Ngan Vu graduated from LTS in 2018. Her MA project focused on how to use extensive reading activities to inspire and develop ESL students’ reading and writing skills.
Hi Ngan! You are a recent graduate of LTS. Tell us about what you are up to now since you graduated!
Hi everyone, after graduation, I spent some time with my family in Vietnam and then moved to Japan for my job. Currently, I am teaching English at Kanazawa Institute of Technology in Japan and want to take advantage of this opportunity to learn another language from scratch again.
What is it like for you to live in Japan vs. in Eugene or Vietnam?
The biggest difference is my knowledge of the language used in each country and my ability to navigate through daily life. This is the first time for me to live in a country where I have little preparation for the language. Although the first few months in Japan were challenging, I am fortunate to be helped by my kind-hearted people whether they know English or not. Apart from that, I am grateful for what is coming to my life now. And, without doubt, Eugene or Vietnam as well as Kanazawa has its own unique place in my heart.
Is there any way that you are applying your MA project work to your current teaching, directly or indirectly?
I regularly remind myself of ‘differentiated instruction’ which is the driving force for my MA project. I have been trying to apply the idea of different stations in class. However, the idea is modified to adapt to my students. For example, instead of having them move to different stations, the stations move. My MA project’s advisor Janine recommended this idea to me when we were in the process of developing materials. And, that idea works for my class so far. In addition, my project incorporates infographics as a support for reading-writing process and as a low-stakes assessment; now, I am introducing this method to my students this term.
What is an example of something that you learned as a teacher that you would not have predicted before or during your graduate program?
I would say how to communicate with students about the effect of Google Translate on their learning progress and make my oral and written instruction as clear and transparent as possible. And, I am still learning.
Do you have any advice for current or future LTS students? Remember, they are just starting the Spring term, with the MA project looming ahead…
Take a break. Small breaks such as walking to a park, going to an ice-cream or bakery shop or whatever activities that help you refresh your mind. Trust that you can do it because your cohort members and LTS instructors are always there with you. And, listen to your inner call. 🙂