Meet our Lao teachers who do not teach English, but now also learn English

All Posts, The Lao teachers

Today I would like to introduce my English students to you. All of them are teachers in Ban Phang Heng Secondary School and all of them have one thing in common: They do not teach English. Their subjects are the Lao language, mathematics, chemistry, physics, geography, history, and informatics; but from Monday to Thursday they become students themselves for one hour a day when they learn English with me.

“Me” is “Pauline”, and my special task in this project is different to the ones of my Team III colleagues:
a) I do not teach English teachers in tandems, but I teach English to the “non-English-teachers” who expressed the wish to be included in the programme.
b) I therefore do not accompany them in their (“non-English”) classes for didactic-methodological assistance, but teach the pre-schoolers English instead with “Mr Mopsy” in that time.

I have worked with the “non-English teachers” for three weeks now, whom Prof. Martin had placed in two study groups after conducting interviews and explaining the new course system and schedule earlier in September.

Prof. Martin explains the student's book, workbook, CD and tapescripts.
Prof. Martin explains the student’s book, workbook, CD and tapescripts.

There is a “Beginners” group and an “Elementary” group – the latter already had English lessons with Teams I and II. The beginners are real beginners, so we work with the second edition of the Straightforward Beginners Book and the appendant Workbook (Macmillan). This sounds like a simple statement, but it is not.

This is the first time we can follow a complete course programme. Last year, Team I experimented with different books Prof. Martin had brought to identify the most suitable one, and then the book order of Headway and Straightforward course books just did not arrive. It turned out several weeks later that it had not made it past customs. Several days later we heard this happened because of a coffee machine which was in the same box – Christian Engel had bought it as a Xmas surprise for the team. Coffee machines are consumer goods, unlike English course books, so need to be processed differently. It took another few weeks to obtain the box. By the time we had the books Team I was already leaving.

So now we are happy to start teaching more systematically with a complete course system which includes books!

Back to the Lao teachers: Because everything English is new to my class of beginners, I mime and draw a lot so we are getting a lot of good laughs together.

Last week I asked whether they would write a short text about themselves for our readers. They all wrote some lovely lines but read for yourself:


My name is Na Lee Vonkhamaxai. I am a teacher. I teach computer. I’m 25 years old. I am from HuaPhanh Provin. I live Sumked village at Sikord District at Vientain. In my freetime I lik listen music and a cooking Lao foods. My family 6 People, mother, two sister, brother, young brother and me.


My name is Daovone Chantha BouSee. I’m twenty-six years old. I teach Lao Language. I live in Phonsavant village Naxay Thong district. I’m my freetime I like Cooking and have a nap. My family there are four people.


Hello. My name is AmPhaivone chandavong. I 24 years old. I’m a teacher. I teach geography at sekeud secondary school. I live in Chansavong village Sekhodtabongat district vientine capital with my familly. There are six People have  grandmother, Parents one and two young brother. My freetime I like football, music and cooking and volleyball.


My name is Chunsamon Vilavong. I’m 25 years old. I teach history. I live in Dong Dok village Saithany district. In my freetime I like dancing and cooking.


My name’s Bounthanh Nanh thavong. I’m 22 years old. I’m a teacher. I teach Laolanguage in at Sekeud secondar school. I live in Nonesavong village, seekhod district. My family had 8 Peoples. Mother, father, sister and borther. My freetime I like cooking and plays football. I like Lao food Nooder soup and Papayasalat. I drink orange and apple, but dont´t like coffee.


My nam’s KongPhet PhanThavong. I’m 25 years old. I teach history. I taught school with a locomotive. I live in Huaxang. I ike art, cooking, have a nap, wath TV, music, play game. I like learning English now. I speak a litte. I’m glad you came to teach us English.


My name is Mr. Noy Sibounheuang. I’m 24 years old. I Teach Mathematics I live in Pak Heak Village Nasaithong district Vientiane capital. Free thime I like play Kator and football and internet. My family me 11 people sometime I like drink Beerlao.


My name’s Thong Sing Sinapisit. I am 30 years old. I teach mathematics. I live in nalien village Nasaythong. In my freetime I like football and music.

I continue (Pauline): And here comes my “English elementary” class, who had English lessons before with Sandro and Julia from Team I and with Julia from Team II:


“English elementary” class and teacher Pauline


Hello. My name’s Toukam Chanthavong. I’m 22 years old. I’m a teacher. I teach Mathematics in Sekeud Secondary school. I live in nakhoun village, Naxaythong district vientiane capital. My family have 4 People, Mother, Father, I and yung sister. My free time I like cook for my family. English self learning in Book or youtube and other. Lao food I like Nuder soup, Papaya salat and other. I think English language interesting.


Hello My name’s Saysamone Singhalath. I’m 25 years old. I’m a Teacher I teach history. My family I have Five People. I have one brother and one sister. I live in Donglouang Village, NaxayThong district capital.  My Favourite I like cooking cake or other desserts. In my Freetime I like Dansing, listen to music and English Conversation. I want to Learn English more. I will try to be the best.


My name is Mr: Sackbong Boulapan. I’m 22 year old. I’m teach chemistry and Physics. I live in Phang Heng Secondary School. I share room with ChanhpaSong and Onsy. My fimily name Boulapan. In my freetime: I like read English book and I do home work and play tabletennis and youtube in internet. My teacher is Pauline. (Thank you)


Dear reader, My name is Vienglakhone Keopaseud. I’m 26 years old. I live in Nasaiw vilage at vientiane. Now I live with my family. I teach mathematics and I study English. I like play sports as volleyball, football, table tennis, Petung, Arts and dancing. In my freetime: I read English books and Maths books but sometime I’m listening Music and pay in the internet. My teacher in 2014 were Sandro and Julia. In 2015 was Julie. Now in 2016 is Pauline.


My name’s Mr Chanhpasong Lorvanau. I’m 23 year old. I teach Laolanguage an study English. I live in Phang Heng Secondary School. I share room with Sackbong and Onsy. I like sport, badminton and free time I play sport and study English. My teacher is: Sandro, Julia…thank you!


My name is Onsy Vanpheng. I’m 25 year old. I live in Ban Phang Heng velles Nasaythong District viengtian capital. I’m a teacher. I teach lao languauges at the sikeud secondary school. freetime lesionning conversesion English, play volleyball, football and swimming and I stadyied English, come here when was 11.45-12.35.

Text by P. Kern & I. Martin
Photos by P. Kern & J. Zeck

Share this: