High standards required for foreign language skills worry students
Dec. 29th, 2009
Overly high requirements demanded for foreign language skills by universities is concerning many students.
N.V. Tuan, a second year student at the Vietnam Aviation Academy said he was really shocked about overly high graduation standards on foreign language skills.
As per the request by the Ministry of Education and Training, universities now have to make public graduation standards, including those on foreign language skills.
“I already have to learn about my aviation specialty which is very hard, and I have to take extra English classes in order to achieve the required scores of 500. It will be very hard,” Tuan said.
Tuan has also supplemented his learning to the tune of 7 million dong for extra English classes.
Thanh Hoa, a fourth year student of the Chinese philosophy faculty under the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanity, said that in her class, more than 70 percent of students have not obtained a B-level English certificate.
Hoa, another fourth year student from the same university, also admitted he has still not obtained the B-level certificate, even though he will graduate the university in just some months.
T.H. Tin, a fourth year student at the HCM City University of Technology, also said his foreign language skills aren’t good enough to reach the high standards demanded.
Most universities use the TOEIC system to set standards for graduates.
For the HCM City Economics University, students of business administration study branches must have 550 scores of TOEIC at least, while most other students need just 450 scores.
Polytechnic universities such as the HCM City University of Technology also require 450 scores of TOEIC for their students.
Meanwhile, the HCM City University of Polytechnique Education sets only a modest goal of 350 scores.
Unlike other universities, the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanity sets A, B and C levels to classify their students, while students must have B-level certificate at a minimum to be able to graduate the school.
The HCM City Architect University has just announced general requirements on students’ English skills. It only states that graduates must have English skills for communications, but it does not clearly stipulate how that will be measured.
Nguyen Khac Cuong, head of the Training Division of the university said that it is very difficult to set standards for graduates. Easy requirements mean low quality of students, while overly high requirements burden students.