The Department of Education and Training together with IIG Vietnam held the “TOEFL Primary teacher workshop” on 27th August 2014 in Hanoi, with the participation of nearly 500 guests, including primary school English language officers from Departments and Divisions of Education and Training, school boards’ representatives, and primary school English teachers in Hanoi as well as other cities/provinces in the Northern region. The purpose of this specialized workshop is to inform and equip the officers and teachers with updated knowledge, teaching methods, and recommendations of relevant materials to support students in getting ready for the TOEFL Primary test before the new school year.
TOEFL Primary tests are the newest addition to the “TOEFL Family of Assessments”, researched and developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS). This test was specifically designed for primary school students to evaluate their English proficiency and develop their thinking skill from a young age. Together with the TOEFL Junior tests for secondary school students, TOEFL iBT for high school students planning to study abroad, and TOEFL ITP for postgraduate students, TOEFL Primary completes the English proficiency evaluation process from the beginning to the advanced levels, with consistent and thorough evaluation criteria. TOEFL Primary tests’ scores are mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), and the TOEFL Primary score reports are valid worldwide.
Teachers registering to receive the workshop’s handouts
An overview of the workshop’s venue
The renovation of the quality of examinations in English has long been set by the government as an urgent matter. To improve quality and enhance effectiveness, English teaching and learning need to be evaluated systematically, usually and consistently by a credible testing system throughout the grade levels and school levels. This will truly reflect the students’ progress through time, the quality of the curriculums and programs. Especially, for high school students, using a proficiency testing system to test students annually is an essential solution for management and quality enhancement. From this testing system, students can see the changes they have made for each year, while schools and teachers can consider suitable adjustments in their methods and programs. For example, when primary schools use the TOEFL Primary test as a tool to evaluate their students’ English proficiency, a student who finished grade 2 achieved 2 stars, then 4 stars after grade 3. This results show that the student has made a lot of progress, and the schools’ methods and teaching quality are appropriate. Similarly, using the rest of the tests in the TOEFL Family of Assessments like TOEFL Junior and TOEFL iBT for high school levels will provide a comprehensive, consistent and continuous view on the individuals’ progresses and the effectiveness of the program. Until now, in the world and in Vietnam, the TOEFL test system is the only international English testing system that measures English proficiency consistently from primary school, secondary school, until high school graduation and University; in which, the TOEFL Primary tests are for measuring primary school students’ English proficiency.
Mr. Pham Ngoc Dinh – Director, Primary Education Division, Ministry of Education and Training – giving the welcoming speech
Mr. Pham Xuan Tien – Deputy Director, Hanoi Department of Education and Training – giving the opening speech
Dr. Feng Yu – Product Executive Director – ETS Global – giving a speech
The advantages mentioned above of the TOEFL Primary tests are the reason it was welcome by many parents, teachers, schools and education management authorities, especially the Departments of Education and Training of big cities/provinces, such as HCMC, Hanoi, Da Nang, Hue, Dong Nai and Vinh Long. On 22/7/2014, HCMC Department of Education and Training together with IIG Vietnam held the “Primary school English teacher workshop” to introduce the sufficient and updated information about the TOEFL Primary test, as well as the appropriate materials and curriculums for nearly 1,200 primary school English language officers and English teachers in the city. The “TOEFL Primary teacher workshop” held by IIG Vietnam and Hanoi Department of Education and Training was a similar specialized event. The purpose of this workshop was to equip the English language officers and English teachers in the Northern region with the comprehensive and updated knowledge about a new and modern evaluation standard. This will be a strong base for the English language officers and English teachers to give suitable consultancies for schools, parents and students about selecting an appropriate evaluation standard for their students.
Mr. Doan Hong Nam – President, IIG Vietnam – sharing the experience of launching the TOEFL Primary tests in Vietnam
During the workshop, Mr. Nguyen Phuong Suu – Vice President, Education Affairs, IIG Vietnam – provided the audience with a full picture of the TOEFL Primary tests (how to evaluate primary school students’ English proficiency, what do the TOEFL Primary tests measure and how, and primary school students’ English proficiency review from the TOEFL Primary Challenge). Moreover, to make it easier for the teachers to help students preparing for the TOEFL Primary tests, Ms. Tu Thi Minh Thuy – Education Expert, IIG Vietnam – delivered a presentation called “Introducing the TOEFL Primary teaching guide”, in which she proposed some recommendations and instructions to use the guide. This includes Lexile – a useful program to help TOEFL Junior test takers improving their reading skills. Lexile provides various recommendations about reading materials such as books, newspapers and websites which are appropriate for the learners’ English level, based on their TOEFL Primary scores. Teachers and parents can rely on Lexile and TOEFL Primary scores of their students and children to guide and supervise their learning progress.
Mr. Nguyen Phuong Suu, Mr. Pham Xuan Tien and Mr. Doan Hong Nam answering the questions in the Q&A session
During the Q&A session, the participated teachers and officers asked many questions to get to know the TOEFL Primary test and the attached teaching resources better, as well as to prepare for the English teaching program in the new school year. Hanoi Department of Education and Training’s officers together with IIG Vietnam’s representative answered all the questions of the teachers carefully. As the country representative of ETS and the only organization to provide the TOEFL Primary test in Vietnam, IIG Vietnam committed to fully support Hanoi Department of Education and Training and primary school English teachers, with the hope that the primary school students in the city will have the best knowledge and preparation before taking the TOEFL Primary test to gain the best results.
The workshop’s venue
About the popularity of the TOEFL Primary in Vietnam:
– On 17/2/2014, HCMC Department of Education and Training issued the official letter number 384/GDDT-VP, which stated that TOEFL Junior was officially used in the English teaching and learning assessment system of the city. Particularly, for Advanced English classes, 2nd graders need to achieve at least 2 stars in TOEFL Primary step 1 (close to the A1 level in the Ministry of Education and Training’s framework for English proficiency), 3rd graders need to achieve 3 stars in TOEFL Primary step 1 (similar to the A1 level), 4th graders need to achieve 2 ribbons in TOEFL Primary step 2 or 4 stars in TOEFL Primary step 1 (close to A2 level), 5th graders need to achieve 3 stars in TOEFL Primary step 2 (similar to A2 level); for the Foreign Language 2020 Scheme’s English classes and optional English classes, after graduating from primary schools, students need to achieve at least 3 stars in TOEFL Primary step 1. If the students reached the assigned level for each grade, they can be transferred to Advanced English classes;
– Besides HCMC Department of Education and Training, the Departments of Education and Training of Dong Nai and Vinh Long also agreed to use the TOEFL Primary tests in their programs to evaluate primary school students’ English proficiency.
– The TOEFL Primary Challenge 2014 held for the first time in Vietnam attracted the participation of 18,700 students from 690 primary schools nationwide, thanks to the collaboration of 11 local Departments of Education and Training (HCMC, Ba Ria Vung Tau, Tay Ninh, Vinh Long, Tien Giang, Long An, Da Nang, Thua Thien Hue, Dong Thap, Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh);
– In Hanoi, many primary schools actively chose and used the TOEFL Primary tests to measure their students’ English proficiency, such as Hanoi Academy, Ban Mai primary school, The Olympia Schools, Wellspring International School and Bill Gates School…