Sun. Nov 27th, 2022

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese parents urge their children to attend foreign
language training courses and attend the exams for certificates, even though
they don’t understand the meaning of every certificate in the “forest” of

Vietnam, schools, foreign language certificates, English, training courses 

English centers in HCM City have opened a lot of training courses to help
students prepare for exams for Cambridge certificates at different levels –
Starters, Movers, Flyers, KET and PET.

According to the centers, the certificates are very important for students who
plan to go studying abroad or work in an international environment. These are
the internationally recognized compulsory English certificates for primary and
secondary school students to shift to follow the intensive English curricula as
required by the HCM City Education and Training Department.

The certificates have also been advertised as bringing the opportunities to
students to obtain international education degrees, which would be very useful
in their future lives.

The tuitions parents have to pay for their children’s attendance at the training
courses are relatively high of between VND1 million and VND3 million. One would
have to pay fees to attend the exams for certificates, about $20 for Starters,
Movers and Flyers levels, and $32 for higher English level certificates such as

Despite the high tuitions, the number of learners at foreign language centers
has been increasing rapidly. In general, children begin attending exam
preparation training courses at the ages of 7-12, striving for the certificates
of higher and higher levels.

Hoai Sa, a sixth grader of a leading state owned school in HCM City, said he has
four English certificates from Starter to KET, and now he goes to CA English
center to prepare for the exam for PET certificate, slated for March 2013.

Sa said that his mother has set up an English learning plan for him, under which
he would have certificates of different kinds of up to PET level by the time he
enters the ninth grade.

He complained that he does not have free time, and he has to learn hard even in
summer holiday. Though Sa has got tired of learning, he still keeps going to
class every day, because his mother said English certificates are very important
in his future life.

What’s it for?

Most of the parents said that obtaining international English certificates in
Vietnam is a preparatory step for their children to go studying at foreign
universities in the future. However, they don’t have sufficient information
about the meaning of every kind of certificate.

A parent has admitted that she brings the son to the foreign language school
because she has been advised to do that.

Hoang Hoa, who has a 9-year-old daughter going to a foreign language center in
Hanoi, said several million dong for a training course is a small sum of money
for her family, and it would be better to bring the girl to class than staying
at home.

Ha, a parent, also said she heard that international English certificates are
compulsory for those who enroll in foreign universities. “If my child can obtain
necessary certificates now, she would be able to go abroad any time she wants,”
she explains.

Meanwhile, Doan Thi Thanh Nga, an education consultant, said obtaining as many
certificates as possible is not the “best way of investment.”

Nga said different countries and different schools set different requirements on
their students. Therefore, it would be better to let children learn English as
per their capability. Later, when students decide what schools and what
countries to go to, they would attend the exams for suitable certificates.


By vivian