A multimedia documentation Teaching English in Laos From the point of view of the volunteers
Students from the University of Education in Karlsruhe report about the project Teaching English in Laos.
On our way to the night market we saw a farmer leading his flock of cows home across the dusty street.
Even though our accomodation is located in a rural area the unsurfaced road is quite busy. Every day several cars and mostly scooters - which are the main means of transport - pass through...and sometimes also cows :)
P.S. It only occurred to us later that we never asked about its name. It probably doesn't have one anyway.
Surprisingly they did it!
And we drank fresh coconut water from our own coconuts for the first time.
The main means of transport for short distances are scooters. If you don't own a scooter you mainly move around by taking a tuk tuk. Tuk tuks are kind of auto rikshaws - a vehicle composed of a motorcycle and a trailer. The driver sits in the front and the passenger back in the trailer.
In our street there is a daily morning market and night market. During lunch time you can also find some stalls where the Lao people sell their home-made dishes in small packages. In this picture you can see the night market, where we buy fresh ingredients for our dinner every day. The range of seasonal food varies each day - the Lao market traders sell whatever their farms and gardens provide at the time.
What you might consider to be a garage in fact is a shop :)
These shops often can be found along streets - so also along our street. They sell a varied range of products, mainly non-perishable foods.
Alyssa and Jessica didn’t want to climb up the tree. But they also didn’t have the right tools. That’s why they just took a very long stick and taped a knife to its tip.
Souk and Donekeo are the two English teachers at Ban Phang Heng secondary school Laura works with. Laura helps them to enhance their English skills and their teaching methods. Together with Tanja she also offers different activities for the students like an English conversation club .
Besides preparing and holding lessons together with her tandem teachers Mit and Noy, Alyssa teaches English to them and two more adult students at Ban Sikeud primary school. During activity time she sings and plays with the primary students using the English language in a playful context.
Team IV: spring 2017 Our journey From Germany to Laos
Our journey from Frankfurt to Vientiane/ Sikeud via Bangkok took around 16 hours. When we finally arrived we all were very tired but we were greeted very warmly by Gerlinde Engel and had a great dinner with two of the Lao teachers.
Behind the scenes Are you curious who the authors of this Pageflow are?
We are Veronika & Rebecca and are responsible for the collection , editing and publication of the media for this pageflow. We want to take you on a interactive multimedia journey to Laos by sharing our experiences with you.
Every week Venetia teaches the pre-school kids English at the Ban Sikeud primary school.
She also teaches English to two groups of non-English teachers at the Ban Phang Heng secondary school every day. During activity time she does English games and songs with the children.
Teaching the pre-school kids at Ban Phang Heng Primary School is one of Jessica's tasks. With the Mopsy programme the children learn their first English words and structures in a playful and highly activating way.
Moreover, she works closely together with Bounpheng, who teaches English at this primary school. In the afternoon she offers English activities for the students.
At the Lao German Technical College Amelie is responsible for Muk. She watches her lessons and helps her to improve them. She also teaches two English classes, one at beginners and one at elementary level. Conducting activities and an English conversation club in the afternoon is part of her daily work.
Everyday school life
In this chapter we want to show you everyday's school life - usual circumstances but also some curiosities, as school in Laos can be very different from what we know.
Twice a week students from
Ban Phang Heng Secondary School have the opportunity to join the "Science Lab", an extra curricular activity offered by Rebecca and Veronika during Activity Time. Here you can see one of the many experiments that the students can conduct.
More than a teacher...
Teaching is not the only thing a Lao teacher does. Sometimes they slip into a completely different role and cut their pupils' hair as the boys in Lao schools have to have short hair.
Her own computer...
This Lao teacher was so happy when she got donated her own laptop!
Now she is learning how to use it for her work as a teacher.
We cannot imagine how much this means to her because for us it is usual to have our own laptop.
Hey Baby! Activity time at Ban Phang Heng primary school
This video was filmed by one of the Lao teachers during activity time at Ban Phang Heng primary school. Alyssa and Jessica introduced the song 'Hey Baby!' and as you can see in the video the song went down well with the kids :) please watch to see how much fun they had.
Here are the lyrics for those who want to sing along:
Hey baby, hey baby let 's rock and roll! Hey baby, hey baby let 's rock and roll!
We 're gonna jump, jump, turn around.
We 're gonna twist, twist, to the ground.
Hey baby let 's rock and roll!Hey baby, hey baby let 's rock and roll!
Hey baby, hey baby let 's rock and roll!
We 're gonna twirl, twirl, way up high. We 're gonna shake, shake, to the sky.
Hey baby let 's rock and roll!
Workshop How to prepare material for science classes
This week we did a workshop for the science teachers at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School. The five teachers were very excited to work in the schools's didactics room and create their own teaching material.
Producing flashcards using a laminator and a paper cutter
In the workshop we also let the teachers prepare an experiment and we were really proud to see that one of the Lao teachers went to the lab with his students two days later and let the students conduct the experiment.
One area of Stephanie's work at the Lao German Technical College is to accompany Viengkhom's lessons and to give recommendations how to improve the teaching methods. Moreover, she teaches English to two beginner classes. Together with Amelie and Christiane in the afternoon she organizes an English conversation club and other activities for the students.
