Meet Team VIII!
Hello and Sabaidee!
We are Team VIII and excited to be part of the project! We will be living and working in Laos at Ban Phang Heng Primary & Secondary School and the Lao-German Technical College (LGTC) from 19 February 2019 onwards until April of the same year. Some of us, however, will stay much longer than that, namely until July 2019! We are glad that some team members of Team VIII will still be there when we arrive to show us the ropes and hand over the baton.
Our team finds itself in the novel situation where some of our members will switch schools, working at the Ban Phang Heng schools until April and then moving over to the LGTC in Vientiane. The team members who are doing this will illuminate their reasons for staying for such a long period of time in their personal introductions.
We are not going to Laos unprepared! By way of three prepatory workshops at the University of Education Karlsruhe and a fourth “send-off” meeting on 8 February, in which we distributed the collected donations to bring over in our suitcases, we were able to get our first insights into the kind of work we will be doing in Laos, building on the work of previous teams. It was during these workshops that we got to talk to returnees of former teams, received our first set of instructions for “The Laos Experience” – what to do before leaving, who our tandem-teachers will be, and what things to take care of first after arriving in Laos (among many other things) – and we were introduced to helpful literature for our stay, ranging from travel guides on Laos to the school books we will be working with.
Additionally, we were provided with both a printed “Project Reader” (December 2018, V 2.1, 104 pp.), compiled by five student helpers from Team V and VI and the project leaders, and an introduction to “alfresco”, the online repository or CMS (content management system) of the whole project. Both the Reader and the documents uploaded to alfresco by (former) volunteers and the project management, ranging from simple “how to” texts to lesson plans, weekly reports of volunteers, and workshop materials (among many other things!) offer great insights into what will await us in Laos, and we are very happy to have access to so much prepatory material with relative ease.
And while there is no “correct formula” of how to best prepare for your work and life in Laos, every team member did their part, and each new team will make their own special contribution.
But now, we would like to introduce ourselves:
Ban Phang Heng Secondary School
My name is Vanessa and I am 20 years old. I study at the University of Education Karlsruhe; my main subjects are English and chemistry.
I will be working at Ban Phang Heng Lower Secondary School. One of my responsibilities is the Science Lab, in which I will offer “Activity Time” in the afternoon so pupils can try out experiments.
Since I have never been to Asia before, I cannot wait to get to Laos and make new friends and experiences there.
In my free time, I enjoy dancing Zumba (areobic fitness programme mixed with Latin American movements), going for walks, cooking, and baking. I am also looking forward to learning as much as possible about the Laotian culture and language. Therefore, I am really excited to meet my tandem-teacher Mr Sackbong Boulapan (chemistry, physics).
I am sure this project will be an enriching experience and will help me grow as a teacher and as an individual as well.
See you soon! ?
My name is Rebekka and I am 21 years old. I am currently studying at the University of Education in Karlsruhe to become a future primary teacher of bilingual teaching with the subjects English, biology, and German.
I am very happy to have the possibility to work in Laos where I am going to work at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School. Together with Vanessa I will offer the “Activity Time Science Lab” and I will also be responsible for the Didactics Room. I will closely be working with the science teacher Ms Khamsee Thanbounhueang. On top of that, I will also take care of some “Mopsy” classes at Ban Phang Heng Primary School. There I will be teaching English to the pre-schoolers, contextualising and semanticising new words and chunks of language by singing/miming, gestures, or drawing. Immediately after this in mid-April I am going to work at the Lao-German Technical College until beginning of July where I will continue with the Didactics Room.
For a teacher of bilingual teaching it is important to use possibilities for cultural learning and teaching and therefore it is necessary to stay abroad for such a long time (20 weeks). I am absolutely grateful for the opportunity to work at two different types of schools for an even richer learning and teaching experience and looking forward to everything that is yet to come!
Hello and Sabaidee everyone,
My name is Mariana and I am 25 years old.
I am studying education in the Bachelor’s degree at the University of Education in Ludwigsburg, a town 82 km away from Karlsruhe. (There are only 5 Universities of Education in Germany, all of them in the federal state BadenWürttemberg.) My subjects are English and art.
This semester I made the acquaintance of a fellow-student in an English seminar and as we were talking, she told me about her stay in Laos and recommended it to me. It was Shirin Ud-Din from Team VI. As I was very interested I started to read through this Blog and decided to apply for Team VIII. Fortunately I got accepted, which made me very happy. I will teach at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School together with my tandem-teachers Ms Donekeo Keosiththivong and Ms Souksakhone Sindavan (both teach English).
My “Special Task” is going to be housekeeping, which means that I will be in charge of distributing our daily allowance of 2,50 € and I will also look after the “Villa”, i.e. make sure that groceries and working materials are bought and broken things are fixed, with the help of Ms Bouangeun Hanthavong, the Foundation Assistant in Ban Sikeud. For my “Activity Time” task, I am going to take over the Conversation Club, to which pupils come who want to improve their speaking skills, and the English Games Club, in which I will focus on playful learning activities in the English language.
