Last update 12/21/2010 5:30:14 PM (GMT+7)

Pilot English teaching project hit by staff shortage, poor skills

VietNamNet Bridge – A lack of facilities and a shortage of qualified teachers have adversely affected the Ministry of Education and Training's pilot English language teaching programme for primary school children.

Furthermore, those teachers taking part in the programme said they were exhausted from over work.

Tran Thi Ngoc, who teaches at a primary school in Dai Nai, in central Ha Tinh Province, said teachers even had to supply their own auditory equipment for language lessons, in addition to making classroom props.

Nguyen Thi Quynh Huong, from Bac Hong Primary School, also in Ha Tinh Province, said the ministry had failed to supply teachers with the guidelines needed to carry out the language programme.

Meanwhile, Dang Thi Xuyen, from Chuc Son A in Ha Noi's Chuong My District, said she typically had to refer to five textbooks before taking each 45-minute lesson.

She also complained that her school lacked teaching equipment, such as TVs and computers.

Nguyen Van Lanh, from the Education and Training Department in northern Ha Nam Province's Vu Ban District, said few teachers taking part in the pilot programme had an IELTS score of at least 6.0, as required by the ministry.

Nguyen Thanh Lich, from northern Lao Cai Province's Education and Training Department, said primary school English teachers commonly mispronounced very simple words.

The ministry's programme requires schools to schedule at least 20 English classes a week, which reduces the time teachers had to study themselves.

The pilot project has been implemented in 100 primary schools in 18 cities and provinces nationwide such as Ha Noi, HCM City, Hai Phong, Can Tho, Nam Dinh.

Under the programme, third-grade students learn English through role-play, games, songs and stories.

After three years, students are expected to be able to pass the Cambridge ESOL Movers certificate and have a vocabulary of 500-700 words. They are also expected to be able to communicate with others in English and talk about everyday subjects.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News