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Chief author of textbook for first graders says new standards are higher

Bui Manh Hung, textbook author, says the current teaching and learning conditions and the environment for children to develop language is better than that of 20 years ago.

Parents and teachers all have voiced concern about the new Vietnamese language curriculum for first graders, designed under the new general education program. They said the lessons are too difficult and heavy, which puts a burden on students.






In reply, Hung, chief author of the Vietnamese language textbook ‘Chan Troi Sang Tao’ (Creative Horizon), has reassured the public that students won’t be overloaded.

The number of teaching periods reserved for Vietnamese language for primary education under the new general education program is exactly the same as the old program.

However, first graders now have two more periods a week for Vietnamese language, while second graders have one more period than the old program. The number of periods are lower for third and fourth graders.

According to Hung, more periods were designed for first and second graders to help students develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

The new general education program sets higher skill requirements. All the textbooks for first graders by different authors were designed with higher outcome standards in reading, writing, speaking and listening skills than the textbooks of 20 years ago.

As the number of periods designed for Vietnamese language teaching is higher (70 periods a year), the teaching conditions and the environment for children is now better than 20 years ago. So meeting the new outcome standards is feasible.

“If the new textbooks for first graders are not designed to upgrade students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, students won’t meet the outcome standards when finishing primary school,” Hung explained.

“The higher requirements for first graders are necessary and completely reasonable,” he added.

Hung went on to affirm that in the first period, not all textbooks have difficult lessons.

With the textbook in 2000, students learned letters and sounds (including 3 double sounds) in 31 lessons, including five review and storytelling ones. This means that teachers had five lessons a week, two periods for each lesson, or 62 periods in total (6 weeks, 10 periods a week).

‘Ket noi tri thuc voi cuoc song’ (connecting knowledge with life), the Vietnamese language textbook under the new general education program, has 30 lessons for letters and sounds, including six review and storytelling lessons.

“No worries. Students will read and write fluently when they finish the first grade,” Hung said. 

Le Huyen

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