Making primary school children train for IELTS is like building a house with air

By Khanh Huynh   August 3, 2023 | 12:36 am PT
My old English teacher was recently approached by a person who needs to take an IELTS test for some reason.

But she had to turn him down, not because he has never learned English in his life, but because he has dropped out at seventh grade.

She had asked him if he could write a 500-word essay about the women's role in modern society, in Vietnamese. And he said no.

"I can teach him English, but there's no way I can provide him with all the knowledge from seventh to 12th grades," my teacher said.

IELTS is not simply an English test. It is a test of one's capability to use English in university academic environment. All the questions will require one to have certain academic knowledge, at least from their years in high school.

IELTS training classes for primary school students are probably just a thing in Vietnam.

Putting a child without certain social and scientific knowledge in an IELTS test is as illogical as making a child from a primary or junior high school in the U.S. to take the SAT.

It’s like building a house with air. It’s like training a 2-year-old child who just masters walking on taking free-kicks.

*Khanh Huynh is a Vietnamese lawyer living and working in the U.S.

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