Videos for Jason’s Volunteer Organization

I’ve been helping Jason by putting together some videos for the ICCVTT company website and I thought I might as well share them here. Things are really busy here and I’m tired so I’ll give you just a brief introduction to each one.

In the first video, you’ll see volunteers donating clothing to the children of Cambodian migrant workers here in eastern Thailand. Cambodia is a much poorer country than Thailand and many people come here to work, most illegally. It’s very similar to the USA-Mexico relationship, including that many Thai’s resent them being here yet don’t want to do the hard jobs in the fields that they are doing. Apparently, local companies welcome the illegals and pay local officials to look the other way regarding their illegal status. Many workers come as families, including the children. The children cannot go to school here so they often work in the fields with their parents. Jason is working on finding ways to offer them education, both Thai language and English, and has been helping raise money to provide them some decent clothes.

To understand the next two videos I need to explain to you that, on Saturday afternoons, Laurian and I go with Jason to his home about one hour south of here so that we can teach at the learning center (Ban ASA NANACHART) he has opened there on Sundays. He offers low-cost (free, if you can’t afford it) English lessons to children and adults and we teach from 9am to 4pm. I have been helping in the morning class while Laurian teaches the grades 1-3 group. In the afternoon I’ve been teaching the adults while Laurian teaches the grades 4-6 group. Jason’s mother is a wonderful host and cook and prepares virtual Thai feasts for us while we’re there. The videos below were made shortly before I arrived when a group of young women from the UK was here volunteering.

English Lessons for Children

English Lessons for Adults

This week the school is being audited by the government education commission. It has been crazy here for the last 10 days or so as the whole school – faculty and students – have been working on cleaning up the grounds and beautifying the campus and school rooms. Most staff have worked straight through the weekends. The reason for the audit is that the school’s 6th grade students have fared very poorly on national standardized tests: with about 80% of them failing, in almost every subject, including English. Today was the first day of a 3-day visit by the auditors. Laurian helped 5 of our better English students rehearse a welcoming speech for the auditors and the kids did a nice job presenting it.

That’s all for now. Have lots more to share but not enough time, energy or bandwidth 🙂

Retired software engineer from New Jersey, USA, happily married to Grace for 30 years, proud father of Michael for 29 years, I am enjoying traveling and teaching English as a second language in my retirement.

Posted in Uncategorized
4 comments on “Videos for Jason’s Volunteer Organization
  1. Cathy says:

    Hi John! I was so impressed by the extremely polite and animated welcome your five students gave the auditors. You must be very proud of them since they were so charming! Now, I’m wondering if you know what the content of the officials’ report concluded?! Hope they gave you excellent comments on the kids’ progress. I think you, Laurian and Jason should get a standing ovation for all your genuine concern and hard work. I’m wondering if you have a preference as to whether you enjoy teaching the adults or the students more? Perhaps the adults are more eager because they are aware of the benefits of learning another language? I don’t know; perhaps just the opposite is true! Hope you’re enjoying the warm weather; it’s too bad you can’t send some of it to Grace!! And, BTW, HAPPY 31st ANNIVERSARY!! Lots of love, John. Take care! B4N

    • Hi Cathy. Thanks for the congratulations – 31 years for Grace and me – hope for 31 more!

      As you might guess those 5 students are the best in English and, yes, I am proud, but it’s Laurian who should be the most proud as she has been working hard for 4 months, teaching the kids phonics. Prior to that they only learned the “whole word” method. Through persistence and diligence (of Laurian and the students), many of them now can see a new word and (usually) figure out how to pronounce it: a non-trivial task, as you know!

      The audit by school officials came out as expected in that the school got another failing grade and the auditors want to see improvements before returning next year. One of the auditors sat in on my kindergarten lesson and he had positive things to say about it. My favorite class of all is the kindergarteners – they still listen to you and want so much to please you that it makes it a joy to teach them. I do like teaching adults too because they are always motivated and attentive. Grades 1 through 3 here are almost impossible, out of control really, and we just had a meeting with the principal to ask him to ensure the regular teachers join us in these classes so we can have a modicum of control. Grade 4 is a bit difficult but grades 5 thru 8 are not bad. Still, kindergarten is my favorite.
      Love, John

      • Charlotte says:

        I loved those young speakers too. Four months of hard work showed.

        • You would know about how much work went into that – they had all that stuff memorized and they practiced quite a while. Did you like how they put emotion into it? Notice that they short girl said something like… “We’ve had volunteers from many countries, the USA, Germany, even CHINA!” I asked Laurian why she put so much emphasis on “China” and Laurian said she was simply trying to get her to emphasize the word after “even” as we normall do – “I like vegetables… even CABBAGE” but the little girl decided to really throw herself into it 🙂