Students take extra English classes as teaching methods in schools remain outdated
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam has spent huge money to organize the teaching of English in the national educational system, but students are still taking classes outside the school.


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Students need to practice English regularly



Le Thu Ha, an office worker in Hanoi, said she was surprised when realizing that the English curriculum for general school students is not much different from the one she followed 20 years ago, when she entered the sixth grade and began learning English.

“Primary school students (first-fifth graders) learn elementary English. And in sixth grade, students are also taught simple greetings such as ‘hello’ and ‘bye’,” she noted.

Ha came to a conclusion that her daughter needs to take extra classes at foreign language centers.

A mini survey conducted by Tien Phong found that nine out of every 10 parents say English lessons at school don’t bring the desired effects.

“You’d better not expect too much from English teaching at school, even if your children can learn English with foreigners,” said Ha Uyen Nhi, 38, a parent in Cau Giay district.

The outcomes of English teaching under the national foreign language teaching program show that 70-90 percent of students got scores below average (5) at the national high school finals. Students did not have basic knowledge even though they had 12 years of English.

Her daughter, a third grader, has been studying English for two years at school, but the girl got nothing from the lessons.

“One day, I came to school and tried to find out what students learn during English lessons. I found that the foreign teacher could not run the lesson well. The class was too noisy and I could not hear what he said,” she said.

The outcomes of English teaching under the national foreign language teaching program show that 70-90 percent of students got scores below average (5) at the national high school finals. Students did not have basic knowledge even though they had 12 years of English.

Analysts say the low scores for English exam papers show the failure of the national educational system in teaching English. 

Nguyen Ngoc Thuy Duong, a teacher of English at Khuong Dinh Secondary School in Hanoi, said students should practice the four basic skills of listening, writing, speaking and reading, but this is ignored, because students only have to answer grammar questions at exams.

Duong also pointed out that practicing four basic skills is an impossible mission because students only have three periods (each period lasts 45 minutes) for English each week.

“Students need more time and environment to practice,” she said.

Many general school students and young people in Hanoi and HCM City have found a new way of practicing English. They voluntarily work as tour guides for free for foreign travelers. 


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Mai Chi

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