Young people in Vietnam are extremely motivated to learn and master new languages, especially English, to help them have better access to jobs and education. To meet this need that Vietnamese youth have in a way that is inclusive and not cost-prohibitive, CSDS developed the English Community Class model. CSDS has been running regular English Community Classes since 2012 in Hanoi and since 2017 in Ho Chi Minh City. In the last two years over 700 people have benefitted from the courses and over 40 international volunteers have taught the community classes.
The Community Classes run for sessions of eight weeks, and there are six sessions per year: spring, summer, late summer, autumn, and two in winter. In each session there are four classes, with each class meeting twice per week for two hours each time.
The classes use an interactive learning method, with instructors using a wide variety of activities designed to encourage proper pronunciation and knowledge of English vocabulary. There is no set textbook for the Community Class and no age restriction for participating, though most students are under the age of 25. Even high school students are welcome!
Participants pay a one-time fee of 500,000VND to cover the cost of printing materials, and have the opportunity to practice English with qualified and motivated volunteer instructors. The classes are at a beginner level and are aimed at increasing the participants confidence in speaking English and listening skills. Classes take place at the SOCI Hub, very close to the CSDS International Volunteer House.
Over the course of the eight weeks, students will also accompany their international instructors on field trips around Hanoi and for meals and fun excursions! Recruitment for the English Community Classes is ongoing throughout the year.