US war veteran opens free English classes in Hanoi

VietNamNet Bridge – Returning to Vietnam nearly 4 decades after the war, Paul George Harding, a US was veteran, has opened free English classes in Hanoi as he wants to make amends as far as possible to the Vietnamese people.

Hanoi, US war veteran, free English classes

Harding’s English classes in Hanoi’s Cau Giay District are always full of laughter and joy. His students’ ages vary from 5 to 70 years old.

72-year-old Ta Quang Tiep of Hanoi’s Hai Ba Trung District is one of them. He said Harding is very enthusiastic about teaching us English. Sometimes he even has 3 classes on a single day, even in this hot weather."

Harding attaches great importance to his students’ pronunciation. During class, he sits with every student to listen to their pronunciation and correct it.

He often encourages his students to be confident having conversations in English.

Ha Thi Hao, a 2nd-year student at Hanoi’s Banking Academy, said "I used to pay attention to English grammar only and this meant my speaking skills remained poor. After 2 months of attending Harding's class, my speaking skills, especially in pronunciation, have become much better. I believe my English skills will improve significantly in just a few months."

Nguyen Mai Le, a student at Hanoi’s National University, said Harding is very dedicated to his teaching. He often integrates historical information in his English tests and this has helped us learn a lot about history. For example, we had a test on the Dien Bien Phu victory and campaign.

Paul Harding took part in the fighting on battlefields in Binh Dinh and Lam Dong province between 1969 and 1970.

He said he is still obsessed with the war even today and decided to do something good for the Vietnamese people, whom he found to be kind-hearted and tolerant. From only four students at first, the class now is attended by nearly 400.

The People’s Committee of Trung Hoa Ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, has provided its meeting room to be used as the class room.

He said "I'm very impressed with the students' enthusiasm in the demand. We now have so many students that we are no longer able to accept more students. Everyday we have more and more people. They come to my house, classes. They stop me on the streets, all inquire about their study or their children in the class."

Harding hopes to expand his classes to other districts in Hanoi.


Hanoi, US war veteran, free English classes