• A Recall from IVS Memory

    A Recall from IVS Memory
    By Max Ediger, July 20, 2009


    I arrived in Quang Ngai in 1971 to study Vietnamese language. At the beginning I was not very happy there, but as I slowly made some friends I fell in love with Quang Ngai.

    Shortly after I completed my three months of language study, Mr. Quy came to see me. He asked me to come teach English at the IVS School. Initially I refused. I was not interested in teaching English and I did not think I had any ability in that field. Mr. Quy was not distressed by my refusal however. He returned several times, urging me to come at least once a week over the noon hour to teach. Finally I ran out of excuses. I agreed to give it a try for just a few hours each week.

    I was afraid when I first entered the class. I had no experience teaching English and I really didnt know what the students wanted. But, because I had accepted Mr. Quys challenge, I had to try. I think my first English lessons must have been very bad. But I found the students so enthusiastic to learn, and willing to participate in class that my fears very quickly disappeared. I began to enjoy teaching and was soon teaching more hours each week.

    I do remember that I quickly found out that the students knew much more about English grammar than I did. I was never interested much in grammar so did not remember all the rules I learned when in school. So I established several rules:
    If you have a question about grammar, ask your Vietnamese teacher. They know much more about grammar than I do.
    In this class, my pronunciation is perfect; so, do not question my pronunciation.
    With these two rules I was able to develop a much better teaching style.
    In time teaching at the IVS School I became a highlight of my week. I really began to enjoy the students. They helped me lose my loneliness and they also introduced me to many things about Viet Nam; and, especially about Quang Ngai. I remember picnics I often enjoyed with my class, small parties at my house or one of their houses, and also the parties that Mr. Quy organized at the school. These were great experiences for me and I feel greatly honored to have had the opportunity to share life for a short time with the IVS community/family.
    I think students often talk about how important their teachers are and how much they learned from their teachers. I want to say that the students at IVS were extremely important to me and they taught me so much. I hope I was able to help them at least a little with their English, but for me the most memorable thing is the friendship and sharing I received from the students. For this, I am eternally thankful.
    [FONT="]Max [/FONT]