Life in Vinh, part threeLMTV Supporter
This week is the first time Hazwan and Syakir will go to their English classes. To read the first parts of their life in Vinh, click on the first part and the second part. They are two volunteers from Brunei Darussalem, and are in Vietnam to help students learn English.
Getting into the fifth week in Vinh with a great feeling as the university reopens after a very long break due to the Covid-19. For the whole week, we will spend most of our time in the morning and afternoon at the Reading Center. We will join the classes in the following weeks. Joining the class means to observe how the class are going. How the teachers are teaching the students, as well as getting familiar with the teachers, students and the classroom.
Monday 2nd March 2020
In the morning, we started at approximately 9:00 am at the Reading Center for 2 hours to help students that need help with their English language. We were staying at Phong Lab 204 that is just near the other classrooms that the students are using. The room was spacious and quite big which is good for us to work. There are also some English books which we can use with the students. Apart from that, a whiteboard and a flat screen television were also in the room. Before leaving the room for lunch, Dr Quyet came by to see how it was going and we discussed some of our plans with him.
Back in the room in the afternoon, we continue to prepare some teaching materials for anyone that need helps in English. For afternoon session at the Reading Center, we also spent 2 hours which makes it a total of 4 hours a day at the Reading Center.
We headed back to our dorm after finishing the task in the afternoon, we met our friends from Ghana, and we assisted them to look for a place to get a haircut nearby our university. It was quite strange as the locals were looking at us while we were walking, it may be because they rarely see any Africans at this city.
Tuesday 3rd March 2020
We attended Ms Luong’s class which was at 7:00am. In my opinion, the class was too early, but this might be normal in Vietnam compared to in Brunei Darussalam.
Some students were not responsive during the lesson. That could be because of their shy attitude or they still felt tired. We hope, in the upcoming weeks, that we can help them to speak more, be less shy and more responsive in class.
At the end of the class, we had a discussion with Ms Luong regarding the parts that we will be teaching next week.
Right after that, we moved to the Reading Center and waited for students that need help. Within the two hours in the room, some group of students came by to have a talk and interact with us. It was good to finally talk with students even though it was only for a short time. For afternoon session, we spent another two hours at the Reading Center and continue our work there. After everything was done, we headed back to our dorm before going for a jogging at the sports complex of Vinh University where there are always a lot people doing activities there.
Wednesday 4th March 2020
Ms Thao’s English class was the second class to attend and observe. The class started at 8:50am and lasted for 50 minutes. What I realized from this class was, there were more women than men. This also shows that more women are interested in taking English Linguistic for their course in the university. Ms Thao’s students were very responsive and active in this class which is very positive to see and experience. We also got to introduced ourselves in front of the students.
After the class finished, we headed to the Reading Center. There were times, where no students came to our room. It may be because of their packed schedule, they can only come during their break time. Spending another two hours at the Reading Center to wait for students that needs help with English language was not so bad as that is our main mission here.
Mr Hai sent us a text messages and invited us to play badminton with him and his colleagues at the badminton court in university sports complex. We had a good sweat and good time playing badminton with them from 5:30pm to almost 7:30pm. It was a great day as it was full of activity. We went back to our dorm and get enough rest for the next day.
Thursday 5th March 2020
On Thursday, we had two classes to attend and observe. One in the morning and another one in the afternoon. In the morning, it was Ms Thao’s class. Before the class started, we introduced ourselves to the students and they had some questions for us as well. It was a good short session to have a conversation with the students and that will also help us to be familiar with them. This class was responsive and active even before the class started. However, we saw some students were taking selfies when the teacher was teaching in front which is not something good to see and to do. Despite that, I realized that, the students were very interested in learning that day. After the class finished, we moved to the Reading Center as part of our daily routine.
Before heading to the Reading Center in the afternoon at 2:00pm, we attended Ms Luong’s class at 1:00pm to observe the class. The students from her class was not bad at all, they were also responsive and active when learning.
Friday 6th March 2020
On Friday, we did not have any classes to attend to. However, we had to be at the Reading Center for two hours in the morning and afternoon. I tried Banh Trang (cake mix) for my lunch but it was not a really good experience as I made it wrongly. I boiled it and I shouldn’t but the taste was still good even though I made it wrongly.
In the afternoon, we are back at the Reading Center again for another two hours. After we were done, we had a jog at the field of the university, and we met a first-year student of Vinh University named Thanh Tung. He was a friendly and a kind person, we had a talk with him about the course that he is taking at the university and what he thinks about the university. He wanted to improve his English skills by talking to us.
To read their second week of actual volunteering, click here.
Report by Syakir (LMTV from Brunei Darussalam)