Our last preparatory session for Team III was packed with things to do and plan. However, the seminar was preceded by the state exam ceremony on the previous night, after which the graduates go out to celebrate, and followed by the annual music festival The Feast in Karlsruhe, which many people attend to celebrate. The timing was not quite ideal, in other words, so we concentrated on what was most important.
Johannes and I had been preparing the ground: Two meetings with potential volunteers for spring 2017, a meeting with Christian Lutsch, design expert and friend who donated his time and expertise to help us professionalize our Blog, several meetings with Dr. Daniela Schlemmer, our new team member for fund-raising, a meeting with Maximilian Richter from the “ZIM” (Centre of Information Technology and Media of the PH), who explained how to organise and incorporate a “page-flow” into our Blog to show our daily routines, encounters, and discoveries, and, last, but not least, a meeting with Chancellor Ursula Woell, to prepare a formal cooperation agreement between the PH and AfC and an extended strategy for the next five years.
The seminar began with a visit by a PH TV reporter, and the filming took a while. Maximilian’s idea is to film instalments of our pre-, while- and post-work, to be aired on the PH TV news, and this was to become the first instalment, with Johannes Zeck (AfC) and Thorsten Feldmann (Team III) as narrators. We will be curious to see it!
We then proceeded to hand over the “Teaching English in Laos” Certificates to Team I and II, who shared some of their early impressions with Team III.
He and Anika also reported about their meeting with the PR manager of the PH and distributed the promotional material: T-Shirts, pencils, notepads.
As we started to run out of time, I offered individual planning meetings in August. All further information concerning preparations and any new files will be posted on StudIP, our working platform and project repository. (This has already been filling up nicely and will make sure that the team keep one another up-to-date.)
My own prep-task regarding the next teaching scenario is completed. Several large new book orders are being processed via the (excellent) bookshop at Kronenplatz:
– for a comprehensive General English course at the LGTC (4 Lao English teachers),
– for a comprehensive technological English course at the LGTC (20 Lao non-English teachers and 50 students),
– additinal technological English coursebook material at the LGTC for support and extended reference in electrical, metal and mechanical engineering (2 German and 4 Lao teachers),
– for a Lending Library collection of EFL didactics and methodology for secondary school (for our 4 German and 8 Lao tandem teachers in Phang Heng),
– additions to the primary English didactics and methodology Lending Library in Sikeud,
– three course books series (New Headway, New Headway Pronunciation, and Straighforward) for the teach-the-teachers programme both at the three AfC schools and the College.
After having tested the waters with different English course books in the pilot phase, and after having scrutinized the international course books in the engineering sector, our choices follow the assessment and experience of needs, intercultural considerations, but also our more clearly defined project objectives. “Teaching English in Laos” could now yield more predictable and more structured learning outcomes.
The choice of suitable books therefore took quite some time, but was never difficult. On Monday afternoon, for example, as I was sitting on the bookshop’s sofa as so often lately, reviewing new material that had arrived for inspection, I opened one of the new arrivals: Technical English for vocational schools. First page: A photo of a teenager with a speech bubble coming out of his head. Text: “This is Sam. He is 17 years old. He has gel in his hair, 7 piercings and 6 tattoos.”
Text by I. Martin
Photos by I. Martin & A. Broghammer