Literacy Training for an Ethnic Minority Community

Advanced English Class
Advanced English Class

Another three month have passed by and some important changes are coming up for our CLC’s advanced English classes in the near future. DEPDC’s long-term advanced English CLC teacher, Jörn, is going to leave DEPDC soon and a new teacher is going to take over Jörn’s English classes.

During the last one and a half years that I taught the CLC’s advanced English classes I had a huge variety of students coming to my classes for many different reasons. I had students from the age of 14 up to more than 30 years of age.

One major group are always students from the local high schools around Mae Sai. Private tutoring is quite expensive and many families can’t afford to send their children there. DEPDC’s Community Learning Center offers an inexpensive option for them to improve their English skills and raise their grades.

Most older students come to the CLC classes to improve their English conversation skills. They often work in fields that occasionally requires them to communicate with foreigners in English and increased English skills often improves their business or raises their employability.

The diverse backgrounds of the students make it classes interesting but also make the classes challenging. While the high school students are required to learn a lot of grammar to pass their exams at school, the older students normally need to improve their direct communication skills. For them learning correct grammar is of little importance compared to simply being able to do business with foreigners in English.

After teaching this diverse group of so different students for such a long time three times a week, I’ll certainly miss the classes and wish all the best to my former students and hope DEPDC’s new CLC English teacher will enjoy the time in class as much as I did.

I would like to thank all former, current, and future donors and supporters of DEPDC. Without your support and encourage my work here would not have been possible. Thanks a lot!

Advanced English Class
Advanced English Class
Beginner English Class
Beginner English Class


Teacher Katie at our Half Day School
Teacher Katie at our Half Day School

Since our latest update on our Community Learning Center (CLC) there were some major changes to our English classes. Both courses, the beginner and the advanced English class, got new teachers!

DEPDC's volunteer Katie from the US took over the advanced English classes for the last three month of her stay and P'Somboon, Thai language teacher at DEPDC's Half Day School (HDS) and Pa Yang Mai Non-formal Eduction Center, took over the English beginners class. Both teachers took over the classes for a few month replacing the normally assigned teachers.

The fact that the two substitute teachers will take over the CLC English classes for a few month gives the students a chance to hear another teachers English and will prepare them for the fact that everybody has a slightly different pronunciation and style of speaking and will in this way improve the students learning achievements.

Futhermore, the English classes had a lot of new students joining the evening classes after the 2016/2017 school year at Mae Sai's government schools started in early May. The students visiting the CLC are mostly from the immediate vicinity of DEPDC and can only afford to receive extra classes in English at the CLC due to the fact that private tutoring is quite expensive and their families wouldn't be able to pay for their children's classes.

We wish all our students fun and success at their English classes. DEPDC's staff, volunteers, and especially our students at CLC would like to thank all our past, current, and future donors without whose support we would not be able to operate the Community Learning Center. Thank You!  

Teacher Somboon during an English beginners class
Teacher Somboon during an English beginners class


Gee, 20, one of CLC
Gee, 20, one of CLC's long term students

Another three months have passed by and it is time for a new update on our Community Learning Center (CLC). After the holidays the CLC classes resumed to normal, offering eight weekly English classes and two Burmese classes during the weekend.

Owing to favorable circumstances DEPDC is at the moment setting up a PenPal­Project in cooperation with an Australian Elementary School. During this project the CLC's advanced English students will have the chance to exchange letters with the Australian students and use their language skills in real life for the first time.

After a break of a few months due to her final high school exams one of CLC's long term students, Gee 20, is back in class. She told us a bit about her motivation to join the advanced English classes three times a week: “I visit the CLC English classes at DEPDC because I know that English is important for me. I have to learn it. Private English classes are very expensive and my family can't pay them. I want to learn more because I want to study English at University to become an air hostess after university.” Now that she has completed high school, Gee is trying to get a university scholarship to make Bachelor studies possible. We wish her all the best and hope that she'll be able to go to university.

DEPDC would like to thank all the kind people who donated to our course in the past, present, and the future. Without your support our work wouldn't be possible. Thank you!

CLC's current advanced English class


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from DEPDC’s Community Learning Center (CLC).

Sometimes little news can be good news; at the moment there is not much new going on at our
CLC. During this year’s holiday season most CLC classes take a break for a few weeks as our
Burmese English teacher is currently traveling back to her hometown to celebrate Christmas and
New Year with her family. Only the Advanced English classes take place during the holidays.

Some noteworthy news is that all students visiting the CLC were able to pass the English exams at
their regular schools without difficulty. Some of them even scored full marks.

After the Holiday season is over in January, the CLC classes will return to their normal schedule.
We will run 5 Beginner English classes and 3 Advanced English classes a week, as well as Burmese
classes on Saturdays and Sundays. We are looking forward to seeing all our students back and will
be happy to teach them for another year.

All of DEPDC’s staff, volunteers, and especially the children would like to thank all our former, cur-
rent, and future donors for their support.  Without this, our efforts against discrimination, under-
education, and risks caused by these circumstances would be impossible.


CLC's intermediate English class

Like DEPDC's Half Day School (HDS), our CLC also ended its term on 10th of October. That does not mean that there will be no classes at all during the term break, but some courses might take a break for one or two weeks to give the teachers a chance to take a few days off themself.

During the last term there were not many changes to DEPDC's CLC program, only two additional English classes for beginners were added on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. That means that at the moment CLC offers 7 English classes for beginners, 3 intermediate English classes, and 2 Burmese classes every week.

Our English beginners classes have an average size of about 20 students and consist mainly of primary and lower secondary school students, while the intermediate English classes have an average of about 7 students. The Burmese courses during the weekend are very popular with the children from the village around DEPDC's Mae Sai Center, whom often have a migration background from Myanmar and consider Burmese a useful addition to their native language and Thai.

During this term the CLC also organized an English class for the 'Social Workers Training Program for an At-risk Group of Women and Children in The Shan State' that was organized in a cooperation of Alliance Anti-Trafic and DEPDC.

The teachers and students of the CLC would like to thank all former, present, and future donors for their support and generosity. Without people like you the work of the CLC and DEPDC in general would be impossible. Thank you!

Special CLC English class for our workshop
Special CLC English class for our workshop
Burmese weekend classes
Burmese weekend classes



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Organization Information


Location: Mae Sai, Chiang Rai - Thailand
Project Leader:
Alinda Suya
Director of Mae Sai Projects
Mae Sai, Chiang Rai Thailand
$2,094 raised of $19,000 goal
43 donations
$16,906 to go
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