Province-by-province testing to date, based on IELTS and TOEFL scoring standards, has revealed sub-standard levels of competency, according to VietNamNews, resulting in new plans being drawn up to improve standards, particularly verbal proficiency.
Some provinces will send teachers to the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore to boost their skills. The government also has announced targeted training plans in the country.
“For years, we have put an over-emphasis on whether English teachers have the right diploma or certificate”
The plans form part of MoET’s National Foreign Languages 2020 Project. Manager of the project, Nguyen Ngoc Hung, said, “For years, we have put an over-emphasis on whether English teachers have the right diploma or certificate, not on their actual listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.”
The goal of the 2020 project is to ensure most college-level graduates have a confident level of English. Officials estimate about 20 million students would benefit from the project.
John O’Rourke, Senior ELT Development Manager at the British Council in Vietnam, told The PIE News how his organisation is involved, with resources, training and technology bases covered: “At primary level we support teacher trainers through the Primary Innovations Project in which we work together with over 130 Primary Teacher Trainers from over 40 institutions in Vietnam.
The British Council introduced new teaching resources at a conference held with MoET
“[We] also support secondary teacher trainers throughout the country in developing and delivering communicative teacher training workshops as part of the VTTN – Vietnam Teacher Training Network. And we are also responding to the needs in the vocational and tertiary sectors by providing consultancy and language assessment for HE institutions to support English language capacity building in these sectors.”
The British Council is also partnering with Intel to provide ICT and English training in 115 cities and villages
As well as working within the infrastructure of the domestic education system, the British Council is also partnering with technology company, Intel, this year to provide ICT and English training in 115 cities and villages. This project will reach an expected audience of 35,000, trained in these communities on using ICT and British Council Intel inside resources.
It also provides a website, www.teachingenglish.org.vn, which has over 7000 teacher members and in excess of 50,000 downloads, and it has developed a teacher training DVD series.
Hung stressed that the lack of good English teachers and effective teaching methods had produced students who “failed to communicate in English for any useful purpose”, even after nine years of studying in schools and colleges.