Improving the Vietnamese’s English level – Lessons from some countries in the region
Just like China or Japan (average English-speaking countries), English training in our country incorrectly focuses on grammatical rules rather than on international communication.
English is an essential medium for international communication. It is a language of trade, science, business, and diplomacy. The popularity of English expresses the need for a common language throughout the world nowadays. There are many studies showing the relationship between English and the development of science, economics and a country or the income and social status of an individual. Therefore, there is a pressing question at the present: how is the English proficiency level of Vietnam in comparison with other countries’ in the region? This article is based on a study published by Education First (EF).
According to EF, the English level of Vietnam is average in the world. Some countries with high scores in the region include Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
What do we need to improve?
Learning English requires memorization and less emphasis on accuracy than other subjects. Just like China or Japan (average English-speaking countries), English training in our country incorrectly focuses on grammatical rules rather than on international communication. If you want to improve your English level, you should allow yourself to practice conversation and prioritize communication skills instead of perfect grammar and vocabulary.
- Singapore: Speak Good English movement. In 2000, the Prime Minister of Singapore launched the Speak Good English movement. In particular, people were encouraged to speak standard English rather than local English (Singlish). The Speak Good English movement organized seminars, contests, and programs throughout the year.
- Malaysia: improve professional skills of English teachers. This is a program sponsored by the Malaysian Ministry of Education with the aim of enhancing the English language skills of primary and middle school teachers in Malaysia. Since 2012, the project has trained 15,000 teachers in 14 states in Malaysia.
- Hong Kong (China): Workplace English campaign. In 2000, the Hong Kong government launched the Workplace English campaign (WEC) to raise awareness of the importance of English in workplace. WEC focused on online radio and television channels and produced several free television and radio programs aimed at developing adults’ English-speaking proficiency.