In Burma’s capital Nay Pyi Taw, English Language Fellow Kelly Vassar is teaching English to government employees. The capital city hosts the Burmese parliament and ministries, and there are very few foreigners within the city. For Vassar’s students at the Ministry of Immigration and Population, this lack of foreigners poses a challenge for them to practice their English skills.

For this reason, Vassar started the Nay Pyi Taw Ministry English Club (NPT MEC). All of her students have joined the club, who meet in-person at least once a month and communicate daily on social media to improve their reading and writing skills. At their meetings, club members practice speaking English over dinner, a cup of coffee, and even karaoke. They also meet at the local supermarket and practice English while grocery shopping.

Sometimes the club meets at a local market to practice their English in a relaxed setting.

Sometimes the club meets at a local market to practice their English in a relaxed setting.

“As one of my students put it, he likes to practice English because it stimulates him intellectually and it helps him at work. No matter where we are practicing English, it is always a fun, educational experience,” Vassar said.

Related Stories

Fellow Francisco Resto Reaching Out Across Borders in Ukraine

Everyone is up and moving about when English Language Fellow Francisco Resto is leading class in Ukraine. Student-centered learning means that students are engaged kinesthetically, auditorily, and visually in the classroom. And the mind is kept equally active. Resto sometimes uses the ‘Sherlock Holmes Method to Teaching ESL,’ incorporating an educational mystery game that boosts…

Fellow Elizabeth Plummer Makes an Impact as an Educational Technology Trainer in South Africa

Based in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, English Language Fellow Elizabeth Plummer supports teacher professional development in technology at University of Witwatersrand’s Hub for Multilingual Languages and Literacies (HuMEL). Discover Plummer’s life as a Fellow as she manages a language laboratory, leads professional programs for local teachers, and mentors student researchers conducting projects in…

Fellow Bret Vlazny Fosters English as Diplomacy in Ramallah, West Bank

Based in Ramallah, West Bank, English Language Fellow Bret Vlazny is a cultural ambassador and visiting lecturer at Al-Quds Open University. Vlazny's placement has taken him throughout the region visiting university branches from Jenin to Hebron. Discover Vlazny's life as a Fellow as he introduces strategies for integrating classroom technology, delivers blended learning training for…

Follow Us on Twitter


#ELFellow Joe Voigts connects with people by listening to their stories and encouraging others to do the same. Base…

3 days ago