This is Team V! 18 September 2017 – 15 February 2018

All Posts, Laos, Teaching experiences, Teams

This is Team V!

Chosen by the project leader Johannes Zeck of the Angels for Children Foundation, Prof. Isabel Martin of the University of Education Karlsruhe, and the International Office of the university, to support pupils, students, and teachers in Laos at four different institutions – the Lao-German Technical College, Ban Phang Heng Secondary School, Ban Phang Heng Primary School, and Ban Sikeud Primary School – from September 2017 to February 2018, we are the ten new volunteers headed for Laos on 17 September 2017 – and two of us were part of the last team already!

This is not the only special feature: In June and August, we also already met four of our future tandem-teachers in Karlsruhe, where they visited their previous and future tandem-teachers on their way to Hilderstone College.

The previous teams (I-IV) implemented the fours strands of teaching and built up a Lending Library containing plenty of books for the teachers to use, i.e. didactic books on teaching English as a foreign language, diverse course material such as flashcards and audio material, Easy Readers, picture books, and dictionaries for both adults and children. Furthermore, Team III developed a Didactics Room also funded by the Angels for Children Foundation, which contains a photocopier, a computer with Internet access, a laminating machine and other useful tools to enable and encourage the teachers to produce teaching materials to supplement and augment the mandatory course books, for a more communicative classroom.

The science laboratory at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School was finished in January 2016  and since then has been equipped with plenty of utensils, models, and chemicals. The pupils who come and participate are amazed to see the wonders of natural science. For the project to continue developing, all of this work will now be continued and enhanced.

We are highly motivated and enthusiastic about taking over Team IV’s work now, and we are also incredibly happy about having the opportunity to be part of “The Laos Experience”.

The volunteers’ names from left to right:

Front row: Lea Herrmann (Ban Phang Heng Primary School), Hanna Glass (Ban Sikeud Primary School), Lara Malchow (Ban Phang Heng Secondary School), Veronika Golla (Ban Phang Heng Secondary School), Marie-Therese Kirsten (Ban Phang Heng Secondary School)

Back row: Sandra Uhlig (LGTC), Ariane Kummetz (LGTC)

Missing in this picture: Anna Janina Adelberg (LGTC), Rebecca Dengler (Ban Phang Heng Secondary School), Jessica Porscha (Ban Sikeud Primary School)

Sandra Uhlig (LGTC)

Hi, my name is Sandra and I’m 25 years old. Originally I am from the very South of Germany – a small town in the Black Forest (very nice place to go hiking!). Four years ago I moved to Karlsruhe, which is a two-hour drive away from my home. There I am studying bilingual teaching for primary achool at the University of Education Karlsruhe with the majors English and History. Within the scope of my study program I went to study in Australia, Melbourne, last year, which was a great and precious experience. I have never been to South East Asia, though – so it’s time!

Together with Ariane Kummetz and Janina Adelberg I will teach at the Lao-German Technical College in Vientiane, 20 hours per week. I am looking forward to spending four months teaching English to students and teachers in Laos. Teaching the Elementary Class will be my part as well as offering lessons for BHS students and working together as a tandem with Thavone and Akina. I am very happy to help them to improve their English skills.

Furthermore, we will also be offering several workshops on different topics relating to the English language, and continue the Conversation Club.

As a team, the three of us have the additional task to set up a “Didactics Room” at the LGTC, which we will try to equip with useful tools, for example a laminator. My personal “Special Task” will be documentation – organizing and saving new files, photos, etc. on our project Content Management System (CMS) and external hard drive.

Janina Adelberg (LGTC)

Hi, I am Nina, 28 years old and originally from Frankfurt/Main, Germany. I just finished my first state exam at the University of Education in Karlsruhe in bilingual teaching with the majors English and Culture of Daily Life and Health as well as German and Math as minors. Before this I got a degree in Linguistics, Translation and Interpretation in Spanish and English at the University of Germersheim. Languages and working with children and adolescents have long been the two things I wanted to combine. In teaching bilingually I found the perfect challenge.

