Free English classes for Vietnamese community in Singapore

By May Pham   October 2, 2021 | 09:20 am GMT+7
In the past five years, a free English class founded by Tina Yuan has taught more than 300 students, including Vietnamese children, brides and laborers in Singapore.

At the end of 2016, Tina Yuan (Nguyen Thi Thuong) met several Vietnamese mothers who had brought their children to Singapore and married. Many children had been unable to attend school in an environment where English is the only language spoken.

"These babies are not entitled to the same treatment and care as children in Singapore because they do not have Singaporean citizenship. Meanwhile, not all Vietnamese brides who come to Singapore to marry are well-off; some must work long hours to make ends meet, leaving them little time to care for and educate their children in the language," Tina explained.

Her free English class has volunteers from the U.S., Australia, U.K., India, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Tina Yuan offers free English classes for Vietnamese employees and children in Singapore.

Tina Yuan offers free English classes for Vietnamese employees and children in Singapore. Photo by Tina's Facebook.

Tina's class went online during the Covid-19 outbreak, meeting twice a week for an hour and a half each time. She often spends 30 minutes connecting students with friends of British, Australian, American, or Indian nationality to practice their language skills.

"This success is due in large part to foreign volunteers who share their knowledge with students," she said.

Mukundan Appadurai Paramashivan, an Indian volunteer in Tinas classes, has taught English as a second language to Indian students and professionals in Bangalore, India.

Mukundan Appadurai Paramashivan, an Indian volunteer in Tina Yuan's classes, has taught English as a second language to Indian students and professionals in Bangalore, India. Photo by Mukundan’s Facebook

Mukundan Appadurai Paramashivan, an Indian volunteer, explained: "I got to know about this through the community volunteer page on Facebook, and I enrolled to make a difference. Before Covid-19 when we had face to face learning, we the teachers and learners could concentrate harder on learning because all our senses were engaged, and there were fewer distractions than there would be if you were learning at home. We would gain a better understanding of cultures, share stories and real-world examples with each other."

Tina Yuan was grown up in Phu Tho, northern Vietnam, in 1990 and has Chinese heritage. She lived in Vietnam until the end of her fourth grade, then moved to China, U.S., Singapore. Tina is currently an entrepreneur, writer and marketer in the field of communication and marketing.

 
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