Phan Quang Hieu

(University of Hamburg)

Issues and Difficulties of English Proficiency in Vietnam

According to the 6th edition of the EF English Proficiency Index, Vietnam ranks 31st out of 70 countries in English skills. That turns out to be not a bad result for the English proficiency in Vietnam, where English language education has actually been developing since recent decades. However, the Ministry of Education and Training in Vietnam reported in 2016 that more than a half of Vietnamese graduated students and even a third of English teachers in Vietnam do not fulfill basic requirements for English skills. This paper focuses on the current issues of teaching and learning English as foreign language in Vietnam. After the historical development of English education in the country since the mid-20th century is examined, the major problems of English proficiency among Vietnamese people will be discussed, with regards to the contrast between English and Vietnamese language, the current circumstances of English education in Vietnam, and the attitudes of Vietnamese people themselves towards English learning.