The DEPDC/GMS Foreign Department has recently taken action to expand the English program in Mae Sai! In an effort to make English classes with native English speakers available to more kids in the community, our two teachers Jennifer (P’Jenjira) and Lindsay (P’Bua) have started teaching English at the local Patak Village school Wat Promwihan. Volunteering their time two afternoons a week, the girls bike the short distance from the DEPDC/GMS center to the school to teach English to Grade 2 students.
“We are having so much fun teaching the kids!” says P’Bua. “We are always greeted with big smiles and hello’s from all of the kids.” The two teachers have taken on three different classes with forty students in each class. “The children have a very basic understanding of the English language so we are starting from the beginning. Our first class was so much fun!” P’Bua says. “We taught the kids to shake hands and say ‘Hello, nice to meet you’. Now every time we enter or leave the classroom the kids run up to us and shake our hands screaming ‘HELLLOO! Nice to meet you’.”
The teachers are keeping to their motto play with purpose, teaching English through songs and games. “Thai kids love to sing and play and it is fun for us too.” P’Jenjira says. “The kids are learning the alphabet through the alphabet song and feelings with the song ‘if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands’.”
The school has been wonderful to the DEPDC/GMS volunteers. The Thai staff is very supportive, especially English teacher Kru Gobb. “She is there to assist us during our class and help with translations when needed.” P’JenJira claims. “Every time we arrive she has a plate of fresh fruit for us!” The DEPDC/GMS volunteers are more than happy to spend time teaching the kids. P’Bua says “It’s important we give back to the community and show our appreciation for all the support they give DEPDC/GMS.” The team of international volunteers will continue their English classes at the school and hope to expand to reach more grades in the coming year.
If you are thinking of volunteering with DEPDC/GMS like Tina, please visit our website to learn about the work of DEPDC/GMS and the application process for prospective volunteers. We look forward to hearing from you.