Monday, December 2, 2013

Blogging the work week. Finals are almost here! And Leanna the Judge!

Blogging the work week. Finals are almost here! And Leanna the Judge!
Dean Loan of   Finance and Banking presents awards to the Fantastic Four,
the overall First Place Team in the competition.

The past two weekends Leanna participated in a “panel of judges” for a student organized competition with cash rewards and scholarships – the major goal was to encourage and challenge students to use English in writing and speaking while strengthening their vocabulary. 

     The competition was organized by the Banking and Finance students and open to all TDT students – 400 of whom initially participated with written English essays. These were screened by the student organizers and selected lecturers. Leanna began her work with the “semi-finals” of 24 students who made public speaking presentations in English as well as handling Q-and-A with the panel of judges. The panel of judges then selected the final 12 competitors who were placed into 3 teams of four contestants competing for 3 levels of prizes. The final competition included a bingo-style quiz, timed Q-and-A and a role play simulation of a challenging business situation. Each of the teams did really well (each team had a name, special colors, decorations and a slogan). The 1st place winner was the “Fantastic Four.” There were really no “losers” because all top Twelve
The Blue Birds team receive their awards for the excellent work
they accomplished from Lecturer Leanna.
articipants received a cash reward and a scholarship reward and plenty of recognition. What impressed Leanna was not only the English-speaking ability of the students but that regardless of departments such as Foreign Language, Business Administration or Banking and Finance, the student perspective was NOT to be a millionaire and drive a fancy car, but rather how to combine respect, quality, effectiveness and other values to help build Vietnam's economy for the benefit of all. It was also impressive to see the planning skills, analytic skills and hard work of the students who organized the competition.

The past week and this week are all about final class sessions and review with students for final exams which begin Dec. 12th – two weeks of exams. One or two last chances to encourage students to make their contributions to strengthening the VGCL and VN unions! Lecturers do NOT administer the final exams nor do we know the specific questions that will be asked. Rather, as is done here at TDT for mid-term exams, there is special staff of the university that proctor the examinations using a very strict regimen. It seems as though this process is to eliminate any appearance of favoritism. Numerical identification connects the answer booklets to the exam taker so that the entire system compartmentalizes test-taking away from the lecture hall except for the exam content.
UCLA Labor Center poster that hangs in the Department Office and Leanna's temporary  display of our Certificates of Achievement awarded by the President of TDT University at Teacher's Day

Of course we have a good general idea of what will be asked since we taught the course and contributed a whole host of possible questions. All that aside our last few shifts we have been concluding our lectures; having our students do many simulations of the situations that they may have to deal with in collective bargaining, conflict resolution, grievance handling, social dialog, mediation, arbitration, etc.; stressing strategy and analysis; basic process and skills; Vietnam's Labor Code and Trade Union Law. Basic content here in VN also includes theory, human behavior, social and economic factors, team building, etc. Our experience is that we were able to cover more material per class than we originally thought possible – having a GREAT interpreter knowledgeable about labor made a big difference so that Ms. Vinh not only handled document and classroom translation but helped bridge our knowledge of VN economics and labor law. With Ms. Vinh's help we devised a strategy of having teams of students prepare presentations on each critical topic from the Vietnam experience/perspective so most class sessions were a combination of us and students educating together utilizing PowerPoints, discussions and simulations.
To-date feedback from students, Ms. Vinh and other faculty has been positive. We will see what the final exam and evaluations add to the picture!

No comments:

Post a Comment