Today, The University of Foreign Language Studies, the University of Danang, and the British Council in Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on evaluation, assessment development, and English proficiency improvement.
Foreign languages, especially English, open up many opportunities to develop career paths, to study abroad, and to connect with the world. Particularly, an effective testing and assessment system is key for precisely evaluating foreign language communication skills in addition to being an essential part in teaching and learning English.
One key initiative of this strategic partnership is to hold a series of practical workshops on classroom-based assessment for teachers in the fourth quarter of 2017. The focus of these practical workshops was announced at Vietnam Language Assessment Symposium 2017 (VLAS), which was organised by the British Council and Vietnam's National Foreign Language 2020 Project in May 2017 in Ho Chi Minh City. With the emphasis on classroom-based assessment and the assessment of learning, VLAS gathered over 200 educators, English language assessment experts and teachers from 22 provinces across the country and 20 Departments of Education and Training.
Dr Tran Huu Phuc, Rector of the University of Foreign Language Studies, the University of Danang said: ‘The University of Foreign Language Studies, the University of Danang was chosen as one of the five regional foreign language centres by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) - Management Board of National Foreign Language 2020 Project to train, examine foreign language proficiency; foster teachers' professional development; and apply information technology in teaching and learning foreign languages in the national education system. Our university is now assigned by the MoET to improve English teachers’ English proficiency and foster their professional development in Tay Nguyen and central coastal region.’
‘With the desire to become a reliable centre providing international standardised foreign language examination and testing services, especially in English for all in Danang and the central coastal and Tay Nguyen region, our university maintains partnerships with international examination organisations, especially the British Council. According to our strategic partnership in evaluating, developing examinations and improving English proficiency, the two parties are providing solutions to English examination and English learning resources to prepare students for international tests such as Aptis and IELTS.’
This strategic agreement between the University of Foreign Language Studies, the University of Danang and the British Council opens up opportunities for students in Danang and the central provinces to learn and experience internationally standardised English tests, access to learning resources and the potential to study abroad. Moreover, the two parties will launch professional training for testing, evaluating foreign languages and building the capabilities for English teachers from University of Foreign Language Studies, the University of Danang and the central region.
In 2017-2018, students from the University of Foreign Language Studies, the University of Danang and the nearby provinces can easily access international standardised tests of the British Council. Particularly, IELTS and Aptis are performance-based tests, so teachers are encouraged to instruct students to use English in daily life instead of merely preparing for the test.
Cherry Gough, Director, British Council in Vietnam said: ‘The British Council very much appreciates this new strategic partnership with the University of Foreign Language Studies (UFLS), the University of Danang. It’s essential to the future prosperity of Vietnam that young people are able to learn English effectively and efficiently. In co-operation with UFLS, we will now be able to bring effective solutions and new opportunities to students and their teachers, not only in Danang but also provinces and cities in Central Vietnam, with a focus on English education and assessment, international English examinations, capacity building for teachers and study abroad.’
‘This Memorandum of Understanding confirms the UK’s support for the Ministry of Education and Training’s aims to improve learning and teaching of English in Vietnam, as well as its direct support to teachers and learners of English through the British Council.’