to the German Ambassador’s Residence
3 October 2016: Celebration of Day of German Reunification under the auspices of the German Embassy in the Don Chan Conference Palace;
Team III participates in Embassy choir (performance of Lao and German National Anthems) under the direction of Ms Marie Guillot
13 October 2016: German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Dr. Gerd Müller visits BHS/AfC in Weiherhammer
26 October 2016: Interviews with applicants for Team IV (spring 2017) at the University of Education Karlsruhe
1 November 2016: Reception for Gerlinde Engel, Bernhard Fuerst, Christian Schart (UeBZO) and Bouangeun “Linda” Hanthavong and family
11 November 2016: “Pronunciation Workshop Part I” at the Lao-German Technical College with support from volunteers of the Sunshine School and AfC
15 November 2016: Meeting of volunteers of Phang Heng Secondary School with staff members of the Research Institute for Educational Sciences (RIES)
20 November 2016: “Assessing teaching material I” workshop at the lower secondary school Ban Phang Heng
23 November 2016: Research Institute of Educational Sciences (RIES) invites volunteers Anika Broghammer and David Schrep to record “Listening Comprehension” CD for the secondary school book grade 2
24 November 2016: Workshop “Teaching Vocabulary” at the primary school Ban Sikeud
06 December 2016: Lars Engel, board member of the Angels for Children foundation, visits the Lao-German Technical College and the schools in Ban Sikeud and Ban Phang Heng
08 December 2016: Research Institute of Educational Sciences (RIES) invites volunteers Anika Broghammer and David Schrep to record “Listening Comprehension” CD for the secondary school book grade 3
09 December 2016: Christian Engel, chairman of board of the Angels for Children foundation, and Prof. Dr. Erich Bauer, managing director of the UeBZO (training department of BHS Corrugated), visit the Lao-German Technical College and the schools in Ban Sikeud and Ban Phang Heng
16 December 2016: Workshop “Pronunciation” at the primary school Ban Sikeud
02 January 2017: Strategy meeting of Prof. Martin with Gerlinde Engel and Bernhard Fürst
04 January 2017: Handover ceremony of educational and technical material at the Lao-German Technical College
05 January 2017: Workshop “Picture books” at the primary school Ban Sikeud
Meeting of Prof. Martin with H.E. Michael Grau, German Ambassador in Laos
06 January 2017: Meeting of Prof. Martin with Mr Thongsouk Keomany, Mr Bounthay Chanboualapha, and Mr Ketkeo Phanthanivong of the Faculty of Letters, National University of Laos
First joint conference of Lao and German teachers at the primary school in Ban Sikeud
08 January 2017: Workshop “Assessing teaching material II” at the lower secondary school Ban Phang Heng
09 January 2017: Meeting of Prof. Martin and Team III with Research Institute of Educational Sciences (RIES)
Meeting of Prof. Martin with Ms Vila Sengsavang and Mr Bounchanh Xaivouth from the Teacher Training College Dongkhamxan
10 January 2017: H.E. Mrs Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun, Minister of Education and Sports, visits the schools in Ban Sikeud and Ban Phang Heng, with members of her departments
Handover ceremony of “English certificates” for the teachers who participated in the project in Ban Sikeud and Ban Phang Heng, at the primary school in Ban Sikeud
11 January 2017: Meeting of Prof. Martin with Dr. Bounphan Xaymountry at the Ministry of Education and Sports
Meeting of Prof. Martin with Mr Somlith Virivong, Director of the Lao-German Technical College, at the College
Handover ceremony of “English certificates” for the teachers who participated in the project at the Lao-German Technical College
12 – 24 March: Working visit by BHS/LGTC project leader Bernhard Fürst
20 March: “Science Material & Chemistry Experiments” workshop at the secondary school Phang Heng (Rebecca Dengler & Veronika Golla)
