Study with foreigner teacher

By DONG PHUONG |

(QNO) - Coming to Quang Nam in a cooperation on education program, final year students of Hogeschool Gent (Belgium)  had a 3-month internship at Kim Dong Primary School and the Kindergarten 24/3 (Tam Ky city). Their active teaching methods attracted all students.

Hélène  and the children of the kindergarten 24/3 in a lesson of natural phenomena.
Hélène and the children of the kindergarten 24/3 in a lesson of natural phenomena.

“Positive” teaching methods

A lesson in a natural phenomenon (of) was given right in the school yard of Kindergarten 24/3 by Hélène. The children seemed to be very interested in the game their teacher was guiding. The other lessons were also the same. The children  were taught to  make flowers for their mothers on the International Women's Day - 8th March, take their own photos. In the later lesson of planting trees, the children were asked to put their own portraits in the tree pots. Then, the teacher guided them putting soil in pots, sowing, watering, planting and taking care of trees every day. When the trees grew up, the children could feel pleased with their result, the tree pots decorated with full of green leaves.

The lessons by the foreign teachers  seemed like games that could make children joyful, comfortable. imaginative and creative. It took the teachers a lot of efforts and time  to prepare for such funny lessons through which the children learned to love their parents, teachers, friends, nature, environment... besides some helpful skills.

“The lessons should be lively. They should be frequently changed to avoid boredom. Unlike in Vietnam shown on the screen, our teaching aids are often real and more visual. The lessons should be like games so that they may bring a lot of excitement to the children. The teacher is just a guide, let them do it themselves. Creativeness is also very important for children to get a comprehensive development. For example,  I’ve observed a lesson by a Vietnamese teacher where the children are obligated to repeat verbatim the story the teacher has just read. It's different in Belgium, we let the children tell the story in the way they want”, shared by Helene.

Let children be creative

The Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance, Belgium (abbreviated as VVOB) started to work in Vietnam in 1992.  The first support  was sending lecturers to Vietnam. Then, VVOB has quickly  implemented the projects in education and agricultural expansion since 2008  and vocational programs since 2011. Currently, VVOB is implementing educational programs in five provinces in the north and central Vietnam, including Quang Nam province. The goal of the programs is to improve the quality of education by promoting the use of active teaching methods.

As a teaching assistant of Hélène and Britt, Ms Yen, a teacher of English in Kim Dong primary school said: “Some lessons did surprise me such as the lesson in which the teachers asked the children to “draw memories”. Firstly I thought it could be a difficult lesson for the children to do; but finally their good results surprised me. I think Vietnamese teachers sometimes give too much help, or even do for them instead. These actions have taken away the children’s creativeness . It is worth following such visual teaching methods”.

Attending the English lessons by Britt at Kim Dong primary school, you could realize the complete differences between their teaching methods and ours. Britt prepared two pictures related to learning contents in a gift box. After starting a song in English, the gift box was moving around the class. When the song ended, the pupil holding the gift box would open it. It is an interesting start. The next learning contents were taught in different lively ways. English vocabularies were taught with pictures so that pupils could remember them easily. The pupils were divided into several teams to join a game “select the right words”. When Britt highly raised the pictures with English words, the pupils read the words loud and whispered them when she lowered her hand. Each student was allowed to beat the picture having the word of their reading.

Giving a comment on quality of education in Vietnam, Britt said: "I really love the studious, respectful attitude of Vietnamese pupils as well as highly appreciate their abilities to acquire knowledge via my lessons. However, in order to have a better development for children, I think it's necessary to innovate teaching methods in Vietnam, especially the relationships between preschool and elementary which is put on top in Belgian education”.

By DONG PHUONG