Illustration by Trịnh Lập by Peter Cowan If English were their first language, Barcelona fans would no doubt sing “There’s only one Lionel Messi!” each and every week at Camp Nou. Although in the little Argentinean’s case, the often sarcastic chant is true, as there’s not another footballer like him on the planet. That’s why when I see Nguyễn Công Phượng being referred to as the ‘Vietnamese Messi’ I have a chuckle, and then start to feel a bit sorry for the lad. Talk about high expectations, which bring with them a tonne of pressure for the Nghệ An Province-born forward. The hype and media attention around Công Phượng have been immense ever since he burst into Vietnamese public consciousness about five years ago. He was by far the top Vietnamese social media influencer in June according to analytics website Buzzmetrics and has more … [Read more...] about Give Công Phượng room to breathe
Why english should not be the official language
Văn Đình Hồng Vũ was honoured as one of 10 outstanding young Vietnamese people in 2018 for her successful start-up, English Learning Speech Assistant (ELSA), which has attracted more than four million users from more than 100 countries. Việt Nam News speaks with Vũ about ELSA. Inner Sanctum: Could you tell us why you set up ELSA? I co-founded ELSA in 2015 with my CTO – Dr Xavier Anguera, whose background is in speech recognition and AI technologies. The stories between me and ELSA come from my personal experience in trying to learn English. I moved to the US for my MBA and Master’s in Education at Stanford. My first year at Stanford was very challenging because of my inability to speak English fluently, even though I was among the top students in English when I studied in Việt Nam. A lot of the time, people misunderstood me. I lost confidence and felt quite embarrassed. When I … [Read more...] about ELSA founder shares her success story
The Hanoitimes - “I am one of the lucky ones but every day I wake up and wonder if my luck will run out. I have beautiful and normal children and now grandchildren but several of my friends in Vietnam have not been so lucky”. David Thomas, Director of Indochina Arts Partnership said: “I am one of the lucky ones but every day I wake up and wonder if my luck will run out. I have beautiful and normal children and now grandchildren but several of my friends in Vietnam have not been so lucky”. This is maybe the reason why he has spent a large of his time engaging to Viet Nam. Change outdated mind about Uncle Ho When Ho Chi Minh died on September 2, 1969, I was an American soldier stationed in Pleiku, South Viet Nam. At that time I only knew one fact about him, that he was the leader of the people we were fighting against. Therefore, we all naturally celebrated his death. That was the last time I thought seriously about him until 1987, when I returned to Vietnam for … [Read more...] about David Thomas: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam in my life, my career
Viet Nam News by Mai Hiên Kindergarten teacher Nguyễn Thị Hằng is starting the new year with a lot on her mind. Although working at a public school in Hà Nội’s Hà Đông District, Hằng has learned she has to meet a new foreign language proficiency level. She has been told she must reached level two out of six, to be able to understand sentences and structures. These are new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education and Training. Although she worked at the kindergarten for the past 10 years, she never needed to use English and her language skills had gotten worse over time, Hằng said. “Every day, kindergarten teachers contact with children who are learning to speak. The main duty is to take care of them, use a variety of activities and instructional methods to motivate children’s abilities. So I don’t understand why the Ministry of Education and Training set English language requirements for … [Read more...] about Time for teachers to go back to school
At the Youth Entrepreneurship Forum 2018 last month, Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Manh Hung suggested that the Prime Minister should soon recognize English as the second official language of Vietnam to help startups reach out to the world. The proposal stirred a heated discussion on social media and prompted numerous professionals to pitch in with their views and opinions. While some welcomed the idea and supported widespread use of the language in Vietnam, others were wary of the cultural, legal and other implications of formalizing it as an official language. Everyone agreed that it was good to improve English use and fluency in the country, so the debate boiled down to whether declaring and using it as an official language was a feasible, practical option for Vietnam. Professor Chung Hoang Chuong, who has juggled teaching at the University of California and doing research in Vietnam, was optimistic about Vietnam having two official languages. Chuong, currently a … [Read more...] about English as an official language in Vietnam: would it work?