Neil's News

Thao in Ontario

9 July 2013

[Thao Tran] When I was in Vietnam I met Quynh's niece, Thao. Not being an English speaker made communication rather tricky. But Math and Physics transcend language and it was clear that this grade 10 student was performing at undergrad levels. Since Thao had never been outside her country, Quynh and I wanted to bring her over for a summer.

What followed was two months of gruelling paperwork and interviews, ultimately leading to a refusal by the US to grant her a tourist visa. Fortunately she was granted a visa to Canada (a simple, painless process), so we scrambled to organise a trip before she had to be back in Vietnam for school.

It is impressive what complete immersion in a foreign language can do at that age. She quickly went from being effectively a non-speaker to being able to falteringly hold up one end of a conversation. Still lots of work to be done (next summer?), but certainly a big step in the right direction.

See the photos of our trip around Ontario.

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