Prof. Dr. Isabel Martin and I met professionally at the University of Education Karlsruhe. Her enthusiasm when talking about the teach-the-teacher program in Laos was so contagious that I found myself on the next possible flight out to Vientiane in the spring to meet up with her and the team. My agenda was full of lesson observations, visiting various institutions, getting to know the team and their surroundings and even holding a workshop myself.
One day into Laos I found myself at the Vientiane Film Festival keeping my fingers crossed for students from the Lao-German Technical College Vientiane that they win a prize for the film they had submitted.
Co-founder of Angels for Children, Gerlinde Engel, was kind enough to show me around the engelbert strauss GmbH & Co. KG factory outside Vientiane. Having visited similar textile manufacturing companies in South Carolina, I was really impressed with the factory and the working conditions.
Next stop was observing lessons at the Ban Sikeud primary school with Alyssa. Very pleased to see them using Pearson books. The story of “Beauty and the Beast” was the basis for this student-centred lesson.
Then came my workshop “Jump into Action”. This is a picture of teachers taking part in the boisterous playground game called “traffic lights” using TPR (“Total Physical Response“). Here the teachers have just „crashed“.
I had the great honor of meeting Mr Soulikhamekone Sisoulath, Director of the Ministry of Education and Sport Vocational Education Development Institute. It was highly informative listening to him talking about their students‘ needs. His German was near to perfect.
This was my final lesson observation. Chapeau to Christiane who delivered teacher-training Technical English lessons at the Lao-German Technical College Vientiane. I’ve done this myself and it is no easy feat teaching engineers.
Professor Martin had also arranged for me to visit the English Dept of the National University of Laos. The teachers there knew Pearson well and were very interested in hearing all about “The Global Scale of English“.
A big thank you to Prof. Dr. Isabel Martin and her team made up of Venetia Dariou, Jessica Deißler, Rebecca Dengler, Veronika Golla, Laura Jakob, Christiane Tabea Morlock, Amelie Reiling, Stephanie Schulz, Alyssa Weber, Tanja Wintrich. Wishing you all the best for your future endeavours, be they in Laos or Germany.
Angela Bauer Seekings, MSc (TESOL)
Sales and Marketing Manager ELT
Germany, Austria & Switzerland
Text by A. Bauer-Seekings
Photos by A. Bauer-Seekings, H. Müller, R. Dengler, an unnamed NUOL secretary