Why is teaching and learning English in Vietnam not effective?

Teaching and learning English in Vietnam seems to take the exam, does not focus on other skills such as listening and speaking. This main cause contributes to reducing the quality of English teaching. Vietnamdrive collects the information of teaching and learning English in Vietnam to introduce to you, including the causes and effects, and the ways to improve these skills, which can save the time of English teachers or entrepreneurs that want to have an overview before investing in Vietnam or helping students when you travel to Vietnam.

Learning English in Vietnam

The purpose of learning English is to use and partly for fun for most of the people in the world. None of us learn English to take the test. And the test is only a form of assessment used to check the quality of teaching and learning. However, high schools in Vietnam do the opposite way.

Benefits of learning English in Vietnam

Learning English is important because it contributes to bringing Vietnamese people into the world.

Using English well also helps learners get jobs easily and opportunities to change their status in life.

Currently, multinational economic groups use English as the language of communication.

Most countries that use English well have a better quality of life. One of the things that can contribute to improving the standard of the Vietnamese is most of people can English fluently.

Studying English in Vietnam and its results

Perhaps, the first time, the Vietnamese studied the English language in the 19th century. During the French colony, the people primarily began to learn English in the interpreter school. Before 1959, students in the South could choose to study English as a foreign language from 6th grade. During the same period in the North, only a few places taught English. From 1975 to about 1986, the number of students choosing to study English as a second foreign language was not much.

Since 1986, English has become the main foreign language at the school in the national education system and was one of the important subjects chosen in the exams.

However, it seems that the teaching and learning English until now has not got good results.

According to the EF report in 2019, the level of English proficiency of Vietnamese people is ranked at 52 out of 100 countries, belonging to the average proficiency level. Vietnam stands right above Japan and below Bolivia.

Teaching and learning English in Vietnam
Ranking of countries and regions by English skills by ef.com

In general, the Vietnamese students’ ability to use English is still weak; Most students can study English at university, but the ability to speak it with foreigners seems to be impossible for most students who are not majoring in the English language.

The English level of graduates has not met the needs of the job; they can read and understand some documents, but most of them cannot communicate, write, and present.

The English proficiency of the majority of students does not meet the requirements. The testing forms are somewhat different but reflect the general picture of ineffective teaching and learning of English in the education system in Vietnam.

So, why is teaching and learning English in Vietnam inefficient?

Causes of ineffectiveness in teaching and studying English

In Vietnam, the results of teaching and studying English is evaluated in grammar, and reading comprehension. Therefore, the whole education system has not really invested effectively to teach this language focusing on important skills such as listening, speaking and writing.

Besides, teachers teaching English seems only to take the test, so they do not invest in other skills, especially listening and speaking. Even, many teachers in the schools cannot speak fluently with foreigners in English. These causes also contribute to the quality of English teachers which may influence learners’ abilities.

Also, class sizes in Vietnam are large (often over 30 students per class), and there is no assistive technology, so it is difficult to teach language skills effectively.

Passive students mainly earn points for passing English subjects, not to practice practical language skills. Thus, teachers do not have the motivation to improve their qualifications and teaching methods.

Why don’t students learn useful skills for practicing English? Most of them want to be good at practicing foreign languages ​​but due to the exam pressure, they have to study for the exam.

People who know English will get jobs easily, but not knowing the foreign language they can work and especially they also fix the recruitment standards. Besides, many organizations give the standards of English qualifications such as A, B, and C without paying attention to practical ability and most of the candidates can meet.

Is the English learning ability of Vietnamese people low?

The ability to learn languages is always available in every ordinary person, anyone who can use Vietnamese will be able to learn English.

Children living in any language environment will be able to develop the ability to use that language naturally. Children of Vietnamese people born and raised in the UK, Australia, or the US, they speak English fluently like native speakers. If they were born and raised in countries like France, Germany, they will also speak the native language fluently like the French or German people.

These proofs show that the ineffective learning English in Vietnam is caused by the way of teaching, how to learn, and the educational environment rather than the limited ability to learn.

Solutions to teach and learn English in Vietnam better

It is because both English-language learners and instructors are aiming to take the exam, the easiest and quickest way is to change the form of tests, assessments, and examinations in education systems of English subject.

Testing and evaluating all skills of English, not only writing, reading, and grammar. Depending on age and level of education, we should have a different form of teaching and assessment. Firstly is pronunciation, listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar. However, many schools and English centers teach, grammar, write, and reading, then other skills.

In the recruitment of companies, candidates should undergo practical competency assessments: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Of course, when changing the form of examination and assessment, teachers must be trained in professional development, and improve facilities suitable for the requirements of teaching and learning English.

How are your ideas about teaching and studying English in Vietnam? If you have any ideas, you are welcome. And, you want to support English-language learners when you visit Vietnam, that is great. To do this, please give your short time to tell or help students speak and practice English when they come to tell you. Thank you!

About the author

The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.