As week two and the beginning of their English education mission begins for Vietnam team two, the excitement and anxiousness of the day could be felt in the air by everyone. The cadets were visibly nervous and excited, but anxious to begin the challenge of teaching English to the Vietnamese military with many different levels of English skills.
The morning of June 17th as the cadets loaded in the van and departed for their classrooms at Unit 871 in the city of Hanoi, game plans for the day were quickly being discussed throughout the team before arrival and the excitement was building as the minutes passed.
As team two arrived at Unit 871 to begin their day of English education, the cadets were promptly greeted with open arms by the Vietnamese students and welcomed warmly. The day for team two began on schedule with an impromptu “icebreaker” activity for the Vietnamese students that gave the ROTC cadets information on the varying skill levels of the students. The Vietnamese students ranged from a basic understanding of English to an advanced and solid understanding of the language.
As it could be observed by cadets during the “icebreaker” activity, having the students feel comfortable, open up, and begin a dialogue flow was proven to be a challenge in itself. The lesson topics being discussed among the groups at 871 varied from hometowns and favorite food to the topic of places to visit in Vietnam/ the United States. Rampant conversations, laughter, humor, and undying interest filled the air as the time passed by and the groups became closer as a group.
By the end of the day, all cadets walked away with a smile, a story to tell about their eager group, and something they learned to build off for the next day of teaching.
“Today was very fun and challenging for me along with having the ability to express myself and the commonalities between us” said Cadet Darren Singh on his first day of teaching English.
Cadet Jennifer Babula also excitedly expressed that “getting to know each student, their cultures, and their everyday lives” was the best thing she took away from her first day of teaching.
As the busy day and chatter came to a close, the cadets were all able to take a valuable and rewarding experience along with a stronger game plan back to the hotel with them to build off for the next day full of teaching.