The Children's First XO Session

Trip Start Oct 14, 2009
Trip End Dec 31, 2016

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Where I stayed
Vong Vieng Village Homestay

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, November 2, 2009

Tuyen and the teachers will teach the children in the early morning. The Indochina Junk boats bring their overnight guests to the village each day about 9:00 AM for no more than 1/2 hour. Then the boats head back to the mainland where the van to Hanoi picks up the tourists at noon. This is the schedule that Mark and I experienced in February, 2009 when I first visited the Vong Vieng Village.

Tuyen needs to return to the mainland with the tourist boat, to be able to work today. And I need to stay in the village and help the teachers and the children! Mr. Ninh is leaving too. The question they ask is how will I conmmunicate. I assure them that my body language skills are fine; not to worry.

The Classroom and the Children: 12 children had been selected for the morning session. We planned to use 6 XOs with 2 children per XO. I began by learning the names of all of the children. The Vietnamese names are unfamiliar to me and my pronounciation is awful. Vietnamese is a tonal language with 5 tones. When I pronounce a word or name with the wrong tone, it takes on another meaning. The kids tried to correct their names and laughed at my efforts.

Tuyen began the lesson by demonstrating step by step how to open the computer. When each XO was open, and after explaining, not to twirl the bunny ears around, he had each use the touch pad until it was hovered over the "Speak" Activity. Then he explained the icons, as the children do not read English. The power icon means open the activity, the stop icon means stop it, etc. And so on, step by step. I was so impressed with Tuyen's natural instinct for teaching. He was brilliant!

When we opened "Speak" and had the kids type in Hello, oh you should have been there to see them laughing when they heard the "robot voice" talk back to them. We chose "Speak" to teach the kids to open, use and close an Activity, in particular because the "Voice" menu can be changed to the Vietnamese language. Within a few minutes the children were typing "Sin Chao Nancie." Hello in Vietnamese. And lots more too!

The successful 2 hour session ended with watermelon, a snack treat Tuyen and I brought from the mainland. The children leave for a break and go home in their boats. We will have another session this afternoon.

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