The British Council and Nam Dinh province, Vietnam, have signed an agreement to improve the English language skills of up to 440,000 school pupils.
Announced as UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, visits Vietnam in what is an historic visit for the country, the ambitious new programme aims to train all 1,000 English language teachers in the Vietnamese province over the coming years.
Starting as a pilot in 2015-16 before going on to reach at least 160 teachers a year for the next six years, the programme looks to provide expert English language provision to the province’s teaching workforce as part of Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training’s ‘National Foreign Languages 2020 Programme’ to improve English language teaching across the country.
In addition, the programme will also identify opportunities for selected teachers to study in the UK, as well as facilitate the development of new links between schools in Nam Dinh and schools in the UK. Other areas of interest, including summer school placements at UK English language centres for groups of young learners, will also be explored. Teachers, students and the general public in Nam Dinh are also set to benefit through the introduction of local TV and radio broadcasts of popular English language learning programmes such as the ‘Word on the Street’ series by the British Council and the BBC.
Commenting on the agreement, Ian Robinson, Deputy Director of the British Council in Vietnam, said: “It is fantastic that Nam Dinh is pushing forward their provision for English language teachers in the province and we are delighted to be bringing our English language teaching expertise to somewhere that is both forward-looking and entrepreneurial in its ambition. The English language is truly a global language and one which undoubtedly opens doors on a professional, as well as personal level. We hope that this programme is the first of many in Vietnam and is one which will help pave the way for the whole country to fulfil its English language aspirations in the future.”