To celebrate the American Independence Day, English Language Fellow Kelly Nelson and eight local teachers from the Lao Cai Teacher Training College organized a day full of fun and educational activities for Access students in Lao Cai, Vietnam. The festivities began with a student-lead warm-up game and poster session to display posters the students created for the holiday. Nelson then facilitated additional activities that provided historical and cultural information about the holiday for the students.

The highlight of the day was a Fourth of July bike parade around the campus of the Lao Cai Teacher Training College. The students worked in teams to decorate their bikes with red, white and blue décor, then rode them around campus to Nelson’s apartment for an ice cream party. Shortly after the parade, the students ended the day with a “patriotic” picnic full of classic American dishes.

A unique exchange of culture and knowledge took place on Independence Day for both the Access students and local teachers present at the event. Through innovative and fun techniques that engaged all four English skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), the students gained a better understanding of American history and traditions. The eight teachers present from the college had the chance to participate in an impromptu teacher training session on using communicative and tasked based learning in the classroom as well. With the success of the American Independence Day celebration, it is Nelson’s hope that the teachers will be motivated to incorporate more hands-on activities in their lessons this school year.

Students prepare classic American dishes for the Independence Day picnic.

Students prepare classic American dishes for the Independence Day picnic.

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