Ryan Williams’ blog – DTLC

Since arriving I have loved my time here in Vietnam. From the hot weather, the friendly people, the vibrant bustling cities and the amazing selection of Asian cuisine. This country will appeal to anyone.

My time in Hai Phong has been amazing thus far, I teach around 20 hours a week and my lessons range from grade 1 up to adult classes at the language center. Each age of children has its joys and challenges but I enjoy my lessons and welcome the challenges nonetheless. Lessons here are very different to back home. For one, they start and end each lesson through the banging of a massive drum. The uniforms over here are all very similar, although some differ from school to school dependent on district. Unlike back in the UK the school system is also different in that they have primary, secondary and high school. With students having to stay in school until they are 18. The classes typically range from 40-60 kids, which may seem daunting at first but the bigger the classes I find that the more participation you receive and the more exciting the lesson. Team games for big classes also work pretty well as competition drives the games. I find over here that the children all appear very polite, with the classes standing as you enter a classroom, them wishing you a good morning or afternoon, asking how you are and also asking to leave a classroom if they need to. The work ethic of the children is also very impressive over here, the children have a strong desire to learn and work very hard in lessons, mostly. Schools over here also have unusual timings with children attending lessons from 7am-10am having a short interlude in between and then lessons commencing again from 12:30pm – 4:30pm. I’m really enjoying my time here and not looking forward to it coming to an end, it’s been an extremely challenging, rewarding, exciting and unforgettable time in my life and I would recommend it to anyone.

I would like to conclude by discussing the teaching assistants who are local, mostly university students with a strong English background. They have become our good friends over recent months and you really wouldn’t get anywhere without them. They help with classroom management and discipline if the class is too loud or certain individuals are disruptive and also provide translation if English instructions are unclear. They have been a joy to befriend and been a true aid in the classroom.

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