Vietnamese learning English

A VN friend is looking for a good English school.

She is well-paid and professional, and doesn't want to be bothered with a dodgy school with inexperienced teachers. She is around 5 on a real IELTS test now, with writing worse than speaking.

Her aim is high enough certification on IELTS or the like for study and work overseas.

She says she finds what she calls the "old way" of teaching doesn't work very well. I am not sure exactly what that means, but I think she must be striving for a latest method that isn't just vocab or grammar or whatever the "old" way is.

There are some like at the British Council or Wall Street, but they are very expensive.

Any ideas, especially from VN people who have learnt English, on the best value towards the top end? Does one have to pay the high price, or is there better value slightly down the prestige level?


I can teach English at home if you agree

I have messaged you

Most people with English as their first language can't write proper grammar including myself.

Vietnam put too much emphasis on grammar. I get lots of students that can't speak or understand English but can read and write well. Than few years later they forget everything.

So why does she want to further her English? I think speaking English is more important unless she's in a field of work that requires proper written English.

Yep, too much emphasis on grammar, not enough emphasis on PRONUNCIATION. They have Vietnamese "English" teachers in their regular schools who cannot correctly pronounce the words they are trying to teach.

I say, "you could know all the English grammar there is to know, but if no one can understand the words you speak, it's all for nought."



She wants to further English for the opportunities to study and work OS. She is a successful professional and wants to move on. Plus she likes to do something well if she is doing it at all.

She speaks better than reads, because she has done more speaking. Reading and writing means more discipline and it is easier to be slack when you are mostly reading and chatting/posting online where bad grammar seems obligatory!

You are right about grammar, which isn't given much value now. But I don't think it should be ignored, because it is basic to language. When I went to school, we didn't learn "grammar", as such, like the names for what we were doing, but learnt how to do it. My grammar is good as a result, plus I am not lazy!

Frankly, it is a bit of a problem for any  teacher not to be good at some element of what they are teaching, although I fully appreciate the point about teachers banging on about grammar too much.

That is especially if the pupil just wants to be able to speak English, rather than do a higher degree overseas say.


It is hard to get pronunciation right without time. It is a problem for VN English teachers if they don't get the words right, of course, although I do know many fluent English speakers who have a nice neutral accent. 

Ask even good Vietnamese English speakers to say "thesis"! The "th" and "s" sounds as said in English are not in VN, so it is difficult.

Or as an English speaker try learning a Vietnamese word that has sounds not found in English, even simple words like the name Như and it is very difficult to get right, because we don't have the "nh" or the "ư" as such.

And of course there is the range of accents and pronunciations in English speakers. Tom-a-toe and tom-ar-toe, cain-t and carn-t etc. And there is variation in grammar too, like the American "did you eat yet?" That is just wrong to me!

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