IMPROVING ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING IN VIETNAM: VOICES FROM UNIVERSITY TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

  • 31/03/2022
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Giới thiệu

OVER THE LAST DECADE, VARIOUS EFFORTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO ENHANCE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY OF STUDENTS IN VIETNAM. IN 2008, THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING (MOET) INTRODUCED THE VIETNAM NATIONAL FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROJECT (VNFLP) AS A KEY INITIATIVE, WITH A BUDGET OF OVER FOUR HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS. THIS PROJECT AIMED TO ENHANCE THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY OF VIETNAMESE STUDENTS AT DIFFERENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS, FROM PRIMARY TO TERTIARY EDUCATION. HOWEVER, NEARLY A DECADE LATER, CRITICS CLAIM THAT THE PROJECT HAS FAILED TO MEET MANY OF ITS INITIAL TARGETS FOR 2020, FOR VARIOUS REASONS. IN ORDER TO REMEDY THIS, MORE RECENTLY, AT THE TERTIARY LEVEL, MOET ENCOURAGED COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TO INVOLVE FOREIGN PARTNERS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING TO VARYING DEGREES. SURPRISINGLY, THESE RECENT MEASURES PAID RELATIVELY LITTLE ATTENTENTION TO (1) ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (EFL) STUDENTS’ STARTING ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY (ELP), (2) TEACHERS’ AND STUDENTS’ OWN CRITERIA FOR A MORE SUITABLE CURRICULUM, AND (3) THEIR CRITERIA FOR COURSEBOOK SELECTION. IT HAS LONG BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED THAT LEARNERS’ INITIAL ELP, THE CURRICULUM, AND COURSE BOOKS ALL PLAY IMPORTANT ROLES IN HELPING EFL STUDENTS REACH THEIR TARGET PROFICIENCY LEVEL. THEREFORE, TO STRENGTHEN THE OUTCOMES OF VNFLP, THE CURRENT STUDY EXPLORES BOTH TEACHERS’ AND STUDENTS’ EXPECTATIONS IN THE MEKONG DELTA OF VIETNAM AS AN EFL SETTING LONG CONSIDERED EDUCATIONALLY DISADVANTAGED COMPARED TO THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. TO ADDRESS GAPS (1), (2), AND (3) ABOVE, THE CURRENT STUDY COMPARED BOTH TEACHERS’ AND STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF STUDENTS’ ELP, A SUITABLE ENGLISH CURRICULUM, AND CRITERIA FOR COURSE BOOK SELECTION. FROM FEBRUARY TO MAY, 2017, TWO SURVEYS WERE CONDUCTED, FOR ENGLISH TEACHERS (N = 114) AND STUDENTS (N = 848) FROM FIFTEEN UNIVERSITIES IN THE MEKONG DELTA. IN SUCH AN UNDERPRIVILEDGED REGION, THE VOICES OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS SHOULD BE HEARD BECAUSE THEY EXPERIENCE THE CONSEQUENCES OF POLICY CHANGES DIRECTLY. RESULTS OF THE CURRENT STUDY SUGGEST THERE IS A PERCEPTIVE GAP BETWEEN (1) MOET AND (2) TEACHERS AND STUDENTS AS KEY STAKEHOLDERS WHOSE NEEDS MUST BE MET IF THE THE OUTCOMES OF THE VNFLP ARE TO BE FULFILLED. 2017 NOVA SCIENCE PUBLISHERS, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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