Vietnam: Taking Steps to Improve Foreign-Language Instruction

July 26th, 2019


The Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam has made great efforts to improve the quality of foreign-language instruction. The understanding is that foreign-language instruction could greatly improve the overall quality of the country’s education system. According to Vietnam’s Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha, the government’s expected goals have not been met. The Minister has proclaimed that the standards of teaching need to be improved starting at the primary level and continuing onto to high school. This will accelerate foreign language learning so that less time would be needed to study it at the tertiary level.

The Minister has also stressed the importance of having teachers with extensive training in teaching methodology and access to materials to help realize this goal. At this time, many teachers of English at Vietnamese schools are not adequately trained or qualified.

Here are a few suggestions made by the Minister to help improve teacher training:

  • Digitize teaching materials so that it is available for all teachers across the country;
  • Develop a system of standardized testing to limit variations in scoring and assessment;
  • Improve teacher training programs so that teachers’ qualifications do not vary from region to region and promote more equity between teachers from disadvantaged areas with those in the cities. Currently, in the provinces and cities that are economically more developed, the teacher training programs cover instruction methods for 3rd to 12th grades while in the less developed areas, the teacher training programs are for 6th to 12th grades. The Ministry is proposing to have the training cover 3rd to 12th grades regardless of socio-economic differences between regions.

For more information on the reforms proposed by the Ministry, click here.

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