Understanding Van Lang University Placement Test Reports: A Snapshot Of High School Students' English Proficiency

Van Lang University Placement Test (VLU PT) is an English proficiency test required for all non-English major students who will enroll in the Academic English program at Van Lang University (VLU). This test is used to assess students’ three language skills, including: Listening, Reading, and Writing. The VLU PT, which was implemented at VLU in September 2022, was designed with an aim of placing students in appropriate English language levels based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).  

In this paper, a brief overview of the development and implementation of the VLU PT will be provided. The paper will also present the findings generated from the report on over 11,600 students’ test results (VLU PT results) and a survey conducted after the students’ completion of VLU PT. It could be claimed that the findings first offered a snapshot of high school students' English language proficiency prior to their tertiary commencement at VLU. More importantly, the findings provided an insight into challenges faced by first-year students who had a lack of English language knowledge and skills essential for studying at the tertiary level.  

Based on the collected data, this paper will offer some implications for high school educators regarding English language program development and assessment. 

Ms. Tran Nguyen Bao Huong
Ms. Nguyen Phuong Thao

Speaker bios

Ms. Tran Nguyen Bao Huong is a full-time lecturer at Van Lang University. Currently, she is working as Manager of Assessment at Language Institute. She obtained a Master of TESOL from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2015. As a Manager of Assessment at a Language Institute, Tran Nguyen Bao Huong is responsible for designing entrance, final tests, and exit exams for General Academic English courses. These exams are essential tools for assessing students' language proficiency levels and evaluating their progress throughout the program. Her research interests are focused on language assessment, education management, and professional development.

Ms. Nguyen Phuong Thao is a full-time lecturer and a coordinator of student support activities at Language Institute – Van Lang University. She graduated in English Linguistics and Literature from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities – Ho Chi Minh City. Currently, she is teaching General Academic English courses and organizing support activities for students in English language learning methods. As a student support coordinator, she is responsible for designing extra courses and hosting workshops to enhance students’ learning skills and motivation in learning English. Her research interests focus on education leadership and professional development.