In support of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet Overseas Training Mission (COTM) I designed, developed and assessed an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) course as a member of the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Culture Center (TCC), Ft. Huachuca, AZ. I alone implemented this innovative curriculum that was the first ever EFL course developed by the TCC in support of COTM. The curriculum consisted of interactive, communicative and inventive instructor and student workbooks, image-based flash cards with common military terms, answer keys and written and oral assessment tools.
The highest achieving ROTC cadets were chosen from different state universities such as University of Arkansas, University of Hawaii, New Mexico State and others.I conducted a two-day training seminar at ROTC headquarters, Ft. Knox, KY in foreign language instructional methodology and a cultural overview of Vietnam.
The EFL class was conducted with 30 Vietnamese officers of the Vietnamese Army who were part of the search and rescue detachment, Hanoi, Vietnam. The course began with an English oral proficiency interview (OPI) that grouped the students into beginning, intermediate and advanced sections. There were 10 sections of 2-3 students each facilitate by 1 ROTC cadet. I observed each of the groups daily and guided the instruction to ensure it was interactive and communicative. At the conclusion of each day of instruction, I met with the cadets to answer questions and share my observations. The communicative and interactive course was conducted over 4 weeks, 2-3 hours per day. Formative and summative assessments were conducted by myself and student instructors. At the end of the class, students were asked to demonstrate their proficiency through role-plays, oral recitations, and reports on assigned topics (advanced groups). Two of the advanced students actually gave a 5-8 minute self-written speech about their experience. Each student received a certificate of achievement at the end of the course.
Student comments that were part of an end-of-course survey included:
“This [EFL training] is much more interesting than my high school English class where we just memorized.” (Dang Thuy Linh, advanced student)
“Excellent training format.” Ms. Nguyen Thu Huong, Head, International Cooperation Division Vietnam National Committee Search and Rescue (VINASARCOYM).
Further interest in the course was expressed by a Vietnamese 2 star general, commander of local force units.