English teaching and learning for regional officers discussed
|Lieutenant-General Nguyen Van Dong, Head of the Personnel Department in a group photo with the participants to the conference.
PANO – The Vietnam People’s Army, in association with the Australian Defence Force, held the bi-annual Military Regional English Language Schools (RELS) Conference in Hanoi on May 29th.
Present at the ceremony were Lieutenant-General Nguyen Van Dong, Head of the Personnel Department (the General Department of Politics), and senior military and education officers from Vietnam, Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, Timor l’Este and Tonga.
Under the title “Developing, Implementing and Maintaining Professional Development Pathways for Teachers and Speakers of English as a Second Language”, the event aimed to focus on fostering opportunities for collaborative teacher training and English language improvement opportunities through the Australian Defence Cooperation Program (DCP) and individual country efforts.
Addressing the meeting, Lieutenant-General Nguyen Van Dong affirmed that RELS is a good initiative to connect regional defence forces, and an important forum for English language teachers to exchange their knowledge and experiences in organizing, teaching and practicing English. Besides, he also expressed his sincerely thanks to the effective assistance of Australian Department of Defence to Vietnam throughout the DCP over the past years.
According to WGCDR Sean Unwin, Commanding Officer of the Australian Defence International Training Centre (DITC), English plays an important role in every army. Troops from different armies can contact each other directly and conveniently, especially in the urgent situations. In spite of financial difficulties in upcoming years, the Australian Defence Ministry and the DITC will continue to give priority to regional officers by presenting them many appropriate training courses to improve their English skills.
In Vietnam, all English teachers in army universities graduated and gained bachelor and master degree holders, more than 65% participate in training program overseas and about 70% are at developing stage, practicing qualified teachers with more than 2 years teaching experience. As a result, cadets are able to absorb a variety of English knowledge and after graduating, they can meet all demands’ assigned tasks, said Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Pham Hoang Uyen, Head of the English Department of the Military Technical University.
The DCP between Vietnam and Australia started in 2000, one year after the official establishment of two sides’ defence relationship, with the focus on English language training for the Vietnamese People’s Army (VPA) officers in Vietnam and training in Australia. Australia has become one of the largest providers of training for the VPA with the number of alumni of more than 1,000 officers. Every year, more than a hundred VPA members train in the two countries.