Making news

HCM City aims high in teaching foreign languages to school children

Ho Chi Minh City wants 50 percent of high school graduates attaining certifiable international standard proficiency in foreign languages by 2020, according to the city Department of Education.

It has instructed educational establishments to undertake activities like setting up a ‘test bank’, conducting online tests of international standards for students and using native-standard teachers to improve the quality of teaching.

According to the department, it has allowed nearly 20 foreign language centres to tie up with schools for teaching English, and assessed their teachers for skill.

It has published information about these centres on its website.

At a conference held last May to review the teaching of maths and science in English, Nguyen Van Hieu, the department’s deputy chief, said learning English from native teachers was vital for global integration.

Because of the large need for native teachers, the department is ready to make policies to enable native speakers to teach at schools, according to Hieu.

The department has instructed district education divisions and schools to take the initiative to improve the quality of English teaching.

Le Hoai Nam, the department’s deputy head, told a conference on developing an international standard workforce for the city by 2030 that teaching English was an important step in creating a high-quality human resource base.

The city has many different English teaching programmes.

Under the 2008-20 national project called “Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages in the National Education System”, children are taught English from first grade whereas in the rest of the country it starts in third grade.

There is one called “Intensive English courses” and the one to teach maths and sciences in English.

For teaching English in the 2019-20 school year, the department requires primary schools to develop an environment for students to use English easily. In the city, 94.5 percent of primary school students learn English.

Schools are also required to use IT to teach foreign languages, including English.

HCM City is among the cities whose students get high scores in English in the national high school graduation examination, according to Sai Cong Hong, deputy head of the ministry's Education Quality Management Agency.