Program orientation meeting
September brought the launch of our "Upskills Program" for local youth. We had collected informational and goal-setting surveys from 17 potential students, had them do an English pretest and a 15-minute conversational Zoom to assess language competency levels. The students were willing to commit to a year-long program with approximately 4 hours per week of study and a weekly check-in class with the English teacher. Monthly workshops would cover specific skill development areas. We were still coming to an agreement with our candidate to be the program manager, but we decided to get started as the students were ready to get going
Working with a nearby government sub-district (Kun Pak) program for youth development, our first orientation class was held in person at the Story Cafe run by the youth group. Our long-time staff member, Da, led the meeting with assistance from Co-founder, Evelind. The students ranged from high school to post-university - all worried about finding jobs. Even though the students had studied English in school, they all wanted to focus on English first, to build some confidence in speaking.
The first few months will focus on basic English, reviewing vocabulary, and orienting the students to appropriate meeting and greeting skills for interviews and customer service. Our teachers include the program manager, "Finn", who comes with an American GED and TEFL training. Having had to find his way in Thailand as a Burmese refugee, he brings first-hand knowledge of what is needed to build self-confidence and critical job skills. Our long-time employee, "Da", has added teaching English to her skill set and can ease the self-consciousness of her students who know her from the community.
Additional benefits have come from launching the program. Finn has been using the curriculum to teach our Warm Heart students English during their school break. Earn, a recent college graduate, networked with other recent grads and was hired into a part-time job working for the sub-district.
We are still listening and adjusting the class material as our teachers need to fill gaps in basic skills.
Thank you for making this possible!
Da explains the program and survey feedback
Finn and Da teach first in-person class
Students create sentences
Finn and volunteer teach our youngest English