Monday, May 20, 2013

Good bye and thank you my new friends in MVCC!

I am so sad to say that I will leave MVCC next Friday May 24th– very early in the morning. I would like to say thank you to all of the teachers and students in MVCC who helped me a lot during my visit here. Everyone is so helpful and friendly. I really had a wonderful time and I had chances to experience many new things here. I am truly touched by your help and your thoughtfulness. Thank you very much.

These are some pictures and memories.

Visiting Hangar with Ms. Brenda and having photos taken with the airplanes.

Going to Letchworth State Park

Visiting Fort Stanwix

And I had a wonderful time in the Christmas tree farm and Ms. Marianne's family.

Wonderful time with Mr. David Katz's family on Mother's Day

 Taking photos with the Statue of Liberty in Utica

A good time with Ms. Gail in Chittenango Fall

 Thanks again for hosting me and helping me during the past time. I will miss you so much when going back to Vietnam.

Good bye everyone! I hope to see you all again.

My email address in Vietnam:

Keep in touch. You are always my good friends.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Experiences from visiting classes in MVCC

I have a lot of valuable experiences when visiting classes in MVCC, including ESL classes and other classes. I admire the ESL teachers here a lot when they can use English as the means of communication to teach the learners who are at beginning English level. 

In my ESL classes in Kien Giang Community College, there are no international students, and all learners know Vietnamese. When I teach learners at basic level of English, I often use Vietnamese – our native language – to explain the lessons. So the teacher and the leaners do not meet any difficulties in communicating. But here, the ESL teachers and the students do not have the same native language, and I think this is really a challenge to teachers. They have to use very simple English, clear instructions and body languages to help learners understand what they say. 

The processes and methods of teaching English skills here are almost the same with those in my college. In a Beginning English Skill Class in MVCC, the teacher gave the rules as well as examples and then explanations, then gave the learners practice exercises. She also asked the learners to work in pairs, in groups and controlled the class to help them. She talked very slowly and clearly so that learners at basic level could understand her. The way she expressed her ideas was very clear and understandable to the learners. Besides using simple words, she used authentic examples, real situations and gave clear notes or explanations on the board. (e.g. / Osama is able to cook. Osama knows how to cook. / Osama can cook. / Luis can speak Spanish but he can’t speak Russia. / Can Luis speak English? Yes, he can. / can + base verb. / base verbs: no ‘-s/-ing/-ed’). She must be a very experienced, skillful and flexible teacher to help learners understand the lessons. 

In an Advanced Grammar Class I visited, the teacher was very intelligent to ask some students to have some skits to lead to the lesson about causative verbs. There was a very interesting atmosphere in the class. After each skit, she asked questions and elicited her learners to have the model sentences and the forms. This made the learners involve in the lesson and understand it easier. She also had a very good way to elicit and a very careful explanation.

I had a good impression when visiting an ASL (American Sign Language) Class here. Learners in this class were normal people, deaf people, and burnt people. The normal people in this class always used sign language when talking so that the deaf people could understand them. On that day, I went to the class early when there were just about haft of the class there. There was a very dynamic, humorous deaf learner in the class. He wanted to know me. I introduced myself and his classmates interpreted that for him. He wrote on the board, “Good morning everybody!” and “Welcome One!” (My name is ‘Oanh’, sound like ‘One’). Then he used sign language to introduce his name and asked everybody to introduce themselves to me. He was so interesting and funny. Everyone there were very glad to introduced themselves in words and in sign language. 

When I presented about life of deaf people in Vietnam that day, he was very eager to help me set up the computer and the screen. Then when I presented, the teacher used sign language to interpret what I said to the class. The Vietnamese sign language alphabet was different from that of the American. They also practiced using Vietnamese sign language to see the different between them. I showed a video clip in which a girl was singing a song using Vietnamese sign language to help deaf people understand it. They enjoyed the song so much and guessed the meaning of that song. Some people were right when saying that the song was about nature. Some of their guess was very far from the meaning of the song, and laughed a lot when I told them the meaning of the song.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Good time with children and the Root Glen Garden

I had a good time with the children in Jones School and in Kiddie Kampus.
Ms. Fess, 8 nursing students and I went to Jones School on a community health program. We worked with pupils of the first grade and kindergarten children. 

The pupils were so lovely. On the walls of the school, there were many pictures drawn by the pupils there. 

The nursing students talked to them about how to eat and drink healthy, encouraged them to drink much water, taught them to do physical exercises and had some games for them. 

 The pupils asked many lovely questions and said funny things. When the nursing students asked them to do physical exercises, they asked the pupils to touch their heart to see if their heart beat faster. Some pupils said yes, and one pupil said “No. My heart doesn’t beat!” Three adults laughed a lot!

They were very excited to do physical exercises!

 When the nursing students gave each pupil a bottle of water and encouraged them to drink water every day, they asked many unexpected questions: “What is water made of?” “What is there in the water?”…

I also had some activities with the children in Kiddie Kampus. Most of them are 4 or 5 years old. I taught them a Vietnamese song about numbers, but it was hard for the children to remember the Vietnamese words, so I translated the song into English, and they could sing it easily. Some children said they could speak Spanish, and they said “Hola!” Some talked about their shoes, their shocks, their sisters… 

I read a story, got them to color the pictures and had some games. One boy liked blue and used only blue to color his picture! One girl insisted to color only pictures of Tom and Jerry. Another girl didn’t like the crab and didn’t want to color the picture of the crab! How lovely they are! I love them.

Last weekend, I had a chance to visit Root Glen Garden in Clinton town. It was so beautiful, and the weather was so nice. There were flowers everywhere in the garden. It was very much like Da Lat City in Vietnam.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New experiences

      In MVCC, the classroom atmosphere is more relaxed than that in Vietnam. In classrooms, students can wear shorts, hats and can eat something or drink coffee.  (In Vietnam, students are not allowed to eat and drink or wear shorts, hats in class. When the teacher comes into the class, all of the students will stand up to greet him or her.) In MVCC, I also have some chances to present about Vietnam, the students seem very interested and they ask many questions.

        The classrooms in MVCC are well-equipped with telephones, heaters, projectors, computers, rubbish bins and movable chairs… Students are encouraged to discuss, ask questions and have presentations in class. The students and teachers are from many parts of the world with many skin colors and various costumes. It is a good way for people to learn other countries’ cultures.

      I learned a lot from the way people display and affect everyone's awareness on the Earth Day (April 22) in IT lobby. People showed the model of water treatment and some banners to encourage everyone to save energy. 

     In the US, I have a chance to know the rules of a baseball game and experience the frozen lake and picnic with BBQ. I had wonderful time there.



      I also have a chance to enjoy a concert performed by the winner of American Idol with a lot of audience.