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Sad fact: Many students have below average marks after 7 years of learning English

Vietnamese students learn English for at least seven years at school. However, many of them cannot obtain basic knowledge, which has been blamed on the teaching method.

A report released by the HCMC Education and Training Department showed that only 41.6 percent of English exam papers got 5 and higher scores at the latest high school entrance exam in the city. As such, approximately six out of every 10 examinees could not meet the requirements.




An analyst commented that the proportion of students not meeting the requirements in English would be even higher if they have to take tests for their speaking, reading and listening skills.

At the 2018 high school finals, of 814,000 students all over the country, 637,000, or 78 percent, got below 5 in English, according to the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET).

The average exam scores for English were 3.22/10 in 2016, 4.6 in 2017 and 3.91 in 2018. This means that students even could not meet the average level in English skills, even though they have many years of learning English at school, while MOET is running a costly national program on teaching English.

At the 2018 high school finals, of 814,000 students all over the country, 637,000, or 78 percent, got below 5 in English, according to the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET).

In 2008, a national program was launched under which VND9.4 trillion would be spent to renovate the teaching of foreign languages at schools.

However, the achievements of the program remain very modest.

At an academic forum discussing the methods of teaching and learning English in the 4.0 era held recently, Nguyen Quoc Ve, director of the Education Department Institute, showed some major characteristics of the current English teaching and learning situation.

71.7 percent of people learn English to improve personal capability to serve their lives, 56 percent for training purposes and 51 percent for their communication needs at work.

Up to 97.7 percent of learners of English want to improve communication skills, 45 percent want to improve the writing capability, 33 percent reading skills and 26 percent want to have better skills in grammar.

However, the teaching of English at general schools doesn’t satisfy the requirements. Ve commented that the knowledge provided at school is too theoretical with most of it reading comprehension lessons, useful for exams, not for communications.

He noted that learning English via communications brings the highest efficiency, 36 percent. However, the number of people choosing the learning method is low, 10 percent.

About 50 percent of learners use smartphones to learn English, 35 percent learn English online and 32 percent via YouTube. About 29 percent of learners go to foreign language centers, 24 percent learn via movies, 22 percent via music, and 14 percent via TV and radio.

Mai Lan


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