Advice on helping student (monk) in Laos, SE Asia?

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Advice on helping student (monk) in Laos, SE Asia?

Unread postby thomas » 25 Jun 2010, 10:17

On a recent holiday to Laos, I a met a young Buddhist monk - around 17, I think - who asked me to send him some books to help with his study of English. I'd love to help but have no idea what would be suitable. His English seemed pretty good, although obviously basic. Would anyone be able to recommend some titles, and where I could get them for him please? Should I get him children's/young adult stories, or text books - or both, do you think? And does TEFL publish any that would be suitable?

Many thanks
Sue Thomas

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Re: Advice on helping student (monk) in Laos, SE Asia?

Unread postby Lucy » 27 Jun 2010, 11:16

Hi Sue,

I think the first step is to find out how he will be using English. Does he need English to read? For writing? For communicating with people? Will he be travelling or going to meetings with other Buddhist monks?

You then need to ascertain his level. When you know his level and reasons for learning, you'll be able to make an informed decision about material to send.

I don't know of any books by mainstream EFL publishers for monks. There may be something available in his region. I don't think that's a problem. My guess is that he knows specialist vocabulary for his area of work/life or will learn it very quickly. He will probably need to improve other areas of language.

I would not advise you to send him children's books. The language used in children's books will not be suitable to his needs. Young adult material would be appropriate.


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Re: Advice on helping student (monk) in Laos, SE Asia?

Unread postby Avocado » 30 Jun 2010, 14:37

I think a good idea would be to send him some books on Dharma in English. He can learn as he reads, with the added bonus that he's reading about something that he probably has a passion for. There are Dharma books written for all levels of understanding. Thich Nhat Hanh, to give one example, writes deep stuff in simple prose.

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Re: Advice on helping student (monk) in Laos, SE Asia?

Unread postby Peter Easton » 13 Jul 2010, 08:41

Try The Alchemist. Very easy language and a compelling story about spirituality.

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Re: Advice on helping student (monk) in Laos, SE Asia?

Unread postby JohnVan » 26 Jul 2010, 18:40

Hello Sue,

I have more questions than advice.
My wife and I have a heart for Laos; don't ask me why, we just do. We have never been in Loas but did spent a few weeks in Cambodia three years ago.
Last winter my wife and I both received our 130 hour TESL certificate and plan to put it to work, hopefully in Laos.
Here are a few questions I have,

Do you think there is opportunity to teach in Laos, either paid or volunteer?
Is there a lot of oppertunity to teach English among the Monks?
How was your experience with the Lao people?
Is there a great need for TESL Teachers?
Have you heard or know of any schools that are in need of teachers.

We look forward to your reply.
John and Henrietta

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