Local authorities are programming refresher courses to help improve English teachers’ capability after they found out that most of them cannot meet the required standards.
Van Cong Sang, a senior official of the HCM City Education and Training Department, said the tests have pointed out the weak points of the teachers. The city would organize English training courses for teachers commencing from mid- June 2012. Summer months would be the suitable time for the training courses, because the teachers would be able to arrange their time to follow the courses.
Also according to Sang, every teacher would attend 75-150 lesson hours, depending on their ability. Meanwhile, in the recruitment plan for the 2012-2013 academic year, the HCM City Education and Training Department would release a notice prioritizing to employ the candidates who can meet international standards.
Restructuring teaching staff
Luong Van Cau, Deputy Director of the Hai Duong provincial Education and Training Department, also said the local authorities would arrange other jobs for the teachers who have the qualifications lower by 3-4 grades than the standard levels, or cannot meet the lowest grade among the required foreign language requirements.
Cau also said that he has ordered local schools to verify the foreign language ability of teachers carefully and only employ the teachers who can satisfy the standards.
Meanwhile, local authorities of Vinh Phuc, Quang Ninh provinces and Hanoi City have said they have allocated the budget to send English teachers to the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore to attend the training courses here.
However, education experts do not think that the retraining would help settle the problem to the every root.
Nguyen Ngoc Hung, Head of the Taskforce in charge of implementing the project on teaching and learning foreign languages in the national education system, said that it would take time to retrain English teachers to fill in their knowledge gap, while this can’t be done overnight.
Meeting standards, and what’s next?
An English teacher in district 1 in HCM City said that not only English teachers need to attend training courses to improve themselves to get adapted to the international standards, but the teaching method applied in Vietnam should also be renovated.
“The English teachers nowadays are the products of the education system in the past. Are you sure that once we have the required qualifications, we would be able to use our knowledge in reality?” the teacher questioned.
Educators all agree that reading, writing, listening and speaking are the four most important basic skills. However, they have noted that the current curriculums and exercises in textbooks do not allow teachers to spend time on practicing all the four skills. Until now, the curriculums have been just focusing on two skills of reading and writing.
Sang also said that Vietnam is now in the transitional period, and that in order to successfully implement the national foreign language teaching plan, it’s necessary to apply modern ways of thinking in all stages and component works of the plan.
Together with the program on retraining teachers, HCM City has allowed schools to employ 20-30 percent of English teachers more, so that the city would have enough teachers for English lessons.
At present, due to the lack of teachers, students have to gather in crowded classes, which does not ensure the high quality of the teaching. It is expected that by 2015, every class only has 20-25 students in the English lessons.
Sang also said that the local department is seeking the permission from the city people’s committee to employ native speaking teachers, who would not only help teach English to students, but also help improve Vietnamese teachers’ skills.
Source: Giao duc VN/ VNN
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