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CHEER’s 2008 Summer Institute, a partnership with Hue University, Hue College of Foreign Languages, was held in Hue city from July 14-25, 2008. Secondary, college and university teachers of English, American Studies, and administrators from Ho Chi Minh and Hue cities enthusiastically joined the two-week-long unique workshops to interact with native speakers of English—teachers from the United States—to deepen their cultural understanding, exchange professional practices, and build leadership capacity.

Four workshops were designed to meet the current needs of English language teachers in Viet Nam. The general course, Tier 1, An American Tapestry, provided and overview of American language and culture infused with English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teaching methods, while the new seminar on Reading from John Steinbeck examined American culture through selected readings and film screenings that include The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl and others. Animated discussions focused both on the socio-political implications of the historical period and on practical teaching strategies to engage students in critical analysis and thinking.

Two leadership capacity building courses were offered for the first time as the result of an independent research study sponsored by CHEER and conducted by Drs. Lillian Utsumi and Doan Thi Nam-Hau in March, 2008 at five leading universities in Viet Nam. The report, Teaching and Learning English at University Level in Viet Nam, will be released at the end of 2008.

Teacher as Change Agent, developed as a three-phase course, provided opportunities for teachers to engage in professional learning communities to construct and refine lessons to improve student outcomes. The workshop Educational Leadership Course – Building Learning Organizations-The Leadership Roles in Action Learning provided leaders at the college level with tools to develop, facilitate, and sustain professional development at their sites.