Mr YEOW Kok Liang, Director and Teacher
Yeow Kok Liang obtained his basic and master’s degrees in English Language from the National University of Singapore. From 1995 to end 2004, he lectured in communication skills at Temasek Polytechnic, one of Singapore’s premier tertiary educational institutions. From 2002 to 2004, he undertook additional responsibilities as head of his section, handling curriculum development and management, staff welfare, development, deployment and performance appraisal. From 2000 to 2001, he also taught Effective Business Communication part-time with the Institute of Banking and Finance in Singapore.
In 2003, Kok Liang had the opportunity to be part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ IAI (Initiative for ASEAN Integration) programme, which saw him teaching government officials in Vientiane for a month in September. This experience proved a key factor in directing his interests towards living and working in Laos, and further visits to Vientiane, together with the cultivation of many warm friendships with Lao officials studying English in Singapore, fuelled the decision to relocate and set up a centre for higher development in Vientiane.
Outside of classroom time, Kok Liang delighted in helping his expatriate colleagues in their fluency and delivery in English, developing a course, “Sound in Meaning”, in cooperation with his division manager. His forte is English pronunciation. He has also been involved in English familiarization sessions for Chinese nationals, Indian nationals and people from Indochina in Singapore. He enjoyed befriending and showing hospitality to Indochinese government officials studying English in Singapore and, through interacting with them, has attained some sensitivity to the language needs in this part of Southeast Asia.
Mrs Lesley YEOW, Director, Centre Administrator, Teacher, Editor
Lesley Yeow read English at the National University of Singapore and spent the years from 1993 to 2002 as an editor at Landmark Books Pte Ltd, a prominent Singapore book publisher noted for its emphasis on Singapore history and heritage and Asian culture. She has had extensive experience in all aspects of editorial work. She was managing editor of the company when she left in 2002 to work freelance. From 2002 to 2004 she was editor of the national education paper for school students, The Singapore Chronicle, which dealt with issues of national identity and ideology at student level.
While in Laos, Lesley continued to provide editorial services for clients in Singapore, in particular the Asian Civilisations Museum, for which she has edited three major collection catalogues between 2007 and 2010.
Lesley is also a competent writer, book designer and layout artist. She has received training in speech & drama, voice production and effective public speaking. In 2003–4, she also spent time on a regular basis teaching small groups. Much of this interaction involved teaching and explaining the finer points of English.
Since 2010, Lesley has been Principal of the Singapore Mission School (Kindergarten and Primary), a bilingual school following Singapore and Lao curricula for Lao kids.
Other Teachers – English Adjuncts:
(i) Ms Shanny Grace Cabarles (from the Philippines, with nine years as an English teacher to elementary and secondary school students and with teaching experience in Laos since 2016)
(ii) Ms Novuyo Henrietta Ndlovu (from Zimbabwe, trained in Social Work, with 120-hour TESOL qualifications and in Laos since 2017)
(iii) Mr Andrew Jose Molina (from the US, with two-years’ experience on a ship as sous chef training dozens of staff of 60 nationalities, with a TEFL certificate and in Laos since 2022)
(iv) Mr Gary James Beattie (from the UK, with teaching experience since 1999 with individuals, schools and universities in Turkey, Romania, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos)
(v) Mr John Michael Wilcox (from the US, with teaching experience in schools, colleges, centres and a consultancy in Laos since 2006)
Other Teachers – Chinese
(i) Ms Zhang Xiao Yun – Chinese Programme Manager and Teacher (from China, with an IPA certificate Sep’13 as Senior Chinese Language Teacher, in Laos since 2013)
Other Teachers – Chinese Adjuncts
(i) Ms Maggie Chung Chui Ha (from Hong Kong, with TCSOL and TC Young Learners certificates Jun-Jul’14, in Laos 2014 to 2019 and since 2022)
(ii) Ms Gao Shu Ya (from China, with an IPA certificate Apr’20 as Senior Chinese Language Teacher, in Laos since 2018)
(iii) Mr Chen Yun Fei (from China, with an IHA TCSOL diploma May’20 and in Laos since 2016.)
(iv) Ms Rebecca Chen (from China, with an IPA Chinese teaching certificate Mar’21, in Laos since 2020)
(v) Ms Mamie He (from China, with an IPA Chinese teaching certificate Mar’21, in Laos since 2021)
INSPIRE is now in its nineteenth year of operation. Under advice from the Vientiane Capital Education and Sports Service in 2013, we were seeking to be transferred to being under the foreign investment licence of The Singapore Mission School Co Ltd, an investment company for educational enterprise in Laos with Kok Liang and Lesley as shareholders and owners. Due to changes from the authorities, INSPIRE is now re-registered as a separate company, INSPIRE Centre for English and Chinese, under the Vientiane Capital Education and Sports Service. On 22 January 2018, INSPIRE received its enterprise licence from the Department of Industry and Commerce and on 12 February its company stamp. On 26 September, we obtained our education licence and on 15 October our tax licence, thus completing our centre’s re-registration.
Programmes in the future may include IT or computer courses as well as classes for mathematics, physics and other subjects for Secondary or High School levels. Corporate and teacher training programmes may also be introduced or added to the Centre’s services.