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Lai Thuy Linh

We interviewed Lai Thuy Linh for the 25th anniversary of the Goethe-Institut Hanoi:

HAN Interviews Lai Thuy Linh© Goethe-Institut Hanoi

At the time when the Goethe-Institut was still located on Hang Duong Street, I went to work there for the first time, which was in 2002. At that time, the institute was located in a narrow house in the old town, where the classrooms were on the third floor. These classrooms were already up to German standards at the time, but outside the classrooms in the corridors it was much darker and more cramped than in the current institute building. Most classes were held in the evening and there was only a small selection of courses in the course program.

The core of the Goethe-Institute's teaching approach is to teach ​​according to international standards. In my opinion, during the 25 years of methodology, not much has changed. It is a modern, international learning method, different from what we learn at school, different from the traditional methods. Until now, the method has not changed too much, only the means of support are getting better and better.

In the old days, teachers used to write on the chalk board, using overhead projectors, the kind of projectors for which we had to copy pages from the book in order to put them on for projection. After that, a much improved projector was introduced, on which we could put the book directly without the need for photocopies. With every step, the technology improved, and now everyone uses computers and high-end smartboards. Every time I change the tool, I have to learn how to use it. It's not too difficult because the training is always organized by the Institute. Only once during the Covid 19 epidemic, the Goethe-Institut had to completely switch to online teaching, and teachers had to learn a lot of new things. But since then, I know that there are a lot of things that I thought were impossible before, but they weren't that bad.

I stick with the job until today because it is a job that really suits me. I have a good working environment, in addition to working and earning money, here I have opportunities that are not available anywhere else. I can develop new teaching methods, new tools. I not only teach German, but also participate in other projects on pre-integration or intercultural communication, or teach job interview skills. It is also an opportunity for me to learn new things that I can then pass on to my students.

Hopefully in the future the Goethe-Institut can continue to promote its strengths; teaching German according to international standards with modern learning methods. Learning German with Goethe is not just about passing the A1, A2 exam, not only focusing on learning the language, but also learning about the country and intercultural communication, to serve the students’ goal of living or studying in Germany.