No Doubt

Anybody who seriously takes the challenge of learning another language is an inspiration to me.  This spring, I met Chau, a young woman from Vietnam. She has a master’s degree in physics and her husband is doing IMG_1063research at Kansas State University.

Chau began to learn English in her high school years in Vietnam. Mostly the instruction emphasized reading, grammar, and a little writing.  Speaking English took place only in the classroom with the teacher.

At the university, Chau took a few English classes for physic majors.  Before coming to the United States, she took refresher courses at an English center, studying for the TOEIC.  She and her husband arrived in Kansas, in March, 2015.

As soon as I met Chau, I realized she was a person who was serious about learning English. First of all, she comes to group events like the Conversation Cafe. She is not afraid to use English, smiling all the while.  She also attends World Friendship, a community organization for the wives of international students at Kansas State University.  At each event, I noticed how eager she was to speak and make friends.

When I began meeting Chau for English practice, I knew I was in for a delightful experience.  Her determination is inspiring.  For one thing, she brings a list of words for me to speak into a recorder so she can practice them for our next meeting.  We look up definitions and make up sentences together. During the week, Chau looks at websites like,, and  She reads books and watches film, with and without subtitles.

People like Chau amaze me.  They have a big task and work steadily with determination and humor.  They are resourceful and courageous. Chau and others will be successful, no doubt.

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