Since our last report in January, Community Learning Centre (CLC) classes have been going really well at our Mae Sai centre. Our two current CLC teachers for intermediate English classes, Eléa and Genevieve, were happy to welcome new students to their classes! Having a new student in class is always a reward for our teachers, since the classes are mostly advertised by word of mouth. Eléa, from France and who lived in the United Kingdom for 5 years, says: ‘A new student in class means that our students have talked to their friends about our English lessons and have convinced them to study as well. For us, it is great feedback and proof that our students have a positive experience with their CLC classes. I am always excited to get to know a new student in class and have fun together.’
Community Learning Centre classes are also currently taught by Genevieve, who is from the United States. Genevieve has been teaching for a month and has already developed a close relationship with her students. Last month, she turned 22 and we all celebrated her birthday together. The students brought her two birthday cakes that were shared and thoroughly enjoyed.
Some students of our intermediate English classes have been coming to the Community Learning Centre for a long time. Seoul, 17, is a student who has been coming to CLC classes for over a year and a half. He says: ‘I really enjoy my classes because it isn’t just a class, it also feels like family. The atmosphere here is friendly and there is no pressure to fail. We can all exchange knowledge and ideas. I come to CLC classes to improve my English skills and to gain confidence to speak. My English has improved a lot.’
Another Community Learning Centre student, Pam, who is 16, has been coming to CLC classes for 4 years. Pam says: ‘I like this class because our teachers like to play games to teach us English. I think CLC classes are useful for everyone now and in the future, because we use English regularly and it is important for everyone to speak the language a little bit.’
Our students come from various schools around Mae Sai and also have different nationalities and backgrounds. The CLC ‘open door’ policy means that our classes are open to anyone in the community and that no one is ever turned away. Students come to class to learn more vocabulary and grammar in order to enter highly-rated universities or simply to have a bit of fun in class.
Thanks to the generosity and support of Global Giving donors, all other Community Learning Centre classes (Thai, Burmese, and Computer classes) are taught every week and provide a fantastic opportunity for members of a community in need. CLC provides free literacy and human rights education to members of ethnic minority hill tribes, undocumented migrants, Buddhist monks, and other community members living along the Thai-Burmese border.
On behalf of our teachers, volunteers, and students, we would like to humbly thank you for your support which helps maintain this important project. We invite you to visit the DEPDC blog to read recent updates and information about the Community Learning Centre and other DEPDC projects.
Finally, we would like to wish you a very happy Thai New Year from all of us here at DEPDC!
Thank you so much!
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Director of Mae Sai Projects