THE PRIME MINISTER
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
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No. 1400/QD-TTg

Hanoi, September 30,2008

DECISION

APPROVING THE SCHEME ON FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE NATIONAL EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE 2008-2020 PERIOD

THE PRIME MINISTER

Pursuant to the December 25, 2001 Law on Organization of the Government;

Pursuant to the June 14, 2005 Education Law and the Government's Decree No. 75/ 2006/ND-CP of August 2, 2006, detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the Education Law;

At the proposal of the Minister of Education and Training,

DECIDES:

 

Article 1.- To approve the Scheme on foreign language teaching and learning in the 2008-2020 period with the following principal contents:

>> See also:  Counseling on conditions to establish a Foreign Language Center in Vietnam

I. OBJECTIVES

1. Overall objectives

To comprehensively renew foreign language teaching and learning in the national education system, to implement new foreign language teaching and learning programs at different education levels and training levels in order to remarkably improve human resources' foreign language proficiency, especially in a number of prioritized domains, by 2015; by 2020, most young Vietnamese graduates of professional secondary schools, colleges and universities will have a good command of foreign language which enables them to independently and confidently communicate, study and work in a multilingual and multicultural environment of integration; to turn foreign languages into a strength of Vietnamese to serve national industrialization and modernization.

2. Specific targets

a/ To implement a 10-year foreign language teaching program under which foreign language is a compulsory subject starting from third grade at all levels of the general education. From the 2010-2011 school year, to implement the new foreign language teaching program for 20% of third graders and gradually expand the program to reach the rate of around 70% by the 2015-2016 school year and 100% by the 2018-2019 school year;

b/ To implement an intensive foreign language training program in vocational education for 10% of vocational and professional secondary school students by the 2010-2011 school year, 60% by the 2015-2016 school year and 100% by the 2019-2020 school year:

c/ To implement an intensive foreign language training program in tertiary education (for both foreign language-oriented and non-foreign language-oriented training institutions) for around 10% of college and university students by the 2010-2011 school year; 60% by the 2015-2016 school year and 100% by the 2019-2020 school year;

d/ To renew foreign language teaching and learning in the continuing education program with training contents and curricula suitable to education and training levels, making active contributions to fostering and improving foreign language proficiency of human resources and state employees and civil servants; to diversify forms of learning to meet learners' demand.

To strive for the target that 5% and 30% of cadres, state employees and civil servants in state agencies will reach the level-3 or higher command of foreign language by 2015 and 2020, respectively.

II. TASKS

1. To prescribe that English and some other foreign languages be the foreign language subject at education institutions of the national education system.

2. To formulate and promulgate a uniform and detailed framework of 6 levels of foreign language proficiency compatible with universal foreign language levels to serve as a basis for elaborating curricula and teaching courses and plans, and elaborating evaluation criteria at each education or training level, ensuring the transferability in foreign language training between education levels.

The framework on foreign language proficiency levels should specify requirements on listening and reading comprehension and speaking and writing skills corresponding to criteria on 6 levels promulgated by the European Associaiion for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA) under which level 1 is the lowest and level 6 is the highest.

3. To formulate and implement a new compulsory foreign language training program at general education levels to reach the following targets: primary school graduates will each EALTA level 1; lower secondary school graduates. EALTA level 2; and upper secondary school graduates, EALTA level 3.

To organize the formulation of 10-year foreign language teaching programs for general education starting from third grade to twelfth grade, to compile textbooks, learning and training materials suitable to each grade or education level. To encourage education institutions to proactively formulate and implement bilingual and intensive foreign language training programs.

In addition to the compulsory foreign language subject (foreign language 1). pupils may choose to study another foreign language (foreign language 2). Foreign language 2 may only be taught to pupils of sixth grade to twelfth grade who will reach EALTA-equivalent level 2 after graduating from upper secondary schools.

To formulate and implement programs to teach and learn in foreign languages a number of subjects such as mathematics and some relevant subjects at upper secondary schools.

4. To implement a new foreign language training program in professional education (professional secondary schools and vocational schools) under which vocational school graduates will reach at least EALTA level 2 and professional secondary school graduates, EALTA level 3.

For professional education, to apply different foreign language training programs suitable to learners at general education levels or different education levels.

5. To implement a new foreign language training program for tertiary education. Foreign language training contents at tertiary education institutions may be applied to two main target groups: those having studied foreign languages under the 7-year foreign language teaching program at general education schools and those having studied under the 10-year teaching program.

For non foreign language-oriented tertiary training institutions, the new training program must ensure that graduates reach at least EALTA level 3.

