With the initial semester at Unit 871 in Hanoi complete, our instructors take time for English language training reflections.
The Lana Learn team kicked off its Vietnam English language training program on October 18, 2022. The year started off with U.S. Defense Attaché in Hanoi Colonel TJ Bouchillon giving introductory remarks at the opening ceremony. There was much excitement from our team and great anticipation from our partners as well as our students. Now that the final exams are done, I’d like to share some English language training reflections.
We sorted our group of Vietnamese military officers into three levels. The team decided the instructor rotation would begin with me teaching the highest level – Class Alpha.
First Week Jitters
I don’t think I could ever forget that first day. The look on the officers’ faces. Most of them were meeting each other for the very first time. We had students from all branches of the military: Air Force, Navy, Army, and Coast Guard.
I started my first lesson with a meet & greet. I used this as an opportunity to get a bit of background knowledge about the officers. In addition, I wanted to find out the intrinsic and extrinsic reasons for them being in the course and their reasons for wanting success. I documented this to remind them that I would be here to support and guide to help them achieve their goals.
The students were surprisingly shy on the initial day of class. At first, it wasn’t easy to get them to open up. However, after building rapport by sharing my background, I found it easier to get them to share their ambitions.
Vietnamese learners are generally driven, and it has been a pleasure seeing their development over the duration of the course. One of the officers in my class could barely speak and when he did, he did so ever so gingerly. By the end of the course, he was confident enough to share anecdotes, including personal family stories. This really touched me to see how much the officers value their families. I noticed this to be a common denominator amongst my students.
I was extremely pleased to see the students’ final test results. They certainly exceeded all my expectations, and the majority of them reached the growth threshold that was set for them.
It has been a very special year for me and my team. I am so proud of what we have achieved and equally proud to be on this team.
I am looking forward to the future of this program and developing further as an instructor. For now, I am enjoying our success for this short period until we start again in the next few weeks.