Foreign-run foreign language centers not as good as advertised

Published: 29/03/2011 05:00



Foreign-run foreign language centers, which advertise themselves as providing training with internationally standardized quality and qualified native teachers, in fact, have neither international standards or qualified native teachers.

In a period global integration, Vietnamese people, especially the youth, are rushing to learn foreign languages, and consider foreign languages a key to good jobs. Foreign-run foreign language centers have been top choice for them because the centers are believed to have the best quality of training programs. Learners believe that foreign run centers always have better material facilities conditions and apply advanced curriculums than domestic-owned centers. Especially, well understanding what learners want, foreign run centers emphasize that they can provide qualified native teachers, who can help learners improve their skills rapidly.

However, the foreign-run centers, in fact, as not as “excellent” as advertised. Local newspapers, who have sent reporters to the centers, have found out that at many centers, there are no native teachers. Meanwhile, the questions about the native teachers have been ignored. Other centers provide foreign teachers, but they do not have pedagogical skills. As they are not trained to become teachers, they simply teach what they want.

Worries about the quality of foreign run foreign language centers were raised at a workshop held late last week on reviewing the operation of the centers. By the end of December 2010, there had been 112 foreign-run foreign language and informatics centers in Hanoi. However, according to the Hanoi Education and Training Department, a lot of centers have not registered their operation with state management agencies.

According to Tien phong newspaper, only several centers out of the operational hundreds of foreign centers provide high quality training service.

Foreign-run centers have been trying to attract learners with special advertisement pieces. “Lesson plans are always updated”, or “the teachers are experienced native speakers” are the words regularly used by the centers. Especially, the centers promise that “after the training courses, learners will be able to take an exam for permanent certificates”. Besides, the centers also offer tuition reductions or scholarships up to 50 or 70 percent of the cost of tuition.

T., a mother who has a son studying at a foreign-run foreign language center, related that she wants her child to learn with native teachers, which will allow him to practice good pronunciation, the thing that learners at Vietnamese-run centers often cannot teach.

However, T admitted that she just chooses a foreign run center for her son based on advertisement. In fact, she has never learned about the profile of teachers or their experience.

At the above said workshop, Tran Anh Tuan, Director of the Vietnam-English Foreign Language Center provided shocking news: no foreign language center in Vietnam has native teachers, who have pedagogical certificates or degrees as required. “Requiring native teachers with pedagogical degrees proves to be unfeasible. Foreign language centers can only choose the foreign teachers, who have good pronunciation and good records, to invite them to teach at centers,” Tuan said.

Especially, Tuan said that foreign language centers regularly have to change teachers. Since foreigners cannot get long term work permits, they can only work for three months in Vietnam and have to return home after their visas expire, or they must visit a neighboring country to get a visa to return to Vietnam.

Lu Thi Hong Nham, Director of Duc Anh Center said that no independent agency has come forward and accredited training centers. Therefore, different centers have different understandings about the definition “standard quality”. This explains why “international centers” do not have “international standards”.

In the latest news, Pham Van Dai, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Education and Training Department, has said that the department will send inspectors to foreign language centers, and threaten to revoke operation licenses of the centers which do not meet the quality requirements.

Tuyet Ngan

Provide by Vietnam Travel

Foreign-run foreign language centers not as good as advertised - Education - News |  vietnam travel company

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