A day with GVI Laos
During the week, days start fairly early around here. Breakfast is ready by 7.30am with the first of the day’s classes starting at 8am. Ready and dressed in appropriate teaching attire, women in collared shirts and sinhs (local skirt), men in collared shirts and trousers, it is time to start the day!
Classes generally go for between one to two hours and focus on speaking, listening, reading and writing English. We work with Novices and local Lao people at a variety of colleges and temple schools around Luang Prabang. Students range in ages from children about ten years old to young adults up to about 24 years old.
As GVI Laos has been working in the community for five years, our students range in abilities from Beginners to Intermediate levels. Volunteers generally teach two to three times a day, five days a week and work in pairs to team teach each class. Some of our long term volunteers feel comfortable teaching alone after a couple of months.
In the afternoons we teach a few different Novice classes and in the evenings we work with an English Centre and a college. At the English Centre we support a local Lao teacher and at the college our volunteers are the main teachers. Classes are generally finished by 7pm, though a few end at 8.30pm.
Throughout the day staff are on hand to help you lesson plan and are often out at the schools with you to provide support as needed. Meals are provided by the guesthouse making it super convenient to eat and rest up between classes.
On the weekends you are free to explore the beautiful city of Luang Prabang with many volunteers doing a variety of courses in weaving, fruit carving and even rice farming. There are also many day tours to waterfalls, caves, local villages that can give you another insight into Lao culture. As a group we are often invited to our Novice student’s temples for a tour and to hear them chant.
It is amazing to see the student’s faces as their English language abilities improve and they are able to communicate more effectively. It is also such a wonderful feeling to know that you have helped them, even a little bit, to achieve that.
Written by Field Staff Member Jema
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