Popularity of non-English Speaking Teachers

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In countries and societies that are non-English speaking, internationalization is more popularly becoming associated with the teaching of English acting as a base in order to boost global and economic competitiveness.

Vietnam, along with many other Asian countries’ governments, such as China and Japan, has adopted English as a medium of instruction (EMI) in order to internationalize education (Duong & Chua, 2016).

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The globalization of education through the means of adopting EMI will most likely not cause any damage to Vietnamese culture and nationalism under the circumstances that the teachers are well versed in English and receive support from an efficient internationalized curriculum to appropriately educate students.

English is going to be taught in Vietnam and be the dominant language used in HEIs. Earlier this month, Claire Maxwell stated that a form of “internationalism is Bilingual curricula, which is increasingly being seen as important” (Brehm & Maxwell, 2020) and will have to be true in the case of Vietnam’s adoption of EMI.

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Vietnam had an interesting proponent for internationalizing education. After the failure of the Soviet economy, the government of Vietnam (GOV) made some major economic reforms in 1986 in order to improve the country’s economy (Duong & Chua, 2016). These major economic reforms triggered an economic boom in Vietnam, forcing the GOV to internationalize higher education institutes (HIEs) in order to bolster and improve this consistent, continuous economic growth.

Vietnam felt pressured to internationalize the education curriculum for HIEs as quickly as possible the reason for this occurrence was that it was necessary for Vietnam’s successful global economic integration and competitiveness (Duong & Chua, 2016). In addition to this, as time passes and years go by, there has been no evidence of any detriment to Vietnamese culture individuals as new generations are filtering through this education system with internationalized curriculum in Vietnam.

It is possible that the use of English widespread throughout communities could cause a shift or possibly worse, a schism, in culture. This rift could result as a result of the adoption of the EMI causing conflict amongst nationalists. It is impossible to say if this will indeed happen and if so, when. Maxwell too argues that “a long-term perspective in understanding the outcomes of elite education and the routes into elite positions is necessary” (Deppe et al., 2018, p. 8). This “long-term perspective” can be evaluated in Vietnam, however, no such information was included.

Starting with higher education, in Vietnam, “As a result, decentralization policies along the lines of marketization and internationalization were introduced in the late 1980s and in 2000, respectively, to allow HEIs to expand their training capacity, diversify their training programs and commercialize their educational activities” (Duong & Chua, 2016, p. 671). However, these training programs have no other audience besides the elites in society.

Presumably, without ageism as a form of valid discrimination in the work-place, but as a reality in society, older Vietnamese people would not receive any education of the English language due to the fact that the elderly and retired people are often thought or perceived by younger people as not contributing to society due to their absence in the workforce and have no prospect of attending a HEI.

The exclusion of the elderly population in Vietnam for the education of English as a means of internationalizing promotes a break in cultural relations among different generations as well as devaluing this population’s cultural and general value in society. Not only are the elderly commonly known to be extremely respected in many Asian cultures, but this is true of the case of the United States.

Furthermore, adults in Vietnam who have finished their schooling and maybe an individual or family or already established successful businesses would not be able to benefit from the internationalizing of HEI in Vietnam. Adults of any age could already have a well-established fruitful business but should be given the opportunity to learn English to even further increase and improve Vietnam’s global and economic competitiveness.

What came to my mind is how this pertains particularly to any family-owned and/or family-operated businesses as a grandson may learn an innovative technique to help save time and money, but his grandfather would not be able to understand it in English if the young grandson cannot explain it any other way. Neither the grandmother nor the boy benefits from EMI or any internationalization.

EMI poses a potentially dangerous language barrier. A language barrier of any kind, regardless of which country it may occur in, is a hindrance to any type of learning, international or not. A language barrier that could result from the adoption of EMI could potentially create a wider gap among elite individuals in Vietnam and individuals of a lower socioeconomic class that are unable to afford to attend a HIE. I believe Claire Maxwell would agree with my statement seeing that a language barrier furthers the separation of social classes, growing the wealth of the elite.

In 2005, the GOV used the Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU-HN) to pilot a project called the Strategic Planning Project (SPP) aiming to successfully internationalize the curriculum of higher education in Vietnam’s education system with English as the dominant language (Duong & Chua, 2016). However, in internationalizing education for HEIs, Vietnam, like countless other countries, Sociologist, Claire Maxwell, in 2018 made the “‘assertion that the internationalisation of education in a stratified geographical context should always be viewed as a process of elite-making’” (Engel, Maxwell, & Yemini, 2019, p. 83). Maxwell’s allegation is supported by the evidence in this case study in light of the fact that this case study only includes students attending a HEI as well as the teachers that work at the HEI. The internationalization of education only was made available and offered for Vietnamese of upper-socioeconomic status that has the ability to pay for the best education in Vietnam.