For foreign language-oriented training institutions, the new training program must ensure that college graduates reach level 4 and university graduates reach level 5 and that learners must study two foreign languages in a training course, one is principal (foreign language 1) and the other is additional (foreign language 2). The training period for additional foreign language must not exceed 1/2 of that for principal foreign language.

To formulate and implement a program to teach in foreign languages in the senior year of tertiary education a number of basic, fundamental, specialized and optional subjects of some key disciplines of study.

6. To renew foreign language training programs for continuing education

Foreign language training programs applicable to continuing education institutions must be diversified in training forms and levels and learners to meet learners' needs and positively address limitations of formal education.

Foreign language training programs at continuing education institutions must meet content and quality requirements. The level of foreign language proficiency of graduates from continuing education institutions must be equivalent to the level of those trained under formal education at corresponding education and training levels.

7. To renew testing and assessment methods in foreign language training; to form banks of questions to serve the testing and assessment of learners' foreign language proficiency; to intensify the application of information technology to foreign language training; to raise the efficiency of examination and accreditation of foreign language training quality.

III. SOLUTIONS

1. To set up the Central Steering Committee, which is composed of representatives of leaderships of concerned ministries and agencies with the Minister of Education and Training being its head, to direct the organization of implementation of this Scheme.

2. To review and formulate master plans and plans on training, retraining and recruitment of teachers and lecturers at training institutions nationwide, ensuring to meet requirements on quantity, structure and levels of training.

- To review and assess the pool of foreign language teachers and lecturers at all education levels, especially at general education institutions, thereby formulating master plans and plans on recruitment, training and retraining of teachers annually, up to 2010 and 2020, according to current regulations and criteria;

- To implement plans on training, retraining and recruitment of foreign language teachers of different education levels in order to supplement teachers and standardize their training levels under regulations. To open courses on, and grant certificates of, training skills to those reaching prescribed foreign language levels and wishing to become foreign language teachers or lecturers:

- To boost the renewal of training and retraining methods. To encourage training of teachers in international courses at home or overseas in which trainees are to be granted international certificates:

- To raise the training capacity and quality of existing foreign language colleges and universities; to expand the establishment of foreign language faculties in a number of eligible universities and colleges, to attach importance to building and developing the network of institutions which train foreign language teachers of college and university levels in the northwestern, northeastern, central highlands and Mekong River delta regions:

- To renew the enrollment of students to be trained into foreign language teachers in the direction of empowering schools in their enrollment of students for training and retraining:

- To strongly encourage and create a favorable mechanism for schools to link or cooperate with one another in training and recruiting qualified overseas Vietnamese or foreigners to teach foreign languages in these schools, especially foreign language-oriented schools or those providing intensive foreign language or bilingual training. To attract the assistance and participation in training of qualified voluntary organizations and teachers of English, French, Russian and Chinese-speaking countries.

3. To study, adjust, supplement and complete necessary and appropriate mechanisms, polices and regulations to meet requirements of foreign language teaching and learning in the national education system.

- To review, adjust and supplement appropriate mechanisms and polices for foreign language teachers and lecturers of all education levels, to facilitate the implementation of programs to raise the quality of teachers and education administrators;

- To formumate and promulgate investment policies and criteria on material foundations for foreign language training institutions;

- To boost the socialization of. and attract the entire society's contributions to, foreign language teaching and learning; to encourage foreign investment in diversifying forms of foreign language training institutions;

- To complete regulations on foreign language teaching and learning, testing and assessment and grant of foreign language diplomas or certificates; to encourage the establishment of quality foreign language training institutions.

4. To increase investment in material foundations and equipment for foreign language teaching and learning

- To formulate lists of essential equipment required for foreign language teaching and learning at all education and training levels; to promulgate standards on language labs; audio visual and multimedia labs;

- To step by step invest in procuring foreign language teaching and learning aids suitable to training institutions according to the Scheme implementation schedule, ensuring that 100% of schools covered by the Scheme have language and audio-visual labs:

- To formulate and implement plans on regular and periodical training in the use of foreign language teaching aids to ensure the practicality and efficiency, to intensify the application of information technology to foreign language teaching and learning at schools.

5. To increase international cooperation in foreign language teaching and learning

- To set aside part of education and training development aid funds for investment in foreign language teaching and learning at schools;

- To encourage education institutions to expand and diversify forms of international cooperation with organizations of countries which have native languages or national languages suitable to foreign language teaching and learning in Vietnam; to implement programs on cooperation and exchange of teachers with foreign countries in order to create favorable conditions for foreign teachers to teach foreign languages in colleges and universities in Vietnam.

To strive for the target that from now to 2015. 100% of foreign language teachers of colleges and universities and a segment of foreign language teachers of general education schools, vocational schools and professional secondary schools will receive short- or long-term professional training overseas.

