Vietnamese graduates to be bilingual
  • | VNS | October 21, 2011 07:12 PM

Within nine years, most graduates from Vietnam\'s colleges and universities will be expected to speak English or another foreign language. This is part of a master plan on language teaching up until 2020.

Students are applying to the Ho Chi Minh City University of Industry in Go Vap District.

Under the plan, approved by the Prime Minister in 2008, foreign languages would be taught throughout the national education system, said Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Vinh Hien at an e-conference covering Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, central Da Nang City, the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta\'s Can Tho City, and northern Thai Nguyen Province.

Just three years since the master plan was approved, 46 out of 64 provinces and cities have organised plans to teach foreign languages.

The plan focuses on testing and assessment methods for language training and the use of more information technology in the process.

It aims to improve foreign language competency and the professional skills of teaching staff and renewing teaching programmes, textbooks and teaching software.

Also part of the process would be modern training facilities and equipment, tighter control over the examination and assessment of teachers - and increasing international co-operation, Hien said.

Sharing his experience in organising foreign language teaching at high schools in HCM City, a representative from the municipal Department of Education and Training told participants that, for the past 11 years, the city had included extra English training for students from first to 12th grade.

He said key measures to implementing the programme included enrolling qualified teachers, selecting appropriate textbooks from Oxford and Pearson publishing houses - and upgrading teaching and learning facilities and equipment.

He said there would be more cooperation with the British Council and the people running the University of Cambridge\'s ESOL examinations.

"The department has piloted programmes to teach a number of subjects at high schools in foreign languages, such as math and science," he added.

Addressing the workshop, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan stressed the need for the Ministry of Education and Training to follow European standards in assessing foreign language competence and to let universities set up foreign language departments to train teaching staff.

He encouraged both domestic and foreign software businesses to write software on English teaching and asked the ministry to quickly establish a system of volunteer teachers to help disadvantaged localities.

The ministry was instructed to work with the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs to map out plans to teach foreign languages to pupils attending vocational training schools.

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