The purpose of this brief study is to bring the situation of learning English at Nguyen Trung Truc high school into a closer view in order to determine whether the students of this school are interested in learning communication skills or not. The results of a survey of 98 12th grade students of Nguyen Trung Truc high school indicate that though the students have very positive thoughts of English studies for communication, they are too inactive to put their mind into action. Besides, the study also reveals the teaching method of this school along with the national grammar-oriented textbook does not emphasize the necessity of learning English for communication to the students here.
As Vietnam has joined WTO, there will be many opportunities for our country to open doors, integrate and participate further in international co-operation activities. It will also help us approach and benefit from advanced scientific-technological achievements and management experiences from other more developed economies. Vietnam is playing a more important role in ASEAN as well as in the WTO. We need to try our best to bring as many improvements to our country as possible, especially in some main areas such as Industry, Commerce, Service, Education, etc. Besides, to keep up with the world and its progress, everybody should find some things in common so that they can exchange knowledge and learn from each other easily. One of those things is language.
Nowadays, it is acknowledged that English is the most common language in the world. This international language is used by many countries as a general medium to communicate in most economic and cultural areas. However, to some developing countries like Vietnam, English is still one of the most concerned problems in their Educational program. Being the generation that will take over and develop the country, Vietnamese students are still encountering many difficulties in speaking and listening to English. This somehow prevents them from exchanging and learning human knowledge to contribute to Vietnam’s growth. While students from many other countries are very confident in their ability to communicate with English, our students are still getting stuck though they have been learning English for years at secondary and high school. In spite of their good conditions of studies, even students in big cities like Hochiminh city are unintelligibly scared of English communication.
From the general view of the current situation, this research is done into a particular high school named Nguyen Trung Truc semi-public high school with a hope to come closer to the reality of English studies of its students. At present, there remain some questions about the problem learning English that we want to aim at Nguyen Trung Truc high school, some of which are:
1. Are the students of this school concerned about learning speaking and listening skill for communication?
2. What do the students expect from their teachers to help them improve their English?
3. Are they ready for new changes in the way of learning English at their high school in particular?
Learning English at Hochiminh city high schools has been – and continues to be – the subject of study by educators and the government. By understanding learners’ attitude, teaching methods and the curriculum, they hope to provide the means for students and educators to address problem in helpful ways. High school students are facing to the problem that they cannot good at using English. Most students, regardless of which school they study at, admit that they can do grammar exercises very well but cannot apply grammar usage when they speak or converse with foreigners. Consequently, poor listening and speaking skills are common among students. According to Young (1999):
With reading and writing, students have time to stop and consider what they are trying to write or read; however, with listening,