Holding an International conference on teaching and learning foreign languages

As part of the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the Faculty of English, the International Conference on “Teaching and learning foreign languages associated with subject-matter content in the context of international integration: Theory and practice.” attracted nearly 400 participants. After a busy working day, the conference was officially closed with positive feedback on the organization and quality of the report.

On November 17th, 2018, ULIS-VNU in collaboration with National Foreign Languages Project organized the International Conference “Teaching and learning foreign languages associated with subject-matter content in the context of international integration: Theory and practice.”

The conference was attended by Assoc. Prof. Nguyen To Chung – Deputy Director of the Management Board of the National Foreign Language Project; Assoc. Dr. Lam Quang Dong – Vice President of ULIS’s; Professor. Nguyen Hoa – ULIS’s former President; Mr. Le Thuy Duong – Representative of the Embassy of the United States; Assoc. Prof. Phan Van Hoa – Former President of Foreign Language University – University of Da Nang; representatives of the units of the university and a large number of experts, cadres, lecturers, graduate students, PhD students in and outside ULIS.

Prior to the conference, the Organizing Committee received 98 articles from scholars from many international and domestic universities. The review committee worked actively and selected 5 plenary session reports and 42 reports in 7 parallel sessions to present at the workshop.

What are the aims of the conference?

Under the topic “Teaching and learning foreign languages associated with subject-matter content in the context of international integration: Theory and practice.”, the conference is an opportunity for delegates to present and discuss updated knowledge on theories of teaching and learning foreign languages in line with specializations on the basis of domestic and international practice; learn how to practice foreign languages associated with specialization to apply in Vietnam selectively, in accordance with the situation in Vietnam.

Delivering his remark, Vice President Lam Quang Dong sent greetings to the participants. The Vice-President said that in recent years, in addition to ‘foreign languages for specific purposes’ or ‘foreign Languages for Non-language majors’, there had been new trends in teaching in line with subject-matter content such as CBI (content-based instruction), CLIL (content and language integrated learning), or EMI (English as a medium of instruction – using English as a teaching / learning medium).

Deputy Director of the Management Board of the National Foreign Language Project Nguyen To Chung highly appreciated the great contributions of the ULIS to the foreign language research and teaching community, especially in English. He hoped this would be an opportunity for lecturers, managers, researchers … to exchange, share, learn, improve their knowledge of theory, etc.

At the conference, there were 5 papers presented by international delegates, including: Practical teaching in English (Dawn Bikowski – Ohio State University, USA) ), Specific English needs from Australian and Vietnamese perspectives (David Andrew Bright, Monash University, Australia); What comes from the urban nurse employment survey – the main tasks of the language (Okuda Naoki – Japan); Language programs: promising models in North America (Sandra Liliana Pucci – University of Wisconsin, USA); Teaching Chinese Online and Interpersonal Communication (Chin-Chin Tseng – National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan).

Some topics were discussed at the Sub-committee reports such as English for professionals, English for occupational needs, English language teaching methods, development and evaluation of programs and materials, linguistics, culture and international studies, specialized foreign languages and teaching methods.

A letter written to ULIS’s President Do Tuan Minh by Dr Raqib Chowdhury from the Faculty of Education, Monash University

Dear Professor Do Tuan Minh,

I hope this finds you well. Now that I am back to Monash after three weeks in Vietnam, I write to express my sincere gratitude to you all at ULIS. It was a terrific experience participating at the 2018 International Graduate Research Symposium at VNU ULIS and engaging with scholars from ULIS and other parts of Vietnam last month. It was of course also a unique experience for me to be in Hanoi for the first time and being immersed in a rich cultural experience.

I am appreciative for being invited as a keynote speaker at the IGRS and it was also my pleasure running two seminars for ULIS staff and students. I also appreciate the extraordinary length the Committee members had gone to make sure my stay in Hanoi was comfortable and productive. Overall, the one-day event was very well organised, and the smooth running of it belied the massive hard work done by all the Committee members behind-the-scenes for weeks and months preceding the event.

I had the opportunity of chairing 10 presentations at the IGRS and I was highly impressed by the quality of the research studies showcased at the symposium, including those by young graduate students and lecturers relatively new to research. The rigour of these studies was of very high quality and the way the presenters handled questions from the floor showed how deeply involved they were in conducting them. No doubt, this is evidence of the high quality of teaching and supervision at ULIS.

I am grateful for the generosity and care shown by the Committee members. The young members of the Committee were extremely energetic and passionate in helping and guiding me, in making my experience a memorable one. The senior colleagues and leaders of the Committee on the other hand were all highly knowledgeable yet down-to-earth humble scholars; generous and gracious in their approach; respectable and respectful, equally approachable to colleagues and students who all adored them so much. Their good sense of humour and passion in participating in the Conference gave me all the energy I needed.

I would like to thank, in particular, Dr Huynh Anh Tuan, Dr Trinh Hong Nam, Professor Nguyen Hoa, Dr Hai Ha Vu, Prof. Dr. Lâm Quang Đông, Dr Hoang Do Minh and Ms Ai Anh. I am also very thankful to my Conference Secretary Ms Le Minh Phuong from Vietnam Maritime University, who is currently a doctoral candidate at ULIS under Dr Huynh Anh Tuan’s supervision.

I have a soft corner for ULIS in my heart now, and I look forward to returning again in the near future. Thank you once again for such a wonderful experience. My best wishes to all ULIS colleagues and students.

Sincerely,

Raqib

Some photos of the conference: