Sending kids to overseas summer camps is believed to be the effective training courses which help improve their knowledge. However, in fact, learning is just a part of the trips.
Going abroad to attend summer camps in summer has become in fashion among well off families in big cities like Hanoi and HCM City. Urban parents all want their children to learn English well, because the foreign language skill is believed to be a big advantage when applying for jobs. Meanwhile, going abroad and communicate with native speakers proves to be the most effective way of learning English.
A lot of overseas courses have been organized by big English centers in Vietnam, such as ILA, Appolo, and the British Council.
Traveling is the main goal of trips
Hong Ha, a parent in Hanoi, said she has got confused with the information about summer courses.
“I cannot imagine that attending overseas training courses is so favored. However, the English centers do not provide detailed information about the advantages of the programs. Therefore, I have made a decision just after considering the service fee and the trip schedule,” she said.
M. Truong, an 8th grader in HCM City, also said that the courses are really not the magic wands which can help improve English skills immediately.
“Most of the time of the trip was spent on sightseeing, communication and traveling,” he said.
“Only those, who are very good at English already, should register the trips. Others would just waste money and gain nothing,” he added.
He also admitted that the course just provided him one more opportunity to travel and learn more about a new country. Meanwhile, those students, who are not good at English and timid, should not attend the courses.
“We have only 2-3 English hours a day,” he said.
The overseas courses have been diversified with different destinations of Singapore, the UK, the US, Australia and Canada. However, there are some common things of the programs. Students can participate in the collective activities in the open air, go sightseeing and learn communication English at some schools.
In general, students have 2-3 English learning hours a day, and the learning lasts 1-4 weeks.
According to Dat Viet, the programs cost 31-87 million dong for each on average, which includes the fees for accommodation, meals, learning and sightseeing. Meanwhile, the costs would be higher for the trips to the UK, US or Canada, about 87-150 million dong.
More playing than learning
In general, English lessons are provided in the morning, while afternoons are reserved for entertainment activities.
Overseas study consultancy firms said that students can stay at guest houses or at the local residents’ houses to learn English. They can also participate in many extracurricular activities, or join English-speaking dramas.
However, parents have said that students attend the overseas courses just to play and entertain themselves instead of learning English.
Phuong Chi, a parent in Tan Binh district in HCM City said she made a wrong decision when sending the daughter to a summer camp in Singapore. The girl then returned to Vietnam just after one week instead of three weeks as initially planned, because she was timid and met difficulties in integrating into the community.
“The students at the age of 7-8 still cannot be independent, and they would not receive necessary knowledge without the instruction of the parents,” Chi said.
Source: Dat Viet/ VNN
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