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Pagoda runs gratis language classes in Ho Chi Minh City for over a decade

Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 12:03 GMT+7
Pagoda runs gratis language classes in Ho Chi Minh City for over a decade
Thich Nhuan Tam, the abbot of La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, teaches in a foreign language class at the pagoda, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nestled in a small street at the foot of Cho Cau 1 Bridge in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, La Pagoda has been the cozy little home of special language classes for free for more than ten years.

People of all ages can participate in these classes, where the majority of students either have financial difficulties or are unable to pursue foreign language learning ​​at regular language centers.

Professionally trained foreign language teachers who are currently working at universities and language centers across Ho Chi Minh City volunteer to teach these free classes.

Despite receiving no pay for the job, the teachers commit to deliver lessons with dedication and frown upon careless teaching.

Meanwhile, students studying here take it upon themselves to attend class sessions and follow the rules, resulting in an effective teaching-learning model.

Thich Nhuan Tam (right), the abbot of La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, teaches in a foreign language class at the pagoda, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Thich Nhuan Tam (right), the abbot of La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, teaches in a foreign language class at the pagoda, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

“I had slept on the idea of opening these classes for so long but it wasn’t until the end of 2019 that it was realized,” said Thich Nhuan Tam, the abbot at La Pagoda.

“Amid global integration, foreign languages ​​are indispensable to a good future career for students.

"I now equip them with knowledge in the hope that they will make contributions to the betterment of our society."

A large area at the pagoda has been repurposed for the free classes, with spacious rooms and modern equipment installed.

The classes are provided in six languages ​​including English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, and German, with more than 80 lessons taught each week.

Currently, more than 300 students are participating in 14 classes spread out across the week to offer a flexible schedule for busy people.

A volunteer teacher teaches in a Japanese class at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A volunteer teacher teaches in a Japanese class at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

People of various ages participate in a language class at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

People of various ages participate in a language class at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Tran Thi Ngoc Bich, 56, attends a language class at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Tran Thi Ngoc Bich, 56, attends a language class at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Dang Thi Huyen Thu teaches a foreign language class at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Dang Thi Huyen Thu teaches a foreign language class at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Children participate in a language class at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Children participate in a language class at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Vo Minh Thu (third left), a volunteer foreign language teacher at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, donates personal computers to the pagoda to be used in language teaching, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Vo Minh Thu (third left), a volunteer foreign language teacher at La Pagoda in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, donates personal computers to the pagoda to be used in language teaching, September 13, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

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