Nguyen Tat Thanh School (English teaching) (VNM-127)

Type: Education: Teaching languages - Country: Vietnam

Brief description and main aims

Nguyen Tat Thanh School was established on July 4th 1998. The school has a secondary school (grades 6-9) and a high school (grades 10-12).
There is very little chance for the pupils and teachers to meet foreigners to practice English and exchange communication skills. At this school, English has recently been paid more attention to by the teachers and students. However, local teachers only tend to focus on teaching the students grammar and do not focus on the speaking and communicational skill in which the students are not very strong at.

Main Activities

The aim of the program is to provide English language speaking environment for pupils to practice and improve their confidence in using a foreign language in communication. At the same time, with the support of the international volunteers, the local teachers can improve their speaking skills and get to understand more about the language that they are teaching.

Volunteer tasks

Upon request of teachers, volunteers run the activities in the class. They are asked to help students develop speaking and listening skills. Vietnamese schools traditionally favor ‘passive learning’ – the teacher standing in front and lecturing. This does not help students to gain confidence in speaking. The pronunciation of the English teachers is not excellent so the children have little opportunity to hear English as it is really spoken. Moreover, the English level of the students is very different. Some are very outstanding in terms of pronunciation and performances meanwhile some are very shy to speak it.
Volunteers can think about games or interactive activities to let all students get involved in the lessons.
Working as a local teacher
  • Each class is run by an English-speaking Vietnamese teacher who teaches according to the governmental English books. The volunteers will join one lesson of the teacher to know how they teach. After that the volunteers will prepare activities and games to practice pronunciation and communication skills with the students. The teacher will let the volunteers lead the class the whole time, during 45 min. The volunteers can prepare the lessons freely, choosing the topics, activities, discussions or games they prefer. They do not have to follow the governmental book.
Assisting a local teacher
  • Some teachers prefer volunteers to support them. In this case, volunteer should assist the teacher while doing exercises, correcting the pronunciation, keeping them in silence or helping the teacher in any activity required.
  • If not feeling confident, the volunteer can first start supporting the teacher with the possibility to teach alone after some weeks.
Working time
  • Each class has one Vietnamese English teacher with 25 to 40 students, depending on the class. Each period lasts for 45 minutes.
  • The volunteer participates in different classes per day, working from Monday to Friday. The general timeframe at school is from 7:50 to 17:20. The lunch break is between 11:15 and 1:05 o’clock. Depending on the schedule, the volunteer has different beginning and ending time.


Volunteer requirements / Skills

Volunteers should:
  • Like to work with children and students
  • Be mature and have an initiative spirit
  • Be able to work independently in the classroom
  • Be fluent in English 
  • At least 18 years old
  • Be open-minded and sociable
  • Be willing to learn more about the country and adapt to the working style in Vietnam


The school is located in Cau Giay District, Hanoi which is about 8 km away from Old Quater (city center). It is a very lively and convenient area.

Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)

Volunteers will stay in a dormitory with rooms shared with other volunteers. Living conditions will be Vietnamese standard with a shared bathroom and a shared bedroom with bunk-beds. Mattress, blanket, pillow and mosquito net are provided. 
Food will be provided at accommodation. Meals will be mostly local food, which vary from the daily cooking schedule. Volunteers, especially those who are vegetarian, may be required to do some cooking by themselves. During working days food is provided by the host placement.
Travel to work from the accommodation takes about 20 minutes on foot.


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