Due to these two interests I have been working, studying and volunteering abroad in different countries around the world in varying projects for almost ten years now. This project fits perfectly with my personal and professional interests and holds many great opportunities and challenges for development in both areas.

This is why I decided to work at the Lao-German Technical College. Together with Ariane and Sandra I will offer everyday assistance to the staff with regard to planning, organizing and carrying out lessons. Apart from that, I will teach “Technical English” in the afternoons and offer specialized workshops on varying topics for the staff. I am also in co-charge of the blog as one of your two new “blog mistresses” to keep you informed about this project, which I am very happy to be part of!

Ariane Kummetz (LGTC)

ສະບາຍດີ sába̖ai-di̖i my name is Ariane Kummetz and I am 23 years old. Originally, I come from Tübingen but am currently living in Karlsruhe, where I study bilingual teaching at the University of Education. My major subjects are English and Daily Culture & Health; however, I am also very much involved in the fields of music as I am a passionate singer and strive to integrate it in my daily life as much as possible.

I will be teaching English at the Lao-German Technical College in Vientiane, which includes managing the Beginners classes 1 & 2, personal tandem-teaching, as well as offering guidance and lessons to BHS students. Beside my tasks as an English teacher I will be responsible for the Lending Library and the regular team meetings. Furthermore, we as a team (Sandra, Janina and I) will be in charge of establishing a Didactics Room which can be used by all the teachers and future teams. A Didactics Room can be equipped with useful and helpful devices supporting teachers to perform well in class and helping them to create vivid didactic material.

I am looking forward to working with students and teachers from the college and aim to increase the general English level by focusing on vocabulary, communication skills and a better comprehension of the foreign language. Additionally, on the one hand I hope to contribute my intercultural experiences to help broaden general cultural awareness within the college, and on the other hand side I seek to gain a deeper insight into the Lao culture, which will result in a wider cultural perspective for myself.


Rebecca Dengler (Ban Phang Heng Secondary School)

Sabaidee! My name is Rebecca Dengler. I am 22 years old and you might already know me because I was part of Team IV. Now I join Team V for another three months of teaching in Laos. I am just finishing my studies at the University of Education in Karlsruhe. I study to become a primary teacher and my subjects are English and Chemistry. After my last exam in October, I will fly to Laos. In Laos I will  work together with the science teachers at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School again. Besides giving the teachers English lessons, I will try to help them to improve their science lessons, e.g. by implementing experiments.

Like last time, I will also be responsible for the Chemistry and Physics Laboratory at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School.

I am looking forward to spending three more months in Laos and to working together with the Lao teachers.


Marie-Therese Kirsten (Ban Phang Heng Secondary School)

Hello, my name is Marie-Therese and I am 29 years old. I am currently in the final stages of my studies for primary school education. My main subjects are English and Biology. Together with Lara I will teach at Ban Phang Heng secondary school for 20 hours per week. I will also be responsible for the blog of “The Laos Experience” as my “Special Task”.

Since I have never been to an Asian country I am very excited to get the chance to spend 3 months in Laos. I cannot wait to finally meet the pupils, teachers, and local people in Sikeud. I am looking forward to working together with the Lao teachers and supporting them in improving their English and teaching skills.


Lara Malchow (Ban Phang Heng Secondary School)

Hello everyone, my name is Lara, I’m 24 years old and I study in Karlsruhe to become a secondary school teacher. My subjects are Science, English, and Geography. Together with Marie-Therese I will work at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School. My two tandem-teachers will be Souvanh Navong and Bonleud Sengsavangvong. I am here to help them improve their English and also their methodological and didactic skills.

Furthermore, my responsibility is to encourage the teachers to use the Didactics Room and to work together with them as a team that shares new materials and ideas (“Special Task”).

This is my second time in a Southeast Asian country and I am very excited about spending 4 months in Laos. To be surrounded by a new culture, new food, and the locals has always been one of my biggest dreams and I am looking forward to meeting everyone.


