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English teaching experts discuss Asian classrooms

Update: July, 22/2014 - 09:13
Photo mcrio.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — Trainers specialising in teaching English as a foreign language and other experts discussed teaching in Asian classrooms at an annual conference held in HCM City last Saturday.

According to Stephen Faulkner, who has taught English for over eight years in Viet Nam and works for DTP Online, a company providing supplementary programmes for interactive English teaching, using technology in classes ensures that students are both motivated and engaged.

Rapid economic growth in Viet Nam has provided the basis for similar technological growth in the classroom and technology is increasingly seen as the "golden bullet" to solve many of the issues surrounding teaching English as a second language, but without effective use it can become just another distraction.

Technology needs to be introduced into the classroom in a measured and appropriate way to ensure that learning goals are achieved.

The use of technology in an ad hoc, unplanned manner could distract from the learning process and complicate the context, he said.

It should also be clear that technology cannot replace the teacher and teachers are the crucial link between the students and the technology, he said.

Ian Bosiak, a teacher trainer specialising in English as a foreign language and author of English language teaching (ELT) books published by Seoul-based e-future, one of Asia's fastest growing ELT publishers, said not all schools were equipped with the latest technology.

For classrooms without technology, practical in-class activities for motivating students through interactive and collaborative activities could be used, he said.

These activities were a great way to turn traditional, teacher-fronted lessons into environments in which students were taking more control of their learning and having fun doing it, he added.

Latest language assessment trends and techniques and assessment to promote better learning were also presented at the conference.

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, held by the Viet Nam-USA Society English Centre, attracted nearly 2,000 attendees from Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, and Cambodia.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Pham Manh Hung said improving the qualification of English teachers was one of the main objectives of a 2008-20 national programme for teaching foreign languages in public schools. — VNS

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