National Foreign Languages Project 2020 (NFLP) and the requirements for English language teachers in Vietnam
MOET’s National Foreign Languages Project 2020 requires all English language teachers in Vietnam to reach an English level proficiency of CEFR B2 for primary and lower secondary school teachers and CEFR C1 for upper secondary, high school teachers. In order to achieve this goal many of them are required to undergo training in improving their English language proficiency as well as updating and improving their skills in communicative and learner centred teaching methodology.
Piloting “English for Teaching” in partnership with College of Foreign Languages, Danang University.
The British Council globally has developed a course called ‘English for Teaching’ which aims to improve teachers’ English language proficiency and at the same time teaching methodology which meets the requirements of the NFLP 2020. The course can be run at three levels.
The British Council Vietnam worked closely with Ministry of Education and Training to pilot the course for a group of teachers at the Da Nang College of Foreign Languages, Danang University.
The length of the course is 240 hours and can be blended. The course is designed to be flexible depending on the needs of leaners. During the pilot it was delivered 70% face to face and 30% online.
The course materials consist of:
- Fully comprehensive Trainer’s book with detailed training plans
- Participant’s course book reflecting current methodological practice
- Audio recordings
- Teacher development journal – usable for assessment
- Glossary of ELT terminology
- Detailed course information and guide for trainers
- Course evaluation documents.
9 lecturers of Danang University were selected to deliver the F2F training. All 9 of the lecturers are currently training on the 2020 proficiency & methodology courses and 6 of them had previously been trained on the British Council Primary Innovations course. 3 of them were selected as eligible for the E-Moderators’ Essentials course (by BC online team in Turkey). They worked alongside a project manager from the British Council.
54 Lower Secondary teachers were eventually selected for the pilot, with 27 of them coming from Da Nang (predominately urban) and 27 of them coming from the neighbouring province of Quang Nam (predominately rural)
Initial findings suggested that the participants appreciated this new blended approach, with one teacher saying:
“Learning online is very efficient in terms of time since we are able to learn without it interfering with our teaching schedule at school”
Participation was very high with over 90% of the 54 teachers involved successfully completing the online phases.
Also of interest to the Ministry was the course’s flexibility in terms of delivery, since it can be delivered as entirely Face to Face (F2F), entirely online or as blended (i.e. a mix of both). Considering Vietnam’s excellent internet penetration rates, this blended model assures course quality and saves on travel expenditure.
Another local adaptation was that the course pilot used Vietnamese teacher trainers working in collaboration with BC master trainers. The course proved very popular with the local trainers. A lecturer from Da Nang University reported:
“It is a great course giving teachers all the necessary strategies to effectively deliver lessons, manage their classroom, stimulate their students and build their confidence for their teaching careers”
After the course, each participating teachers were level-tested using the British Council APTIS test. This is a benchmarking test which has been developed by the British Council using test writing experts from Roehampton University.
The exit scores of participating teachers were also very encouraging with almost 50% of the grades climbing 1 CEF level within the allotted 200 hour timeframe. The British Council are now in discussions with the Ministry of Education and Training over ways to further optimise the course, for example supplementing the proficiency component, in the hopes that it might one day become a viable teacher training option for Vietnam’s NFLP 2020.
For further information on the programme, please contact the English for Education Systems Unit, British Council Vietnam.