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English teachers urged to improve skills
  • | VNS | August 08, 2010 07:16 AM

Hundreds of Vietnamese English teachers and foreign English teachers and researchers from 32 countries gathered Fridayn in Hanoi for the first international conference held in Vietnam on ways of teaching the language.

An English teacher is teaching Vietnamese children on a summer course.

The conference, the eighth organised by Asian Teachers of English as a Foreign Language Association (TEFL), is focused on teaching English as a global language and a tool for successful communication internationally.

There are about 1 million English teachers in Asia.

"There is a preference for American English among young teachers, but it is important to realise that English is a tool to communicate between people from a diverse backgrounds and cultures," said Le Van Canh, chairman of the conference.

The conference aims to equip teachers with the latest English teaching methods and for participants from Asia to share experiences.

Phan Thi Thanh Thao, a teacher from Thanh Do University in Hanoi, who has 12 years\' teaching experience, said this was the first time she was able to attend the conference, which is held around Asia.

"But it is so important for university teachers like us to get involved to improve our research and teaching skills," she said.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga said the conference went well with a Government target that, by 2020, most young Vietnamese leaving school, universities and colleges would be able to confidently use a foreign language.

The ministry also plans that by the 2018-2019 school year, all primary school students will be taught a foreign language as a compulsory subject from Grade Three.

"However, English remains the most popular language and its teachers are expected to take on more challenging responsibilities," Ga said.

The three-day conference has attracted about 400 international participants and 200 Vietnamese teachers and researchers.

"Asia TEFL strives to support scholars and teachers who are very innovative in their research and teaching of English and whose work is creative and effective in an Asian context," said Asia TEFL president Hyo Woong Lee, from South Korea, where next year\'s conference will be held.

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