Laos - country & culture
the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a small country in Southeast Asia,
bordered by Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. The overall
topography of Laos is hilly and mountainous with thick green forests and
rivers. You can find beautiful landscapes there and we saw a few astonishing
spots. The Laotians are a very happy people, always friendly, and constantly smiling.
During our stay we had the opportunity to dive into their culture and daily
life which is not uncommonly coined by Buddhism.
This chapter shows you a few of our impressions.
Exploring Laos Vang Vieng
We spent one weekend in Vang Vieng
with our whole team. Vang Vieng is a
popular destination for tourists and
also people from Laos because of its
beautiful and diverse landscape.
One of the places one should have
visited in Vang Vieng is this blue
A Saturday in Vientiane
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos. Its population is 783.000 and it is located next to the Mekong river and the border of Thailand. One Saturday we went there and met the girls from the LGTC. As they live in Vientiane and they already know their way around the town, they gave us a walking tour. We climbed the famous Patuxai, visited the morning market, and sat at the Mekong river bank. In the photo, you can see almost our whole team, only Laura is missing.
Sunset at Mekong river bank
This wonderful picture was taken by Stephanie, one of our LGTC teachers, while going for a walk in Vientiane in the evening on one of their first days in Laos.
Fresh fruit can be bought anywhere at small stalls sold by constantly smiling Lao women. The taste is incredible!
Can you spot the odd one out? :)
Lao cuisine is diverse and distinct from other southeast
The staple food is steamed sticky rice, which is eaten by hand and the most famous Lao dish is larb (ລາບ) which you can also see on this picture. It is a spicy mixture of marinated meat or fish with a different herbs and spices. Another popular Lao dish spicy green papaya salad. Galangal, lemongrass, and fish sauce are important ingredients oft most Lao dishes.
Lao food - rice
Rice, more precise sticky rice is the staple food of the Lao people. In fact, the Lao eat more sticky rice than any other people in the world. Besides breakfast, lunch and dinner Lao people eat several little snacks during day. Rice often accompanies their meals. In this picture you can see several sorts of rice sold at the morning market in Luang Prabang.
Curious food 1
The Lao cuisine is very delicious! However sometimes the Lao people eat food which we would consider as weird :) In this picture you can see curry chicken feet and sticky rice. Even if you don't believe it some of the german students were so courageous and tried them.
Curious food 2
Not only chicken feet but also insects are eaten by the Lao people, which they regard as saep lai lai (delicious). The Lao population is regarded as the people eating most insects among the world. Even if this seems odd for us eating insects has significant nutritional benefits.
Together with the English teachers Bounleud and Souvhan, who teach English at the Ban Phang Heng secondary school, Tanja prepares material for their English lessons. She does not only teach English to both of them but also helps them to develop their teaching. Together with Laura she offers various activities like an ABC club for the students every week.
One must celebrate when one has the chance
The Lao people's pleasure of celebrating is exceptionally. No matter if it is a national holiday or another festive event, celebrations are always welcome as they bring a varietey into the workaday life. The causes for the festivities are very diverse however they have often a buddhist background.
During our stay we had the opportunity to attend bacis, the opening ceremony of a new gym of one of the schools and Christiane also celebrated Lao New Year in Vientiane. As every village and its pagoda has one or more festivals a year we were often invited to the festival of the villages around Ban Sikeud. The LGTC-Girls also went to a Lao wedding.
On our first day at school the traditional Lao ceremony Baci (ບາສີ) was held to welcome us. During the ceremony strings are tied around your wrists to chase evil spirits out and let positive energy in. We got very emotional when so many people wished us good luck for our stay in Laos.
Opening ceremony of gym
On Friday, 10th April 2017 was the official opening ceremony of the gym of Ban Phang Heng Primary School. The inauguration was accompanied by the blessing of the local monks, who were given donations. A baci ceremony was held and the schools' students danced and performed a fashion and karate show.
Let the following impressions work their magic!
Students with donations
Lao dance performance
As a welcome the karate team of Phang Heng Secondary School perfomed for us. Their fitness and precision was very impressing especially when you consider the hot weather.
Teaching English at Ban Phang Heng secondary school to four science teachers, who have just started to learn English, is one of Veronika's tasks. In cooperation with the teachers she also develops their teaching and helps them to enrich their teaching methods. On Wednesdays and Thursdays she offers activities in the school's science lab with Rebecca.
We were interested in what the life of a Lao student looks like and if it differs from the one of a German student. Therefore we interviewed four fourth graders with whom we had also worked during the science lab activity time. Watch the videos to find out yourself.
Please introduce yourself :)
What are your hobbies?
What are your favourite subjects?
How do you go to school?
What do you like to do in your free time?
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
What are your parents' jobs?
What are your dreams for the future?
Teaching a technical English class is one of Christiane's tasks at the Lao German Technical College. With the teachers Saythong and Ba she evaluates their lessons to help them to optimize their teaching. In the afternoon she offers activities and an English conversation club.
Chanmany and Sackbong are the science teachers Rebecca works with at Ban Phang Heng secondary school. She sits in on their lessons and helps them to implement experiments in their lessons. With Sackbong she learns English four days a week. Together with Veronika she also offers activities in the school's science lab for the students.