Foreign languages remain a nightmare for Vietnamese students

Published: 22/02/2011 05:00



Foreign language
centers have been mushrooming in Vietnam, especially in big cities like Hanoi or HCM
City. However, despite
the the number of foreign language centers, foreign languages remain a
nightmare for Vietnamese students.

Foreign languages are barriers?

A mini
survey conducted by VietNamNet’s reporters on 300 students from six high
schools and universities in Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City in November 2010 showed
that most of student are “afraid of learning foreign languages”.

263 polled
students said that foreign language exams are always their biggest fear in
every exam season. Analysts say that most students just learn foreign languages
in order to pass exams and get university degrees, while they do not think they
will use foreign languages in their future jobs.

noteworthy observation from the survey
is that 78 percent of students said they cannot speak a grammatically correct
sentence. Meanwhile, 81 percent of students said they cannot understand
foreigners in conversations.

language teachers also say they can feel the fear of foreign languages from
students. Nguyen Huy Hoang, Head of the English Division under the Huynh Thuc
Khang High
School in Quang Ngai province, said that though
students are forced to learn foreign languages for seven years at high school,
most of Vietnamese students, after finishing high school, still cannot speak
any foreign languages.

students are much inferior to regional students in listening and speaking,” he

The same is
occurring with university education. Dr Lam Quang Dong, Dean of the English
Faculty under the Foreign Language University of the Hanoi National University,
said that university lecturers regularly have to reteach what students learned
in high school because many students are “foreign language illiterate again”.

Dr Dong
thinks that the training curriculums now applied in Vietnam’s education system
is still problematic, which does not allow students to intensively practice the
four necessary skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Meanwhile,
teachers do not have many opportunities to go abroad to practice English to
improve their knowledge, while learners do not spend much time or effort to
learn foreign languages.

bad foreign language skills are the biggest barrier which prevents many
talented students from going abroad to continue their studies. Even though they meet requirements to enroll
in prestigious universities in the world,
many students have to give up their dream of going studying abroad
simply because they are not proficient in English.

What to do?

In order to
improve foreign language skills, many students go to foreign language centers,
where they are told that they can practice the four necessary skills
intensively. However, many of them have not fulfilled their dream.

Hoang Hai
Long, a fourth year student at the Agriculture
University, said he went
to three foreign language centers. Especially, he spent 4-5 million dong on a
training course for intensive preparation for the IELTS exam. However, despite
his efforts, Long still does not have the “ticket” to go studying abroad.

Pham Nguyen
Y Ly, a 12th grader at the Vietnam
Germany High
School in Hanoi,
said she has given up on a famous foreign language center, because her French
has not improved after six months of learning there.

reporters interviewed two learners of IEC Cambridge to try to find out why the
English skills of many learners do not improve even though they have attended
several different training courses. Nguyen Thi Cam Van, who has scored a 7.0 on
the IELTS, said that not all foreign language centers can provide high quality
training. Nguyen Thanh Tung, who scored a 7.76 on the IELTS and is now a
student at UK Aston – Birmingham
University, said every
training school has its own advantages, and learners need to choose the school
which can satisfy their requirements.

Tuyet Ngan

Provide by Vietnam Travel

Foreign languages remain a nightmare for Vietnamese students - Education - News |  vietnam travel company

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