20 March – 8 April: Prof. Martin & research assistant Ms Heike Müller (PH Karlsruhe) visit on a “Fact-Finding Mission” (supported by the German Academic Exchange Service “DAAD”)
– to seek approval by the Ministry of Education and Sports for cooperations with Lao universities and colleges and
– to continue talks with the following institutions in Vientiane: National University of Laos (English and German Department), Research Institute of Educational Sciences, Vocational Education Development Institute, Teacher Training College
– to introduce the project plans in Savannakhet, Pakse, and Champasak: Universities and colleges
24 March: Workshop “Pronunciation” (Tanja Wintrich & Laura Jakob, at the secondary school Phang Heng)
Workshop “Pronunciation IV” (Christiane Morlok, Stephanie Schulz, Amelie Reiling, at the LGTC)
25 March – 1 April: Research & teaching visit by Angela Bauer Seekings, MSc (TESOL), Sales and Marketing Manager ELT (Germany, Austria & Switzerland), Pearson Deutschland GmbH
27 March: Guest workshop by Angela Bauer Seekings (Pearson Education): “Jump into Action: Finger Rhymes & Nursery Games”
30 March: Workshop “Picture Books: Pre-, While-, Post-Activities” (Jessica Deißler & Alyssa Weber, at the primary school Sikeud)
Workshop “Introducing Vocabulary” (Venetia Dariou, at the primary school Sikeud)
Summer term 2017: “Global English: Teaching English in Asia” seminar at the PH KA (Prof. Martin)
23 – 25 June 2017: Visit of 4 Lao tandem-teachers in Karlsruhe on their way to Hilderstone College (scholarships), England – reunion with Teams I – IV
29 June 2017: Guest lecture “Living and Working with Lao Partners” by expert B. Pinisch, former UN project leader in Laos (4:15 p.m. at the PH, 3.311)
28 – 30 July 2017: Prof. Martin and German tandem-teachers David Schrep, Anika Broghammer, and Silja Schäfer (Team III) visit Lao teachers at Hilderstone College
18 – 20 July 2017: Weekend visit of 4 Lao tandem-teachers in Karlsruhe on their way back home
18 September 2017: Start of Team V in Laos
20 – 24 September 2017: Tercentenary of BHS Corrugated in Weiherhammer
28 – 29 September 2017: Lao Ministry and University delegation visits PH Karlsruhe (Ministry of Education and Sports, University of Savannakhet, National University of Laos, Vocational Training Centre Vientiane)
13 October 2017: Lao Teachers’ Day (celebrations at LGTC, all AfC schools)
15 October 2017: Global Handwashing Day (official ceremony at Ban Sikeud Primary School)
6 November 2017: Workshop “Storytelling for young learners” (Jessica Porscha at Ban Sikeud Primary School)
16 November 2017: Workshop “How should we teach Technical English at Lao Vocational Colleges?” (Janina Adelberg at the Lao-German Technical College)
20 November 2017: Workshop “Creating & using teaching material” (Hanna Glass & Lara Malchow at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School)
5 December 2017: Workshop: “How to embed experiments in science lessons” (Veronika Golla & Rebecca Dengler at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School)
11 December 2017: Workshop: “Teaching English with picture books & creating pre-, while-, post-material” (Lea Herrmann at Ban Sikeud Primary School)
18 December 2017: Workshop: “Practising Pronunciation – clashes between English pronunciation and Lao pronunciation rules (Marie-Therese Kirsten at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School)
25 December 2017: Workshop: How to create teaching material / Opening of new “Didactics Room”! (Ariane Kummetz & Sandra Uhlig at the Lao-German Technical College)
31 January 2018: Information Session “Teaching English in Laos” (6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the PH, 3.311)
19 February 2018: Start of Team VI in Laos
25 February – 5 March 2018: Prof. Martin visits Savannakhet University (25.-28.2.), Soupanouvong University Luang Prabang ( 1.-4.3.) and the National University of Laos in Vientiane (5.3.)
Text by J. Zeck & I. Martin