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Dear parents,

The Host Country Studies team—Ms. Kha, Early Childhood & Kindergarten; Ms. Mai and Ms. Kim Ha, grade 1 to grade 5—are delighted to be Vietnamese teachers at SSIS. As language instructors, we are aware of the ongoing need to expand the language components of instruction and to continue developing varied lessons to engage our students in fun, interactive learning.

Early Childhood and Kindergarten students have been busy this year in their Vietnamese classroom reading many stories in Vietnamese, practicing not only listening to a foreign language but also learning to reason plausibly to make a good guess of the meaning of new vocabulary and reasonable predictions for the plot of the stories, improving their fine motor skills while proceeding with various projects (developing fine motor skill is very important for good handwriting and other delicate tasks in the future), and practicing cultural good manners and teamwork through various activities.

IMG_2461Learning a new language is challenging. Non-Vietnamese speaking students from grade 1 to grade 5 are continually engaged in various activities related to language and culture: playing local games, working and communicating in pairs and in groups, telling Vietnamese legends, tasting Vietnamese traditional food, singing Vietnamese songs, and getting to know how, why, and when the Vietnamese people celebrate the special events that they do. These activities help motivate our students into speaking Vietnamese as their situational “survival” language and toward understanding more about Vietnam’s rich culture.

Host Country Studies is not only for those brand new to Vietnam’s language and culture.  Vietnamese students are provided opportunities to improve their reading and writing skills. This semester, the beginners have been focused on the alphabet, then on to making words and simple sentences. Learning the rules about word families is useful for them in spelling correctly, especially as they are still struggling with Vietnamese tone marks. The proficient students have discovered lots of interesting features of Vietnamese poems & stories, and have begun writing their own stories on various topics.

We all have had fun together in our Host Country classes. Our students have certainly gained much knowledge about Vietnamese language and culture this year!

Note that the elementary school Tet Assembly—one of our most exciting annual activities—is coming on Friday February 13! Please mark the date on your calendars. We are looking forward to seeing you all there!

Sincerely,

Host Country Team

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