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English teaching quality at universities, junior colleges

VietNamNet Bridge - A survey of 294 students conducted by Ngo Thi Ngoc Hanh from the HCM City Food Industry University found alarming problems in teaching English.
VietNamNet Bridge - A survey of 294 students conducted by Ngo Thi Ngoc Hanh from the HCM City Food Industry University found alarming problems in teaching English.


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Vietnam ranks the 7th in Asian in English proficiency index



First, the low quality of input students. Foreign language schools enroll students based on either students’ high school finals scores, or their GPA (grade point average) at high school. 

Most students finishing high schools from the north to the south said they studied English just because it an exam subject in high school finals. The questions raised at the finals are multiple-choice.

Meanwhile, the GPA cannot truly reflect students’ English skills. They may have good results at other subjects, but not English. 

Many students are from provinces and remote areas, where the conditions for learning English are very poor. 

Other students apply for foreign language schools because the schools give them the best opportunities to them to follow tertiary education.

Most students finishing high schools from the north to the south said they studied English just because it an exam subject in high school finals. The questions raised at the finals are multiple-choice.

Only 4.26 percent of students replied ‘yes’, while 78.72 percent said ‘occasionally’ and 17.02 said ‘never before’.

As a result, it is difficult to organize English lessons for students with differences in English level and attitude.

According to Lu Thi Hai Yen from the Dak Lak Pedagogical Junior College, some lecturers have recently begun e-lesson plans. 

However, since there are too many classes within a day, with few classrooms with audio/video utilities (TVs, projectors), it is difficult to apply IT in teaching or use it regularly. 

A linguistics expert said that Vietnam still uses the traditional method that emphasis’s on reading and writing skills. Meanwhile, speaking and listening, important skills for future jobs, are ignored.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has been aware of the problem and has tried to renovate teaching method to improve the teaching quality with the national plan on teaching and learning foreign languages in the national educational system from 2008 to 2020. However, the outcomes of the plan remain very modest.

A high school teacher in Hanoi commented that the problem cannot be fixed overnight. Vietnam wants to make ‘comprehensive renovation’ in teaching and learning English, but it lacks facilities to do so.

“To apply modern teaching methods, Vietnam needs qualified teachers. But such teachers are seriously lacking,” he said.

“The shortage of teachers of English is especially serious in remote and mountainous areas. Vietnamese is still used during English lessons,” he said.

In related news, according to the 2018 EF (Education First) ranking, Vietnam stands seventh among 21 surveyed countries in Asia in English proficiency index, behind Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong and South Korea.


RELATED NEWS

Vietnam faces shortage of native English-speaking teachers

Hanoi aims to train more English teachers


Thanh Lich

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