An important objective of the projects in Laos is our ongoing partnership with the local community, particularly the education sector – schools, teachers, and students - with whom we work. We aim to provide local Lao English teachers with professional development opportunities to gain additional English skills and upskill with new teaching techniques and activities.
In pursuit of this important project goal, our second training program for Lao teachers this month, is focusing on the effective use of text in English lessons, and were delighted with a strong turn-out of 12 teachers representing five of our partner schools. The two hour session was run out of school hours as an optional opportunity, so we were thrilled with the positive response of our enthusiastic participants. The session covered the selection of appropriate text, processes for both listening and reading-based lessons, activity suggestions, practice tasks, planning considerations, and rounded off with a pop quiz. Participants received a full complement of resources to support them in their post-training reflection. The training was conducted in English, the teachers’ second or even third language, and their commendable effort was recognised with certificates of accomplishment.
Participants were asked to complete a Training Feedback Survey in order to assess the value and effectiveness of the training. 100% of participants liked the techniques/tips and most rated the training between 8 and 10/10. Everyone stated they wish to do more training , and interestingly, all teachers found the training too short, and in response an all-day training is planned in the coming months to reach out further to our teaching partners, keen on improving their classroom skills, techniques and teaching methods.
As a nation highly reliant on foreign aid, and with an education system struggling to modernise, burdened by inadequate funding and resources, our involvement offers opportunities for English tuition with native and fluent English speakers with a wide cross-section of students, thus enhancing their long term employment prospects in a country increasingly moving towards tourism and export as major economic drivers. Teachers receive low pay and have little or no access to professional development, hindered by both financial factors and a general lack of opportunity. We are pleased to offer this free service to the community, and are overwhelmed by the positive response of the participants, with comments such as “This course is brilliant” and “I am very proud to join”.