Prof Richmond Stroupe of Soka University at the OpenTESOL International Conference 2019. Photo courtesy of the HCM City Open University
HCM CITY— Developing global citizens has increasingly become a focus at tertiary, secondary and even primary levels of education, Prof Richmond Stroupe of Soka University in Japan said at an international TESOL conference in HCM City yesterday.
“Learners today are required to learn independently and think critically,” said Stroupe, who has worked with university and professional language learners from Asia since 1989.
Students should be able to use large amounts of information, understand cultural perspectives of others, have critical thinking skills, and work collaboratively and in leadership positions, he said.
Stroupe spoke at the OpenTESOL International Conference 2019 on Innovation and Inspiration: Building the Future of Language Education.
Many of these skills are now being incorporated into education curricula that provide content through English-language instruction, which is increasing expectations placed on students and instructors alike, according to the professor.
“After graduation, prospective employers of our graduates are no longer satisfied with only a higher level of English language proficiency, but also require additional skills that shape a well-rounded global citizen,” Stroupe said.
Teachers also need to overcome obstacles when they teach these skills by using specific strategies, which Stroupe described in his presentation. These strategies can help them have the skills necessary for success within the global community.
The conference also highlighted the importance of information technology in promoting independent learning, and discussed the psychology of learners, applied linguistics and assessment for teachers.
Trần Thị Hương, lecturer at Hồng Bàng International University in HCM City, said that information technology in the form of internet sources enhanced students’ attitude and sense of responsibility for independent learning.
Creative methodologies for English teaching such as Theater in Education, which is used at HCM City Open University, were also discussed at the event.
Nguyễn Thúy Nga, chair of the OpenTESOL Conference Organizing Committee, said that new ways and ideas of teaching would improve students’ learning and skills.
The two-day conference, which has been organised by the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Graduate School of HCM City Open University since 2012, attracted more than 200 administrators, university lecturers, and high school teachers. Postgraduate and undergraduate students from different international organisations and institutions also attended.
The conference shared ideas about pedagogical methods used in different learning and teaching contexts, and strengthens ties between foreign language teaching communities in Việt Nam and other nations.
All Vietnamese university students are required to take a foreign language.—VNS