ESL Program - Da Nang
I am so excited about this Program!! For those of you who know me, you know that I got my start teaching English and that I love teaching everywhere, all over the world. There's nothing more fun that finding that perfect way to relate to someone in their own language so that they can relax and begin to have fun learning in another one. Because learning is supposed to be fun!
Beginning next year, I will be heading up a Program in Da Nang that will incorporate the students from the University who have English speaking skills and want to participate to bring people in from all over the community to learn basic conversational English. I'm hoping to be able to bring a team of people with me -- the more I'm able to bring, the more we will be able to accept in our classes.
I think beginning this English Program will be a wonderful addition to the many opportunities available to the people in Da Nang. There are so many kind, smart, hardworking young people, as well as older established people in the city and learning English will only help them with whatever they want to do. And I really believe that whoever attends will have a lot of fun!
Having conversational English skills will help build the cultural gap between the foreigners and the taxi drivers, the vendors, the hotel staff, the food servers, everyone who struggles to communicate. When people don't understand one another, they hesitate to try for fear of embarrassing themselves. I think of how much I love Vietnam, how delicious the food is and how I'd never have gotten to enjoy any of it if it hadn't been for my friend Thao and for my absolute certainty that I can speak Vietnamese (which I absolutely can't). I would never have know what to ask for, much less how to pronounce it!! So, as an American, I know what foreigners are missing out on as far as the food. Then there are the many little places I've gotten to see all because Thao knew where to take me --like this amazing little coffee shop with these beautiful koi that you can feed. Just think. If taxi drivers knew just a little English, so many tourists would have such fabulous experiences of Vietnam.
My goal with this ESL Program going forward is to open up the world through language. By making learning fun and helping people relax and realize that it's ok to make a mistake and laugh at yourself -- Thao sure laughs at me! -- they can see that there's just so much to learn about the world and about each other. So much and we don't want to miss any of it!!