James M. Peters (Jim) – I have a bachelor’s degree in political science (1970) and a doctorate in jurisprudence (1976). My first experience teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) was working as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years on Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. I learned the need for clear articulation and pronunciation of the English language during my 38-year career as a lawyer where I tried hundreds of cases before juries and taught all over the USA and Canada. I have been active in sports my entire life, first as a competitor and later as a coach. As a young man, I taught swimming and coached competitive swim teams and for the last 23 years, I have been a volunteer youth soccer coach.
Volunteering for ABVN since December 2017, I have seen about 170 Vietnamese learners, ranging in age from 11 to 67-years, some of them more than 75 times. My "official" contribution is helping students build confidence by improving their English pronunciation, but there is so much more. As we meet week after week, and share the "ups and downs" of our lives, student and teacher develop friendships, gain a deeper understanding of our respective cultures and share our multi-generational experiences. It is worthwhile and fun! For prospective students and teachers, if you’re up for it, give it a try, it could change your life.