English Language Fellow Catherine Bolster traveled to the Dak Nong province of Vietnam to train students and teachers at the Nguyen Chi Thanh Gifted High School. Alongside Fellow Christina Massey, Bolster presented eight teachers with new methods for teaching, speaking and writing in the English language classroom. Among these methods were new activities to foster cooperative learning.
Teachers enjoyed learning hands-on strategies to improve their students’ English speaking skills, and how to provide them with feedback. Bolster also worked with 30 gifted English students that were in their last two years of high school. Students practiced their public speaking skills and learned about using figurative language in writing. After the workshop, students happily spoke with Bolster about American culture and their university plans.
Although the Dak Nong province is not often frequented by foreigners, the teachers, students and Fellows alike commented on how interesting it was to participate in a discussion about their cultures. They were able to connect through the English language and identify their similarities and differences. Overall, participants responded overwhelmingly positively and were enthusiastic about all the activities.