Burnaby students collect over 1,100 English books to support language learning in Vietnam

·1 min read
Students at Burnaby Central Secondary School in Burnaby, B.C., have collected over 1,100 books to ship to students in Vietnam who are learning English. Image does not depict actual books collected for shipping.  (Travis Kingdon - image credit)
Students at Burnaby Central Secondary School in Burnaby, B.C., have collected over 1,100 books to ship to students in Vietnam who are learning English. Image does not depict actual books collected for shipping. (Travis Kingdon - image credit)

Learning a new language isn't always easy, especially when you're just reading from a textbook.

It can also be kind of boring.

That's why international high school student Alivia Truong, along with some classmates at Burnaby Central Secondary School, have collected hundreds of English story books to send to students in her native Vietnam.

The project is called Pages to Places and Truong, who said she had a hard time finding books in English in her hometown of Huế in central Vietnam, is thrilled to be able to send helpful reading material home.

"I want to spread this opportunity to other students in Vietnam," said Truong, speaking Monday on CBC's The Early Edition.


Truong said coming to Canada and having access to fiction books really helped her understanding of English vocabulary and how it is used.

"I want to help my peers and other students in my city, too," she said.

It took about five months to amass the book collection through book drives and library donations.

Truong said the student group has been in contact with the Vietnamese Embassy in Canada to find out how best to get the books into the country as COVID-19 has made getting them across the border more complicated.

She said officials are arranging to take the books in on a government flight.

The books, which range from colourful picture books for young readers, to novels for older children, will be donated to three different schools.

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