Vietnamese should return English to its right place

By Viet Thanh   July 16, 2023 | 07:27 pm PT
Vietnamese should return English to its right place
Students attend an English class with a foreign teacher at Tran Dai Nghia High School for the Gifted in HCMC. Photo by Le Nam
Many people worship English and study it for no specific purpose without the opportunity to practice it, according to readers who object to the English learning craze in Vietnam.

A reader nicknamed Tuan said many people are worshiping English too much.

"Everyone knows the benefits of knowing foreign languages, particularly English. But some people make a mistake when attaching too much importance to learning English, considering it the most important factor in the integration period. Many people have forgotten that the foundation of wisdom is knowledge, and English is just a supporting tool. They jump to 'idolize' the language, which mostly has communicative value. When you need to draft a contract, you need legal understanding more than good wording. As for specialized documents, if you do not hold knowledge in the field and you are not competent in the language in the field, you will be helpless.

I have worked for more than 30 years at a multinational corporation with members from Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia. I have attended online and offline meetings where there were all kinds of English speakers. I challenge anyone with an IELTS certificate to understand what they say if you do not have the specialized knowledge. I have signed contracts worth several hundred thousand to millions of dollars without needing a translator because the form is already available. English is not god and we do not have to put it on the pedestal."

Winter, another reader, shared the opinion that people should not be totally gaga about English while looking down on other skills.

"Quality English centers are not cheap, so one should make sure that they learn it for a specific career purpose, and that they will have the opportunity to practice it. Otherwise, it will be a waste, especially if you are a low-level employee.

It's normal for a manager to learn English. First, they can afford it. Second, they know that it’s not safe to completely rely on an interpreter when they meet with foreign partners. The interpreter may collude with a rival company to trick you into signing contracts that are detrimental to the company."

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
go to top