Foreign teachers ‘charm’ Vietnamese students

December 8, 2006

 
11:20′ 12/11/2006 (GMT+7)

Soạn: HA 953259 gi đến 996 để nhn ảnh này
Teacher Presley and students of the Hanoi University.

VietNamNet Bridge – The teacher stands with his face to the wall pretending to cry. Another teacher plays the part of an employer interviewing students. Teachers and students make pizza, research ancient poems, eat bun cha, drink sugarcane juice… together. Foreign lecturers are ‘conquering the hearts’ of Vietnamese students with their whole-heartedness and friendliness.

 

Everything in modern style

 

In the classroom of class 10A – 06, English Department, Hanoi University, in a corner, an American lecturer, Mr Presley McFadden, is facing the wall and crying while his Vietnamese students are laughing.

 

Nguyen Thi Hoa, a student, explained: “The teacher is giving an example of the form of punishment that parents often give to their children. His class is always interesting and joyful like this because he often performs hilarious dialogues or humourous actions like this to help us understand and remember the lesson”.

 

Most of the first-year students of the Korean Faculty of the Hanoi University worried because they would have to study with Korean teachers while they didn’t know one word of Korean. However, Ngoc Mai, a student from H2-06 class, said: “Ms Song, my Korean teacher, often sings a short song in Korean, and then she explains the meaning of all the words. Sometimes she gives us quizzes or crossword puzzles to teach us new words. After each class with Ms Song, our vocabulary has improved remarkably”.

 

Hanoi University currently has around 30 foreign lecturers from the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain, and China. The Hanoi Foreign Trade University also has five lecturers from Japan, Canada and the US. Some other universities like the Open University Institute and Thang Long People-founded University also cooperate with some foreign lecturers.

 

The classes of foreign teachers are often very joyful, interesting, but are also very serious. Students must study at the highest level to meet the requirements of foreign lecturers.

 

Pham Hoang Lan, a student of the Thang Long People-founded University in Hanoi, described a class on human deeds and social environment of an Australia teacher: “After teaching the theory on mobilising resources and building projects, Ms Pauline introduces sample circumstances and divides students into several groups to discuss and seek solutions. She plays the role of the authorities and we have to present our projects to convince the authorities to agree to invest in our project”.

 

After studying a subject on self control taught by a French teacher, Mr Feredric, Nguyen Huong Ly, K15, Thang Long People-founded University, said: “Mr Feredric has taught us the way to control our anger and to refresh ourselves to keep balance in a life full of pressure”.

 

At the Commercial English Language Faculty of the Hanoi Foreign Trade University, the teacher David, who is in charge of the import and export subject, asks his students to make market surveys and design import export projects.

 

Diem Anh, a student of K24 course, Hanoi Foreign Trade University, said: “Foreign lecturers not only impart professional knowledge to us but also skills necessary for our lives and jobs; for example, how to search for and process information on the Internet, skills to answer interviews and make presentations.”

 

For the unit on American culture, David asks his students to go around Hoan Kiem Lake in the centre of Hanoi to interview US tourists about their origins to learn about racial diversity in the US. Meanwhile, Ms Susan divides her students into groups to perform short plays in English to test their accents.

 

“Mr Peter often instructs us in how to write an impressive job application. He even plays the part of an employer to interview us; we play the roles of job applicants. Thanks to his instruction, we are now confident in our job application skills,” Diem Anh added.

 

At the end of each term, David also organises a contest in which students compete for an international business cup among classes. Each class appoints four students to attend each round of the contest. All questions are related to the knowledge that he taught during the term. The winning class receives a special prize – a cup full of chocolate. The contest is not only a chance for exchanges and studying among classes but also promotes healthy competition among students.

 

Foreign teachers + Vietnamese students = friends + families

 

Vietnamese students become friends and family to foreign teachers, who have come from far away to Vietnam, leaving their families and friends back home.

 

Many students are very surprised when foreign teachers remember the name of each student, even after several years.

 

“In the first class, the teacher Presley took a photo of each student and added them to an album, with their names and classes under the photo. In the following classes, he brought the album to class. After only several weeks, he knew the face and the name of all students,” said Thanh Hang, first-year student of the English Faculty, Hanoi University.

 

On Christmas day in 2003, two Santa Clauses appeared at the English Faculty of the Hanoi University. They held very big bags of presents, came to each class to present each student a red head and a candy box. They were a couple of teachers, Mr Bob and Mrs Ginny Morstay.

