General schools rush to apply bilingual textbooks
VietNamNet Bridge - Forty education departments have registered to buy bilingual (Vietnamese & English) textbooks to use at local schools.

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Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) said there has been no official assessment about the quality of the textbooks.

According to Nguyen Van Tung, deputy editor-in-chief of the Vietnam Education Publishing House, to implement the MOET’s policy on foreign language study with bilingual textbooks, the house has published some textbooks on math, science, chemistry and biology compiled in both Vietnamese and English for students from the 2nd to 12th grades. 

Nguyen Van Hieu, deputy director of the HCMC Education and Training Department, also said that MOET encouraged schools with good teaching and facilities to use bilingual textbooks, not only in HCMC, but in other cities and provinces as well.

In HCMC, students have relatively good foreign language skills. Bilingual textbooks will help students develop the mindset and capabilities, thus allowing them to read international books and documents in English.

According to Hieu, schools can use the bilingual textbooks in three levels. In level 1, if teachers are not proficient in English, students still can use the textbooks for reference so as to get more knowledge in math and science.

In level 2, if teachers can use English, the textbooks will serve as the supplementary documents to teach students. The teachers can give concepts and explain issues in English, thus helping students understand and apply the terminologies related to math and science in English.

In level 3, if teachers have standard skills, they can use the textbooks to teach math, science in English, which will help Vietnamese students approach the international general education and read documents in English.

The Vietnam Education Publishing House has published some textbooks on math, science, chemistry and biology compiled in both Vietnamese and English for students from the 2nd to 12th grades. 

Hieu affirmed that HCMC ‘encourages’ schools to apply the bilingual textbooks in teaching and learning, while they are not compulsory.

Also according to Hieu, at schools which apply bilingual textbooks, students will still take the tests in Vietnamese, like other normal schools.

In HCMC, central districts have teachers with better English skills who can teach students with bilingual textbooks. 

As for the districts in the suburbs, the city’s education departments would provide refresher courses to teachers to help them upgrade their English skills.

Hieu disagreed with the opinion that primary school students are not capable enough to learn with bilingual textbooks. He said that 82 percent of students in HCMC begin learning English in the first grade.

While education departments rush to organize the programs of teaching with bilingual textbooks, Nguyen Sy Thu, head of the MOET’s 2020 National Foreign Language Teaching Program, said the ministry has not conducted any survey or assessment of the quality of the textbook.

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Van Chung

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