Although Vietnam successfully implemented an effective internationalized curriculum in HIEs, this internationalization excludes so many Vietnamese citizens who are outside a higher socioeconomic class as well as older age or mental or physical disorder or cultural objections or all of a few issues.

The case study by Duong and Chua serves as a support for the adoption of EMI by country’s that a non-English speaking for HEIs. Furthermore, the case study of how VNU-HN internationalized education via policy reform in the education system “to create an academic environment conducive to teacher learning and to increase teachers’ English proficiency are important strategies to ensure that the expansion of EMI in HEIs in Asia are effective” (Duong & Chua, 2016, p. 680). The authors additionally posit that the findings from this case study have the aptitude to serve as a great model for other Asian HEIs as the EMI seemingly does not have any negative consequences (Duong & Chua, 2016).

Additionally, “the study found that it is perhaps just as important to enroll students who have sufficient proficiency in the English language to improve both the teaching and learning experiences of teachers and students” (Duong & Chua, 2016, p. 681). This suggestion by the authors is extremely exclusionary of Vietnamese people who cannot afford to attend a HIE.

In additional support of Maxwell’s view, this recommendation by the authors of this case study feeds into a common flaw of internationalization that Claire Maxwell supports (2018) “‘Internationalisation practices within education are shown to offer yet a further mechanism for distinction-making and positively privileged particularly those who are economically-wealthy’” (Engel, Maxwell, & Yemini, 2019, p. 66). This suggestion perpetuates the cycle of the elite members of society benefiting from internationalization. The authors make absolutely no mention of this issue or recommendations to address this issue.

The exclusion of the issue with elitism and education in this case study does not improve any other educational institute besides HIEs. Maxwell claims “studies of national education systems have highlighted how the orientation towards the international by a group of dominant schools and universities, and/or government policy can greatly affect the shape and approaches taken by the rest of the education system, thereby reentrenching the stratification found within it—between ‘elite’ and other educational institutions” (Deppe et al., 2018, p. 2). As other Asian countries adopt EMI, the gap among social classes attending elite or other schools continues to widen as this exclusion is not being addressed by any policies or reforms being implemented and studied to expand internationalization in any country.

As far as key recommendations I make for moving forward, I would create a government-funded educational program to implement new policies and practices for all education institutions in Vietnam. Furthermore, I would implement English-speaking as much possible into Vietnamese life that would be accessible to everyone. This implementation of English in Vietnamese society would be much more inclusive of citizens by not catering to any specific audiences, specifically, students who attend a HEI. The integration of the English language in Vietnam is essential to successfully facilitate the practice, corrections, and learning of English as a second language and primary language used in HEIs.

When students from VNU-HN come home from school, it would be most beneficial for both the student and the student’s family and friends to learn how to speak proficient English to best be able to practice, learn, and speak English. Most importantly, English needs to be understood competently by those not attending a HEI to understand one another when talking speaking in English. If people outside HEIs learn skilled English, any content the student is learning at school at VNU-HN can be communicated to friends and family. Educating the general population about English would also be an optimal way to internationalize different types of people in society.

I recommend instituting community-wide changes to include citizens of all ages, races, and socioeconomic status in order to learn English. This would hopefully prevent the elite group of students in universities from dominating all efforts of internationalization as well as improve and support their English-speaking abilities. An example of this can be an American movie in English that takes place anywhere played at night in neighborhoods during the Summers on Friday nights. The viewing would be free and open to everyone.

Programs should be funded and implemented to fund elite education for students from lower socioeconomic students. It will be of no good for Vietnam’s economic strength and global power if, yet another group is stratified from actively participating in the global market, I advise that EMI be successfully implemented into secondary education as well as other public universities. I believe that the younger a child is, the better they will be at proficiently using the English language. This can take the form of adding English as a required course starting from elementary school through high school. By implementing English courses in all education institutions in Vietnam, all students are given an equal opportunity to receive an internationalized education before reaching universities. Once a university education is needed to earn a living, this is where the variable of socioeconomic status can help or hurt a students’ access to a high-quality education.

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Popularity of non-English Speaking Teachers. (2021, Sep 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/popularity-of-non-english-speaking-teachers-essay

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