 

“We were first-year students at that time and as newcomers, we had never felt such warm sentiments between teachers and students like that. Mr Bob and Mrs Ginny Morstay also organised games for us. Our teacher Bob played guitar while Mrs Ginner sang. That was the most special Christmas for me,” said student Thuy Linh from 2A-02 class.

 

During their three years in Vietnam, Bob and Ginny paid attention to each of their students and understood their strengths and weaknesses as well.

 

Nguyen Thanh Thuy, a student in the talented bachelor class of English Faculty, Hanoi University, recalled: “Has leadership capacity, is good at communication and is brisk. These are the words that Bob said about me at the farewell ceremony. On that day, Mr Bob gave each student a poem and three groups of words describing exactly their personality. His advice will surely be valuable luggage for each student”.

 

Tuan Anh, a student in the German Faculty, Hanoi University, was very happy when teacher Berndt Dilp wrote a recommendation letter to help him attend a two-month course in Germany last summer.

 

Foreign teachers often invite students to their houses to cook for them or meet them. Students of the Hanoi Foreign Trade University sometimes visit their teacher Sherman’s house to participate in a poetry club, during which teachers and students read and analyse English and even Vietnamese poems together. After that they cook Vietnamese and western cuisine.

 

“I was very surprised and happy when students organised a birthday party for me at a small café near our university. Sometimes we go on a picnic together or visit the hometown of a student, where I can enjoy the rural life in Vietnam,” Presley said.

 

Ms Susan Lucasse, a teacher at the Hanoi Foreign Trade Univeristy, was also very happy when Vietnamese students made bun cha to celebrate her birthday.

 

“Many Vietnamese students come to me to talk about their love stories, their jobs, their lives and ask my advice. As the lifestyle and the way of thinking between Vietnamese and Americans is sometimes different I don’t always have really useful advice, but I always encourage my students to do what they think is right,” Ms Susan said.

 

I love Vietnam

 

Soạn: HA 953261 gi đến 996 để nhn ảnh này
Teachers Bob and Ginny sing for students of the Hanoi University during the Christmas.

The love for Vietnam is a common thing that foreign teachers have. Each of them comes to Vietnam for a different reason but they all have something in common: they love their Vietnamese students and this country.

 

Teacher Miyahara Akira of the Japanese Faculty, Hanoi Foreign Trade University, recalled: “On April 30, 1975, the day your country re-gained independence and unification, I was teaching at the Foreign University. Returning to Japan, I and many young Japanese people at that time admired the will and the spirit of Vietnamese people. So after 30 years, I’ve returned to this country to pursue my half-done job”.

 

As a Japanese lecturer for international students at big universities in Japan such as Nagasaki and Tokyo, Mr Miyahara has taught many foreign students. But he loves Vietnamese students for their simple style, obedience and assiduity.

 

Presley shared: “I came to HCM City on a tour in 2001. Attracted by the life and the people there I planned to return to Vietnam. Immediately when REI recruited volunteers to Vietnam to teach English, I registered, and so far, I’ve taught English in Vietnam for two years”.

 

He revealed that he has many times been surprised by the intelligent questions of Vietnamese students. They voiced issues that he had never thought of and to answer them, he had to read books and refer to documents, which in term helped him learn something more.

 

“But the most popular question is, do you have girlfriend? I’m asked this question every day. People in the US don’t ask such a question, but in Vietnam, it shows attention and love,” Mr Presley said.

 

To avoid such ‘culture shock’, apart from six months of training in pedagogical skills, foreign teachers coming to Vietnam have to study some Vietnamese words and something about Vietnamese culture and habits, said Truong Van Khoi, Head of the International Cooperation Department of Hanoi University.

 

Ms Susan immediately became addicted to ‘sugarcane juice, boiled snails and bun cha” when she came to Vietnam. Meanwhile, Mr Bob loves dog meat and Mr Miyahara likes fried rice.

 

Presley read a 600-page book on President Ho Chi Minh. “When visiting Uncle Ho’s mausoleum with us, we were very surprised because Mr Presley told us stories about President Ho that we had never heard before,” said Khanh Linh, a student in the talented bachelor class, English Faculty, Hanoi University.

 

Lan Huong

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One Response to “Foreign teachers ‘charm’ Vietnamese students”

  1. duong Says:

    Mr Presley is a special teacher. He is the first teacher I admire. Someone told me that he can sing very well but i haven’t had a chance to enjoy his voice. Hope that someday!


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