YOUR TEACHING DAY
Our plan is for you to have classes daily, Monday to Friday.
Your school day will start by getting up in good time for breakfast. Breakfast, as all your meals, will be served in the Bamboo Restaurant.
It is very important when you teach, you are there on time. That way, students will get the maximum benefit of their time in your class.
Classes normally start at 8 am, with last classes at 7:30 pm. Classes last between 60 and 90 minutes.
We try to spread your workload out as evenly as possible. However, we are dictated to by the timing of classes at the different venues. At our busiest venue the majority of the daily classes start between 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm, each lasting an hour.
We plan to give you a good day of teaching, but if you prefer less, please tell us and we can adjust your personal schedule.
In a class you will help a local Lao teacher teach his/her school’s curriculum.
Typically, you will sit in the classroom beside the teacher, as he/she leads the lesson. As the pupils are learning English, you as an English speaker, will be asked to read out words and texts. That way students can hear from you, the proper pronunciation of the language.
Lao students very often put the ‘stress‘ of the word in the wrong place. So when they say it, the word sounds quite different. Pronunciation is a problem for them, especially of certain letters of the alphabet they don’t have in their language. They have to learn new pronunciations, and that can be really difficult. You will help them correct that pronunciation, so they can then be more easily understood by others.
Teaching them, is not just helping them speak. Teaching them, also means explaining ‘how’ we use words. Stress, intonation, body gestures, can all come into it. There is no clearly defined way of how you help. That will develop as you and your teachers ‘bond together’, and get to know each other. Between you, a partnership will develop that should best help your students.
Lao culture is quite different to European culture. Many locals have never been out of the country, or their local area. They are completely unaware of many things that are part and parcel of Western living. Raising that awareness is also an important part of your teaching.
Ask them if they know what things are. You will be surprised how much they do not know of our everyday, Western world.
Method of Teaching
Students will often not ask questions in class. If you ask the question, “Does anyone not understand?”, there is silence. That will not mean everyone does understand, and often quite the opposite. So gentle probing may be needed to get an answer to your question.
The teaching methods are different from place to place. You will need to teach the way they do, at the location you are in. So you need to be flexible in your approach, and adjust as necessary to the different locations.
After classes you can ‘wind down’ locally. A casual dinner, maybe followed by relaxing with fellow Volunteers, is ideal. Watching a film, visiting the night market, or sitting at a roadside cafe, are just a few of the options available to you to finish off your busy schedule. Then, a good night’s sleep in your comfortable room, and you are ready for the next day