To formulate and complete policies on international cooperation in foreign language teaching and learning; and policies and mechanisms to attract overseas Vietnamese and foreign experts to participate in foreign language training at home.

6. To build a favorable environment for foreign language teaching and learning, creating a motivation for Vietnamese young generations to learn foreign languages

- To increase propagation in order to raise the awareness of the entire society, especially young generations, about foreign language teaching and learning in the national education system to meet new requirements;

- To build and promote environments which encourage self-learning and improvement of foreign language proficiency and use by all people;

- To build a foreign language-used working environment in agencies and offices: to include the requirement on foreign language proficiency in the recruitment and employment of public employees and civil servants; to organize regular foreign language training for public employees and civil servants, especially young ones;

- To regularly maintain, expand and improve the quality of television and radio broadcasts exclusively reserved for foreign language teaching and learning. To use foreign language teaching channels of foreign radios and televisions. To encourage the publication of newspapers and magazines in foreign languages; and cultural, musical, artistic, communication, promotion and advertising activities using foreign languages;

- To encourage the development of foreign language teachers clubs.

IV. ORGANIZATION OF IMPLEMENTATION

1. Implementation plan

The Scheme shall be implemented in three periods as follows:

a/ The 2008-2010 period: This period will focus on completing conditions for formulating and experimenting new foreign language training programs and making preparations for mass implementation thereof at general education levels, specifically:

-To formulate and detail training programs;

- To work out plans and allocate funds for implementing the Scheme's 2008-2010 targets;

- To complete the formulation of curricula and compilation of textbooks for the 10-year foreign language teaching program of general education and curricula, teaching courses and materials for vocational and professional secondary schools, colleges, universities and continuing education institutions. To simultaneously select and use a number of foreign curricula, textbooks and materials on language training suitable to the targets and requirements of foreign language training in Vietnam;

- To complete the elaboration of curricula and compilation of training and learning materials for foreign language intensive, foreign language-oriented and bilingual training for a number of subjects in general education and a number of subjects and disciplines of colleges and universities;

- To review and assess the situation, and implement plans on recruitment, training and retraining, of foreign language teachers of primary and lower secondary school levels to prepare for the implementation of new foreign language training programs at the primary school level by the 2010-2011 school year and the upper secondary school level by the 2012-2013 school year according to plans;

- To review and assess the situation, and implement plans on recruitment, training and retraining, of foreign language teachers of vocational and professional secondary schools, colleges and universities to prepare for the 2009-2010 school year;

- To supplement teaching aids and equipment, to build foreign language labs, audio-visual and multimedia labs for a number of schools of different education and training levels;

- To complete the formulation and promulgation of incentive policies to attract Vietnamese citizens with a good command of foreign languages and teachers being overseas Vietnamese, native language teachers, foreign language teachers of voluntary organizations of English, French, Russian and Chinese-speaking countries to teach foreign languages at different education levels;

- In 2009, provinces and cities shall complete plans to implement local 10-year foreign language teaching programs in the 2010-2020 period. Especially, to encourage schools in big cities, urban centers, towns and townships and primary schools which have provided two shifts of teaching a day to join these programs from the initial stage. Vocational and professional secondary schools, foreign language-oriented and non-foreign language-oriented colleges and universities shall complete their plans on intensive foreign language teaching and learning for the 2009-2020 period:

- To complete the formulation and promulgation of policies to create working, cultural and communication environments which support frequent and effective use of foreign languages, raising the motivation to study foreign languages among young generations;

- In the 2009-2010 school year, to implement advanced programs on training in English at tertiary education level;

- From 2009, to implement on a trial basis the 10-year foreign language teaching program for general education and intensive foreign language training programs for training institutions.

b/ The 2011-2015 period: This period will focus on the mass implementation of the 10-year foreign language teaching program for general education and intensive foreign language training programs for education and training levels.

- To continue recruiting, training, fostering and improving foreign language proficiency levels for foreign language teachers at different education and training levels;

- To continue building language labs, audio­visual and multimedia labs for schools of different education levels;

- From the 2010-2011 school year, to implement the 10-year foreign language teaching program according to the targets set for general education levels;

- To implement intensive foreign language teaching and learning programs at training institutions with priority given to such disciplines as information technology, finance-banking, tourism and business administration;

- To teach mathematics in foreign languages at around 30% of upper secondary schools in big cities and urban centers including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hai Phong, Hue and Da Nang cities and some other key localities. Each year, to increase the number of schools by around 15-20% and expand the program to 5 provinces and cities and to some other subjects;

- To teach in foreign languages a number of basic, specialized and in-depth subjects in a number of key disciplines in the senior year of tertiary education, starting with around 20% of students of national universities, regional universities and some other key universities. To gradually increase the annual percentage and expand the program to other schools and localities.

c/ The 2016-2020 period: This period will focus on the implementation of the 10-year foreign language teaching program nationwide and the intensive foreign language training program for all vocational and professional secondary schools, colleges and universities.

