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Education Ministry sets new goals for English teaching at schools

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 Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha said the textbooks for teaching English at Vietnamese schools will be textbooks of a certain country that will be ‘localized’ to fit Vietnamese conditions, rather than ones compiled by Vietnam.

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Nha, at a conference held some days ago, admitted that the program on teaching foreign languages in the national educational system in 2008-2020 has not brought desired effects.

Nha said that the program implementation and the goals need to be set up in a more practical and feasible way.

Nguyen Thi Mai Huu, deputy head of the 2020 national program on teaching foreign languages, said from now to 2020, the educational sector will focus on improving the quality of foreign language teaching and learning in accordance with the 7-year teaching program (students learn foreign languages from the sixth to 12th grades).

Vietnam will implement the new English teaching program for general education, under which 100 percent of third graders, 70 percent of sixth graders and 60 percent of 10th graders will follow the new program (10-year learning system). It is expected that English would be universalized at general school.

As for higher education levels, Vietnam hopes that by 2020, 60 percent of intermediate schools (2-year training), 100 percent of junior college students (3-year training), and by 2025, 90 percent of intermediate schools can meet the third level in the Vietnamese six-scale that measures English skills. 

As for the university students not majoring in foreign languages, 70 percent of students by 2020 and 100 percent of students by 2025 must have the third level in the six-level scale when finishing schools.

One of the key issues that Nha mentioned is that Vietnam will not spend time on compiling textbooks for teaching English, but will use foreign school materials. 

The textbooks of English to be used at general schools will be textbooks of a foreign country localized to fit Vietnamese conditions. Textbooks for junior colleges and universities will be foreign school materials.

Building a roadmap to turn English into the second language in Vietnam was not found in the document about the nine important tasks for the 2016-2017 academic year. However, it was still mentioned by Nha at the conference.

Nha said ‘English as the second language in Vietnam’ is the goal for the future and MOET does not set up the exact deadline for the task implementation.

It took Singaporeans 40 years, since the day the former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yeu  supported the idea of turning English into the second language, to obtain an average skill level of English usage. 

 

Source: VNN

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