Student-lead Language Virtual Organization teaches English

The Language Virtual Organization provides English language support for students.


The Language Virtual Organization provides English language support for students.

While zoom has certainly been a new tool to adjust to, it has brought together people across the world, some of whom would never otherwise have met.

Sophomore Anna Lin founded the Language Virtual Organization in Aug. 2020. Along with her passion for Taekwondo and clarinet, Lin has organized a blossoming non-profit English tutoring program for kids across the globe.

The organization, led entirely by BHS students, teaches English to students from Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and English Second Language (ESL) students here in America.

The international students use the app Line, where they can interact with teachers outside of lesson times, schedule meetings, ask questions, and receive feedback from their mentors. This allows students to take control of their learning experience.

“At the moment, teachers are going with what their student requests,” Lin said. “Some of the ESL students here want help on homework, other students just want help with conversational English.”

Outside of teaching, there are a number of opportunities for students to be involved in the organization. On the administrative level, Sophomore Annie Chen works as a designer for the organization’s Instagram page and uses her love of digital art to spread awareness about the organization.

“My role is to design graphics for the organization’s Instagram. And I’m using my iPad to draw and adjust it. And then I send it to Anna and she gives me feedback.” Chen said.

Along with design, the organization offers additional teaching positions besides the weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions. Sophomore Simone Cooke works as a trial teacher for new students looking to join the program and assess their English skills.

Cooke doesn’t speak a second language, but this does not stop her from conducting trial lessons.

“In my experience, you don’t need to know the language that they speak in order to have a productive lesson. It sounds very counterintuitive, but they’re really good kids, and they just pick up on things super quickly,” Cooke said.

Not only do the students learn quickly, but they also have great conversations. Cooke has learned through these discussions that kids in Thailand are not so different from her regular classmates.

“When I first started teaching, I thought that they would watch some Thai TV show that I’d never heard about,” Cooke said. “But then this teenage girl said she loved “The Good Doctor” and that’s one of my favorite TV shows.”

The organization offers a learning experience for both participants. Cooke is grateful for this rare opportunity to learn about others who are different from herself.

“You meet people that come from very seemingly different backgrounds, and you can have a conversation and teach them some stuff along the way and learn more about their culture. It’s a really amazing experience,” Cooke said.

A partnership with People for Korean Reunification’s education program allows for teachers to interact with refugees and give them English lessons. There is no set curriculum for one-on-one interactions between students and teachers, and this contributes to the close connections between both parties that allows for free communication and more enjoyable lesson times.

“We actually just got a new partnership with a school in South Korea, that helps North Korean defectors start a new life, and we are really excited about it,” Lin said.

Though the curriculum is flexible and student-driven, teacher Leila Adams still applauds its effectiveness.

“The organization has such a suitable curriculum for each English level. As a teacher, it was really helpful that the administration gave me information on the student’s English level beforehand. It’s really fun teaching here because this program is very organized,” Adams said.