- To continue recruiting, training, fostering and improving foreign language proficiency levels for foreign language teachers at different education and training levels:

- To continue building language labs, audio­visual and multimedia labs for schools of different education levels:

- To implement the 10-year foreign language teaching program for 100% of third graders nationwide;

- To implement the intensive foreign language training program for all vocational and professional secondary schools, colleges and universities.

2. Funds and capital sources for implementation of the Scheme

- The fund for implementing the scheme is estimated at VND 1.060 billion for the 2008-2010 period, VND 4.378 billion for the 2011-2015 period and VND 4,300 billion for the 2016-2020 period, totaling at VND 9,378 billion.

- State budget funds will be allocated under the national target program and annual expenditure estimates according to the management decentralization under the current State Budget Law;

- Loans, aid and other lawful funding sources.

3. Responsibilities of ministries, branches and agencies

a/ The Ministry of Education and Training in charge of the Scheme shall:

- Assume the prime responsibility for. and coordinate-with concerned ministries, agencies and localities in, translating contents of the Scheme into detailed programs and plans for implementation direction and guidance; annually and periodically examine, supervise, assess and synthesize results of the Scheme implementation nationwide for reporting to the Prime Minister:

- Assume the prime responsibility for. and coordinate with concerned ministries and agencies in. setting up an inter-branch steering committee for the Scheme implementation which is composed of representatives of leaderships of concerned ministries and agencies with the Minister of Education and Training being its head;

- Coordinate with the Ministry of Home Affairs in amending, supplementing and completing regulations on norms of state payrolls of foreign language teachers and lecturers; mechanisms and policies on recruitment and employment of foreign language teachers and management of foreign language training in the national education system;

- Assume the prime responsibility for. and coordinate with the Ministry of Home Affairs in. guiding the regular foreign language retraining for cadres, state employees and civil servants.

b/The Ministry of Labor. War Invalids and Social Affairs shall assume the prime responsibility for. and coordinate with the Ministry of Education and Training and concerned agencies in, directing, guiding and organizing the implementation of the Scheme in vocational training suitable to the overall implementation schedule and plan guided by the Ministry of Education and Training.

c/ The Ministry of Planning and Investment shall:

- Assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Education and Training in. synthesizing annual and periodical plans on implementation of and investment in the Scheme for inclusion into the national socio-economic development plan, and submitting them to the Prime Minister according to regulations;

- Coordinate with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs in synthesizing and elaborating state budget-funded investment plans for the Scheme implementation.

d/ The Ministry of Finance shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Education and Training and concerned ministries and agencies in, allocating, and guiding, examining and supervising the spending of, funds for the Scheme implementation according to the current State Budget Law.

e/ The Ministry of Home Affairs shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Education and Training in, studying, guiding, promulgating or submitting to competent authorities for promulgation documents amending and supplementing regulations on appropriate mechanisms and policies on recruitment and use of norms of foreign language teacher and lecturer state payrolls in the national education system.

f/ The Ministry of Information and Communication shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Education andTraining in. directing mass media agencies in increasing propagation and raising social awareness about renewal programs on foreign language education and training in the national education system to meet new requirements; creating a cultural environment which facilitates foreign language teaching and learning.

g/ People's Committees of provinces and centrally run cities shall:

- Direct the education and training sector and local functional agencies in formulating, and organizing the implementation of, programs and plans to implement the Scheme in their localities; examine, supervise, assess and synthesize results of the Scheme implementation in their localities and periodically report them to the Central Steering Committee and the Ministry of Education and Training;

- Coordinate with the Ministry of Education and Training, other ministries and central agencies in directing the Scheme implementa­tion in their localities in a coordinated and uniform manner in conformity with the overall national plan and requirements;

h/ Education institutions shall:

- Fully understand and organize the serious and effective implementation of foreign language training-related activities in their institutions to meet the Scheme's requirements on guidelines, targets and tasks;

- Proactively perform the assigned tasks under the Scheme within their powers.

Article 2.- This Decision takes effect on the date of its signing.

Article 3.- Ministers, heads of ministerial-level agencies, heads of government-attached agencies and presidents of People's Committees of provinces and centrally run cities shall implement this Decision.

 

 

FOR THE PRIME MINISTER
 DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER


Nguyen Thien Nhan