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Professional Learning

The Vientiane International School believes that one's education never stops. To that end we offer professional learning opportunities for educators and adult members of VIS community at various times throughout the school year.

Lao Language Courses

Lao Language Courses

Ms. Phitsamay Phoumivong (Mai), VIS Lao Language Instructor, is offering classes for VIS teachers and parents.

  • Lao for Beginners starts Monday, September 10. This is for people who are completely new to the Lao Language or know only a few words.
  • Intermediate Lao starts on Thursday, September 13. This is for those who have previously completed a prior beginner course with me and/or those who know some Lao Language.


  • Course Fee: $100.00 USD per person
  • Available for: Adults
  • Venue: Room 2203 (second floor of the primary building)
  • Course length: 10 lessons (one lesson per week)
  • Time: 4:00 - 5:00pm
  • Course Structure: These are great courses for those who want to speak Lao. The Latin alphabet is used as the way to learn to pronounce words and phrases - Lao scripts are not taught.


Payments must be made at the VIS Cashier's Office. Registration closes on September 6th at 12 PM.

Each course requires a minimum of 5 people attending, with a maximum of 12. Courses will be confirmed on September 7.

For more information, please contact Ms. Mai at maip@ourvis.com


  • No refunds will be given when courses are confirmed and classes begin.
  • Refunds will be given if your chosen course does not have the minimum requirement of participants to begin classes.

EARCOS Weekend Workshop

Collaborative Skills & Practices to Enhance Student Learning with a Focus on Peer Observation

Presenter: Margaret MacLean

November 17th & 18th 2018

Click REGISTER HERE to sign up


This professional development experience will support your ability to extend teacher collaboration in your school, support the development of a collaborative school culture, encourage reflective practice, and help rethink teacher leadership — all in support of increased student achievement. The work we will do emphasizes making teaching practice public, continuously assessing teaching in relation to student learning, and routinely adapting teaching to meet the changing needs of today’s students. This session workshop will have a particular focus on Peer Observation. The Critical Friends Group model, which was begun in the mid 1990’s at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, is the foundation of the work. The research base for the work is detailed at the following link: http://www.schoolreforminitiative.org/research/


During this workshop you will deepen your experience of a powerful model of effective adult learning and build your capacity to lead the work in your own context. You will work to develop an effective professional community while learning the concepts, habits, tools, and facilitation skills that lead to more reflective collaborative practice. During the workshop we will answer the following guiding questions:

  • What is the current state of collaboration in our schools ~ current strengths and challenges?
  • How do we continue to foster adult conversation and dialogue that directly impacts student learning?
  • How can we improve our facilitation skills to support the development of more effective teacher work groups?
  • How do we match a protocol to a task?
  • How can peer observation improve teacher practice and enhance student learning?
  • How do we continue to develop collective ownership of our work?


  • Knowledge and practice using several strategies for engaging in collaborative discussions
  • Experience with peer observation protocols and a plan for how to use them
  • Practice with the use of protocols for increasing learning by examining student and adult work collaboratively—an understanding of when to use which protocol and why
  • A clear sense of the role of a facilitator in creating and sustaining an effective collaborative teacher work group. The development of enhanced personal facilitation skills
  • A practical plan for participating in or leading collaborative work moving forward


Margaret MacLean is an educator with over 40 years experience, in seven countries, Margaret MacLean currently provides professional development support to teachers and school leaders internationally. Margaret has taught at all grade levels from Pre K to grade 6 and served for over 15 years as a school administrator. In 1996 Margaret was named Vermont Principal of the Year.

Margaret is a member of the School Reform Initiative. Begun in the mid 1990’s at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University USA the program is focused on developing collaborative school cultures, encouraging reflective practice, and rethinking leadership—all in support of increased student achievement. The Critical Friendship model is the basis of the work. Margaret’s work takes her to schools throughout the world to provide initial training seminars and follow up school coaching.

Margaret has previously presented at NESA EARCOS, AISA AASSA and ECIS conferences. Margaret has also worked directly with a number of international schools to develop school wide systems for effective professional collaboration; these include Shanghai American School, the American School in Japan, Seoul Foreign School, American International School of Mozambique, American School of Warsaw, FMV Ayazaga Isik Lisesi, Istanbul, the International School of Tanganyika, the International School of Dakar, St Paul’s British School in Sao Paulo, St Nicholas School Sao Paulo, Stockholm International School, Frankfurt International School and the International School of Helsingborg in Sweden. Margaret is associated with www.teachercollaboration.org and www.schoolreforminitative.org.


This workshop is limited to 40 participants and is being advertised by EARCOS.

Registration is 80.00 USD or equivalent in Thai Baht or Lao Lak which includes morning tea and lunch. Please make payment on the day.

Laos requires a visa on arrival for most countries. It is an easy process. Please check requirements. This site may be useful LAOS Guide 999

Click VIENTIANE HOTELS for accommodation information.


Tina Santilli tinas@ourvis.com

Secondary Principal
Vientiane International School