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November 29, 2021, 3:32 am

Vietnamese university students struggle with English tests

(11:25:22 AM 04/12/2014)
( - Weak English skills are a major problem for university students, with many of them unable to graduate despite good results in their majors.

Vietnamese university students struggle with English tests


Tran Van Duy, a third-year student of the HCM City Industry University, for example, still cannot read sentences well.

Duy said that he “passed” English tests over the last two years because he copied his friends’ exam papers, while he could not fulfill the tests himself.

“It is really difficult for me to understand the meanings of the words, let alone to translate texts or speak English,” said Duy, who began learning English when he was in sixth grade at secondary school.

“I spent a lot of time on learning English, but my efforts were all in vain. Therefore, I am tired of English,” he said, adding that he does not intend to apply for a job which needs English skills when he finishes school.

Bui Van Thanh, a fourth-year student at the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanity, fears that he cannot graduate school because of his bad English.

Like Duy, Thanh began learning English at secondary school as required by the Ministry of Education and Training. However, Thanh found English lessons boring and he gave up learning English.

“I passed the English exams (at high school) with ‘help’ from my friends,” he said, explaining that he just needed to copy what his friends gave him.

Thanh did not have to attend English lessons at university. He only had to submit English certificates to the school before graduation.

To Thuy Trang, MA, a lecturer at Foreign Trade University, noted that there are numerous university graduates who have poor English skills that are not good enough for their jobs.

English certificates

NVH, a student at a school in district 1, HCM City, has fulfilled his university training course, but still cannot get a university degree because he does not have an English certificate as required.

“I attended some English intensive training courses at foreign language centers, which cost me millions of dong. However, my English did not improve,” H said.

Therefore, he decided to “buy” a certificate, priced at VND4 million. “I spent VND2 million in advance, while the remaining VND2 million will be spent when I get a certificate,” H said.

“I will still have to attend the English tests. No matter how I do on the tests, I will still get a certificate,” he added.

Dr. Tran Dinh Ly, head of the training division of the HCM City University of Agriculture and Forestry, noted that students have many ways to obtain English certificates.

“We discovered a lot of students who attended English tests under the names of others,” he said. He noted that a new career has appeared in society: hired examinees.

Tien Phong

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