Since I have never been to an Asian country, I cannot wait to see and experience the Laotian citizens, culture, nature, and school system.
I am really looking forward to this experience because I am sure it is going to be an unforgettable journey and an enormous advantage for me as a future teacher. I am convinced that a stay in a foreign country facilitates gaining various important personal features, for example intercultural competence, tolerance, as well as independence and adaptability.
My name is Cornelia and I am 19 years old. I passed the A-Levels (final exam at the end of German high school) last year and as a fresh graduate, I am not only curious to experience the school system in a completely different country, but to also change my perspective and work as an assistant-teacher myself.
I will be in Laos at Ban Phang Heng Secondary School from February to April 2019. During this time, I will learn from my more experienced team-partners how to support my tandem-teachers Ms Saysamone Singhalath, Ms Noy Inthavong, Ms Mittaphone Sichampa, and Mr Noy Vienglakhone in their mathematics and English lessons. Furthermore, I will teach English to some of the “Mopsies” at Sikeud Primary School in an age-appropriate and therefore playful way. My special task will be managing the “Live documentation“, the technical word for which is “Pageflow”, which describes “the Laos Experience” in a more emotive way than the blog posts do, i.e. in a visual-auditory and less academic/text-based way.
My favourite pastimes are reading, being out in nature – especially with my dog – and traveling, which is also what I did for the month prior to my arrival in Laos (I am actually already in Sikeud – the first team member to have arrived). My destination was a neighbouring country of Laos: Thailand. Since I was amazed and fascinated by its beautiful culture and diversity, I am even more excited and grateful to have the opportunity to now not only travel, but also to live and work in another Southeast Asian country and to get a close and first-hand insight into what living and working there actually means.
Lao-German Technical College
My name is Anna-Sophia and I am 23 years old. In February I will finish my Bachelor’s degree at the PH (University of Education) in Karlsruhe and before I will start my Master’s degree, I will take the great chance to go to Laos.
Together with Siegfried and Thomas I will be teaching at the Lao-German Technical College (LGTC) in Vientiane. I will be teaching the “Beginner” classes of both students and teachers groups at the College. I will also be responsible for the Didactics Room and the Lending Library and I will also work together with the English teacher Ms Akina Yadsadahuk (English).
In my free time I play the violin in an orchestra, I love singing and dancing, spending time with friends, and traveling. However, I have never been to an Asian country before, so I am very thrilled about “The Laos Experience”! I am very much looking forward to the project and to all the new cultural and academic experiences in Laos and at the LGTC!
See you very soon!
Hello and Sabaidee everyone!
My name is Thomas and I am 25 years old and live in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, which is close to Stuttgart. Just recently I finished my Bachelor’s degree in economic science at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart-Hohenheim, where I subsequently started a Master’s program in management. In this phase – before this further part of my educational path is going to get more serious – I was lucky to discover the great opportunity the “Laos Experience” programme brings, giving me the chance to develop as a person as well as making many new experiences.
During my “Laos experience” I will work at the Lao-German Technical College, where I am going to teach the Elementary class and the Pre-intermediate student classes. For that purpose I will be also working together with Ms Viengkhom Phyathep (English), which I am really looking forward to. Additionally to that, I received the “Special Task” of being the “media manager” for the LGTC, meaning I will organize and save all of our digital data which we create and use in our everyday work.
In my spare time I love listening to music, doing sports, and travelling. But regarding travelling I have not made it out of Europe yet, so this will be my very first journey to Asia, which excites me a lot. I can hardly wait for our trip to start. I am full of anticipation of new people, a new culture, new food, new perspectives of our world and of academic experiences.
My name is Siegfried, I am 21 years old and studying at the University of Education Karlsruhe to become a future secondary teacher of English and history. Before I start writing my Bachelor’s thesis in the summer semester, I decided to take the exciting opportunity to go to Laos to teach and live there for a few months.
Alongside with Anna-Sophia and Thomas I will be working at the Lao-German Technical College, where I will teach the Intermediate classes for students and the Technical English classes for LGTC teachers. My tandem-teacher will be Ms Moukdala Keomixai (English) and I am really looking forward to working with her. Additionally, I have the “Special Task” of being the blog master of Team VIII, which means I will ensure that all future blog posts of Team VIII are proofread, correctly formatted, and fit for publishing. This task I will share with Elisabeth of the “Villa team”, who work at the three AfC schools.
In my spare time, I like to read, listen to music or podcasts, or simply take my bicycle and ride it wherever my legs and curiosity take me. I am really excited to be going to Laos in only one week, as I have never been to an Asian country. I am really looking forward to all the new places, people, ideas, perspectives, experiences and more that I will hopefully discover soon!
Text & photos by Team VIII