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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.

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