​Ho Chi Minh City bans use of music, smart boards in English teaching

Native English teachers should speak to their students rather than play music during listening lessons

A native English teacher talks to students in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Ho Chi Minh City education department has released a set of requirements for elementary school English curricula, including a ban on giving English names to students and using music and smart boards as teaching tools.

Many English teachers assign western names to their students in order to ease the difficulty of pronouncing Vietnamese names.  This practice, however, will be prohibited during the 2017-18 academic year in Ho Chi Minh City, according to the new guidelines issued by the education department.

“Native teachers should call students by their Vietnamese names and under no circumstance address them by English names,” the document reads.

The guideline also stipulates that teachers refrain from using such audio-visual tools as cassette players, CD players, and smart boards to play music or videos for students during their lessons. Instead, teachers will be expected to create conditions for students to practice the language through social interaction.

The new guidelines will apply to all primary schools in Ho Chi Minh City for the current school year.

While most English teachers at schools in Vietnam are Vietnamese, some elementary schools in Ho Chi Minh City organize special classes taught by both native speakers and their Vietnamese counterparts.

The native speakers are typically charged with teaching one to four periods a week, primarily focused on listening and speaking skills.

These extra English classes are funded directly by parents. The new guidelines also request that schools get approval from students and parents before offering such classes.

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