|Conference participants heard that students have little opportunity to hear and absorb the language when Vietnamese teachers teach English-language courses using Vietnamese. — Photo courtesy of SEAMEO RETRAC
HCM CITY — Students have little opportunity to hear and absorb the language when Vietnamese teachers teach English-language courses using Vietnamese, a training specialist said at a conference ended in HCM City last Friday.
It slows down their proficiency and reduces their confidence as well, said David Persey of National Geographic Learning, which is part of Cengage Learning, a portfolio of quality materials for academic and adult education.
When teachers teach English in English, language learning is significantly accelerated, he said.
One of the key goals of Viet Nam's foreign language 2020 project is to improve students' use of the English language rather than merely accepting passive knowledge.
Extensive training and retraining of teachers are needed to meet the project's goals.
In the past, these training programmes focused mainly on methodology skills and general English proficiency.
Persey said that a new third solution focused on "classroom proficiency" in order to increase communication skills in English.
This is partly accomplished by increasing teachers' confidence to teach English in English.
Also speaking at the conference, Wei Fu of Thailand's Dhurakij Pundit University said that Thai workers who lacked spoken English skills would meet difficulties in the new ASEAN Economic Community..
Thai universities will have to make changes in English teaching curricula to improve communication, he added.
Other topics discussed at the two-day conference included teaching receptive and productive English skills, and application of new technology in English teaching of local and foreign lecturers.
The conference was held by the Viet Nam-based Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation's Regional Training Centre.
It attracted more than 300 English teachers, researchers and scholars in Viet Nam, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, UK, Thailand, Japan and China. —VNS