“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”   — Confucius

The goal of the Global Foundation’s Vietnam Deaf Education Program is to increase expertise in auditory-verbal practice and audiology in teachers, therapists, medical teams, technicians, and families so that children with hearing loss living in Vietnam have the support they need to make use of hearing technology and learn to listen and talk. We achieve this through a multi-year training program involving the same core group of Vietnamese participants over time. We utilize the expertise of the Global Foundation’s volunteer team, its training curriculum, and its experience in project managing multi-faceted programs to increase awareness and build technical knowledge in audiology and education amongst professionals and families in Vietnam.

This week, we are at Hanoi National University of Education conducting a training workshop targeted to 12 therapists working in inclusive education centers, early intervention centers, and clinics for children with hearing loss in North Vietnam. Lillian Henderson and Kathryn Wilson, both Auditory-Verbal Therapists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been leading the training effort.

The design of this workshop is both challenging and effective because it focuses on application of skills and requires full engagement by the participants.  Lillian and Kathryn introduced the Global Foundation’s curriculum which they, and other team members, developed from existing assessments and resources. It lays out goals across key areas for the first five years of child development and is adapted to the Vietnamese language.  The Vietnamese therapists have been learning how to use this curriculum to assess, identify appropriate goals, and design strategies to help children with hearing loss progress in each area of development. 

Every morning, each pair of therapists carries out their lesson plan in live sessions with Vietnamese families.  Kathryn and Lillian coach the therapists during the sessions while the other therapists observe and take notes. At the conclusion of the sessions, everyone regroups to discuss what worked and what could have been done differently. They identify professional development areas to work on during the next day’s session. The Vietnamese therapists then work together in teams each afternoon to plan for the next day’s therapy sessions. The result is has been an interactive experience that enables the Vietnamese to proactively apply and practice what they are learning.  Confucius had it right!

We are already seeing progress in the Vietnamese participants’ understanding and application of goals and strategies. Kathryn and Lillian have done a great job laying the foundation for our program here and we are looking forward to continuing our work with these therapists to further develop their skills over time.