In a global economy, English proficiency is a basic skill that an individual needs to have to at least have a chance for survival in the environment. Sounds scary? That’s reality. In Vietnam, a huge proportion of large firms in the market belong to MNCs where English is the primary language because it is the universal business language. English is also the language that facilitates economic cooperation and development since most investors are from capitalist countries such as Singapore, which requires English ability.
Non-English Companies such as Airbus, Nokia, Samsung and Rakuten mandating English as their official corporate language simply shows how important English is. Research shows that interviews in MNCs are all carried out in English and regardless of how excellent the grades of the candidate is, if he or she isn’t proficient in English, getting the job is almost impossible. Hence, one can imagine how tough it is to work or even secure a job in MNCs, if he or she is not proficient in the English language.
With the Abstract Foreign direct investment (FDI) policies, it is no surprise that the Vietnamese government has stepped up efforts to boost the English proficiency among its people. 12 years ago, the government threw in US$446 million to introduce Project 2020, with the aim to ensure all students are proficient in a foreign language, mainly English. More than 80,000 teachers in state elementary and secondary schools are also made to pass an intermediate-level proficiency exam to ensure they are substantially qualified to teach English.
Although the project has fallen short of its goals, it provided lots of opportunities for students to learn English and the importance of the language has definitely struck the hearts of many young students.
Finally, the future of Vietnam does look bright, but more needs to be done with the current generation of graduates or graduating students to address the gap in English proficiency.