Saturday, April 28, 2012

Less common foreign languages now attract more learners | Look At Vietnam

Less common foreign languages now attract more learners

April 28, 2012
LookAtVietnam – Following the movement of learning English, French and
Chinese, Vietnam now witnesses the movement of learning less common foreign
languages, because the language skills could be an advantage for Vietnamese to
look for jobs.
The 10 scholarships for the summer training courses in Thailand offered every
year are the main reason that prompted Nguyen Kim Phuong, a student of the
German language faculty of the Hanoi University, to start learning Thai
Phuong complained that she meets so many difficulties with the learning. The
textbooks used for teaching and learning are just photocopied versions, while
reference books and dictionaries could not be found at libraries and bookstores.
As very few people are learning Thai, Phuong cannot find anyone to consult with
every time when she has problems with the learning.
She said she sometimes feels disappointed with the learning and intends to give
up the hard work.
Vu Hoang Quan, a Spanish Language Faculty’s student of the Hanoi University, is
learning Italian language, because he loves Italian football, Italian culture.
Quan believes that he has aptitude for foreign languages, but he admits that he
usually mistakes Spanish for Italian words.
When learning Italian, Quan also meets a lot of big challenges. Lacking
materials and the environment to practice skills are the two biggest problems.
Having the Latin letter system, but the complexity of Portuguese grammar has
made many young learners puzzled.
Though facing so many difficulties, young people believe that they would have
more opportunities to find good jobs, if they have fluent foreign language
skills. Therefore, a lot of students now rush to enroll in less common foreign
language faculties. Especially, no high requirements have been set up for the
students to the faculties, while the learning of the foreign language has been
The Hanoi University, the biggest foreign language school in Vietnam, enrolls
students for 10 foreign language faculties. Students need to have 21 marks from
the university entrance exams at least to be able to obtain a seat at the
faculties. Meanwhile, the University of Foreign Languages, an arm of the Hanoi
National University, requires 22 marks.
Foreign language schools in Vietnam all have opened their doors widely to the
learners of less common foreign languages. However, local newspapers still have
quoted head hunting companies as saying that the workers who can speak the
foreign languages fluently are seriously lacking in all business fields.
According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism VNAT, by May 2011,
Vietnam had had 5272 international tour guides having practice cards. Of this
amount, only 171 tour guides speaking less common languages, including Spanish,
Thai, Italian, Lao, Bulgarian, Indonesian, Romanian and Hungarian.
Tran Hai Yen, the lecturer of the Portuguese Language Faculty of the Hanoi
University, has affirmed that those, who can speak Portuguese, now have the
chances to find good jobs. The military telecom company Viettel, for example, is
expanding its business to Mozambique, therefore, it needs the staff who can
speak Portuguese.
Viettel regularly asks the school to introduce the Portuguese speakers to the
company. Therefore, the school is considering increasing the number of students
to the faculty by 20 students this year.
Pham Van Kim, MA, from the Hanoi National University, has affirmed that in the
context of the global integration, students would have more opportunities to get
jobs if they have foreign language skills. Kim said that Arab language skills
would be a big advantage for the students who want to work for state agencies
such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security or
Ministry of National Defense.
Source: Tien phong
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