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Comments sought on criteria for judging English text books

Update: May, 13/2015 - 08:39
Concerned individuals and organisations are offering their comments on a draft of 45 criteria for evaluating the quality of English textbooks for primary to high school education nationwide. — Photo gd&td

HA NOI (VNS) — Concerned individuals and organisations are offering their comments on a draft of 45 criteria for evaluating the quality of English textbooks for primary to high school education nationwide.

The draft was issued by the Ministry of Education and Training last week.

The contributed ideas are expected to help education managers perfect the criteria and select the best qualified English textbooks for use in schools across the country.

The evaluation set of 45 criteria was divided into four groups. The first group assesses whether the English textbook is compatible with the needs of teachers and students. The second evaluates whether the textbook is logically and effectively organised. The third rates the textbook's contents, judging whether it is up-to-date and interesting. The last determines whether the textbook supports learners, for example, by examining how the supplementary materials for learners' use are relevant to the textbook's content.

Le Thi Bich, who has taught English for more than 10 years in Ha Noi, lauded the move.

Bich suggested that English textbooks for primary students should focus on teaching them to pronounce words correctly.

"Because it's easier for a primary student to learn how to correctly pronounce words than for a secondary student," she said.

The current sixth-grade textbook on English grammar was thought to be too easy for the students, she said.

Therefore, Bich said, she expected the new textbook would be more suitable.

Concerned individuals can access ministry website www.moet.gov.vn to download and evaluate the draft.

HCM City expands

The HCM City Department of Education and Training plans to expand a UK-Viet Nam training programme meant to improve students' skills in English, mathematics and science from 18 primary and secondary schools to 56 next academic year.

The Integrated Training Programme for Maths, English and Science, introduced last year for first and sixth grades, will also be expanded to grade 10.

Under the programme, students are taught maths and science in English by foreign teachers.

Nguyen Van Hieu, the department's deputy head, said training would be provided to local maths and science teachers who are good at English to replace the foreign teachers gradually to reduce the fees students had to pay.

Next year it would be introduced in high schools where facilities and teachers and students' English skills met the requisite standards, he said.

Tran Thuy An, rector of Tran Van On Secondary School in District 1, said the programme had been introduced on a trial basis in one sixth grade classroom.

"Most students are interested in the programme," she said, revealing it would be expanded to one more classroom next year.

She blamed the high fees students had to pay and the shortage of classrooms for her school's inability to expand it further.

To ensure the programme was effective, the number of students in the classroom was kept to less than 35, she added. The programme approved by the UK is run by the department and EMG Education, a private Vietnamese company. — VNS

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