Veronika Golla (Ban Phang Heng Secondary School)

Hello again! I am Veronika Golla and 26 years old. As I was already member of Team IV you might already know me.

I am originally from Freiburg, but for my studies I moved to Karlsruhe. I am studying to become a primary school teacher. My subjects are English, German, Mathematics, and Science. Besides reading and swimming I like meeting my friends and family and I love to travel to other countries and meeting new people. I am very fond of Asian countries. I have been to Thailand and Cambodia besides China and Japan, and this spring I also had the opportunity to go to Laos. From mid-February to mid-April I was part of this project and taught the science teachers Phit, Latsamee, Chanmany, and Khamsee at Phang Heng Secondary School.

Together with Rebecca I built up the “Live report” (“Pageflow”) on this blog as well as the “Science Lab”, and from September to December I will continue with this work. I am looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces again, working with the Lao teachers and pupils, and to even more exciting moments.


Lea Hermann (Ban Phang Heng Primary School)

Hello my name is Lea and I am 20 years old. I am in my third semester of bilingual studies (for primary school at the University of Education Karlsruhe.

I will teach at the Ban Phang Heng Primary school and I will work together with Bounpheng. My “Special Task” is going to be the Lending Library. I will also help Hanna prepare our weekly team meetings and write the minutes afterwards.

I like working with children, I read a lot, and like to do sports and spend time with my friends.

Last year I already traveled in Southeast Asia but I am very excited about actually living there soon for five months. I am looking forward to seeing the real life of the people and not just the bits and pieces that tourists get to see. I am very thankful for this amazing opportunity and I cannot wait to start this trip!


Hanna Glass (Ban Sikeud Primary School)

Hello! My name is Hanna, I’m 25 years old and I will work at Ban Sikeud Primary School, with the two teacher Phovang Inthavong (Noy) and Mittaphone Sichampa (Mit). I will help them to improve their general English (pronunciation, writing, reading) as well as their English teaching skills further.

As we, the German volunteers, will be living together in a house (“the villa“), someone has to organize and supervise all the things which need to be done there, i.e. the shopping, cleaning, Internet, villa library, bicycles, etc. My “Special Task”, housekeeping, is therefore not directly related to our work at school, but it is nonetheless important for our coexistence. I will also manage our weekly team meetings.

Last year I already traveled through Thailand and Myanmar. I really liked it there and now I am excited to learn about the culture in Laos. Meeting the locals and staying in contact with them on an everyday basis will be awesome. There is a difference to my other stays abroad because we will live and work in Laos and are not just travelers. I am looking forward to all the new experiences.

In my free time I practice Yoga and like doing sports in general. After the 4 months in Laos I will fly to India and do a Yoga Teacher Training. After that I will be a certified Yoga teacher and could work all over the world. I do it just for myself but also for work. Yoga is really good for children and you can practise it at school as well.


Jessica Porscha (Ban Sikeud Primary School)

Sa-bai-Dee and hello, I’m Jessica Porscha. I am 25 years old and I study bilingual studies (“Europalehramt“) at the University of Education in Karlsruhe. My subjects are English and Culture of Daily Life and Health in primary schools. I will be teaching about 20 hours a week working with the preschoolers, whom we call „Mopsys“, at Ban Sikeud School (8 hours/week).

Additionally I will be teaching English to the „non-English“ Teachers at Ban Phang Heng School. It will basically be a Beginners course on two levels (total Beginners and Elementary) for English (8 hours/week). In the afternoons I will offer some English “Activity Time” at either Ban Sikeud or Ban Phang Heng School (4 hours/week).

Unfortunately my stay is limited until the mid of November – however, I will spare no effort to support the Laotians as much as I can. I am really excited about the challenge and the overall experience. For my “Special Task” I am in charge of this blog until Marie-Therese arrives and takes over. As your next blog mistress, I will proof-read and edit drafts coming in from our team, and I will write and share articles myself as well.

This is the first one – more to follow soon!

Text by J. Porscha and Team V

Photos by V. Golla, R. Dengler & J. Porscha

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