The Lana Learn team in Vietnam focuses on exceeding program requirements and providing comprehensive support for its students.
The Lana Learn team in Vietnam is comprised of four instructors that run the English language training program at military base, Unit 871. They have been tasked with preparing Vietnamese military officers for potential follow-on training programs in the US. The instructors require a specific skillset, grit, and determination for exceeding program requirements set forth by the US Air Force and the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense (MND). This “steady state” program supports MND’s goal that 30% of Vietnam’s Armed Forces should be able to converse in English by 2030.
This is no small task for a team of four. So, how do we fit into the bigger picture? Our focus is straightforward: our students and our partners. We provide comprehensive support for our students to improve their English comprehension levels, thus allowing them to advance in their military careers. We align our goals with the goals of the US Air Force and MND to ensure mutual benefit. Read on to find out how our instructors incorporate these objectives into their daily lives to promote program success.
A day in the life of a Unit 871 instructor
Every day starts off strong with a team meeting over a cup of Vietnamese coffee or tea. It’s simple act, but it’s effective in helping the team discuss the proceedings for the day. These routine check-ins keep our lines of communication clear. They provide us with time to touch on important updates and reminders as well as prioritize tasks.
After our morning gathering, all instructors head to their classrooms. In addition to having six hours of instruction a day, each instructor has also been tasked with special assignments that contribute to the team’s success. The effective utilization of time fosters a work environment that benefits us all. Each individual instructor has their own set of unique skills and past experiences that create strong links in our team chain.
Instructor, Cedric Chigome, has been building a bank of American Language Course (ALC) lesson plans. With his past curriculum planning experience, he utilizes his expertise to also review, update, and store them. Regular morning discussions give him great insight on what other teachers find to work well in their lessons. It takes a keen eye and years of experience to identify these areas. This gives Mr. Chigome the ability to make necessary changes that promote student leraning. Mr. Chigome has been dedicating his admin time to focus on setting up a strong foundation of content for the team to access quickly and use effectively. Being an instructor, he dedicates the majority of his time to teaching and building strong relationships with his students. He fosters student motivation by encouraging his students to set goals and helping them work towards them.
Most Vietnamese students learn English in school; however, many schools lack native English teachers. Thus, the curriculum focuses on grammar and often overlooks speaking skills. Instructor, Caleb Galipeau, has been creating speaking projects to supplement our curriculum and give students more opportunities to develop their speaking skills. Mr. Galipeau has extensive experience assessing student speaking from his time working as an IELTS examiner.
Ms. Lisa Garsson possesses a variety of skills that provide the team with comprehensive support. In addition to running the language lab curriculum, she contributes program operational support. One important skill as an educator is identifying areas of opportunity. Ms. Garsson has dedicated her time to doing just that. With a keen eye for detail and experience in teaching, she is excellent at identifying student areas of opportunity. She applies listening prediction and guessing activities to monitor students comprehension. The students get a chance to self-evaluate and self-test. She has improved the way we teach our students listening skills by creating additional listening quizzes. These allow her to assess the students’ listening comprehension with short chunks of the listening curriculum. This strategy also allows students to do regular quiz format questions which helps them feel more comfortable on test day.
Our team of instructors at Unit 871 is dedicated to providing the best English language training program for our students. We use individual skills, experience, and creativity to design and deliver engaging and effective lessons. Therefore, we help our students improve their speaking abilities and confidence. The instructors work closely with each other and with our students to ensure we meet their needs and exceed their expectations. We are proud to be part of this program that supports both the US Air Force and MND’s goal of enhancing the English proficiency of the Vietnam Armed Forces.