Teaching general English in the development of artificial intelligence

Abstract: English is presently used as a global language or working language; thus, ELT,

particularly general English in institutions, is a chained link that can not be isolated from

globalization and internationalization. In this article, some issue will be deeply discussed

as follows: the status of English users has stimulated ELT in such a way of serving the

global economy; To catch up with the pace of integration and globalization, ELT in

institutions has definitely faced a variety of opportunities and multiple challenges; The

emmergence of ICT has positively affected and partly shaped the trend in ELT in the

current context.

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d Vietnam, accounted for 1 billion 
people. Due to the impact of population growth and immigation crisis, the number of 
English speakers will chronologically change. 
Under the shift of global context, ELT has also emerged many challenges and 
opportunities for the third countries. Consequently, the requirement of English proficiency 
urged many countries to abruptly apply English as a medium of instruction at elementary 
level. To illustrate, let’s see these examples. In South Korea, English is taught from primary 
level in 1982 [6]. Indonesia started in 1994 and Taiwan in 2002 [15]. In Vietnam, from 
2010-2011, English was partly applied to the pilot curriculum from grade 3 in HCM city 
and Hanoi [8]. 
Apart from population growth and immigration crisis, ELT at primary level also 
contributes to a worldwide shift in proportion of English speakers and their English 
proficiency. Those who use English as a second language tend to use it as a native one and 
in the same way, people speaking English as a foreign language in non-English speaking 
countries tend to upgrade their English proficiency to status of second language speakers. 
This involves in a global shift of the speakers’ language competence from a lower level to 
another higher level. 
 Before the issue of Foreign Language Competency Framework for Vietnam, ELT 
faced a variety of shortcomings and constraints affecting the quality of training. One of the 
remarkable causes was that learners’ proficiency was not identifed and allocated for each 
level from bachelor to doctorate [4]. 
At present, most universities has currently implemented the National Foreign 
Language 2020 Project and the goal of this project is to renovate language teaching and 
learning in order to create a society with competent language users for communication, 
study and work in integrated environment. Up to now, there has not been any studies on 
the results of ELT at tertiary level under the 2020 Project. 
In regard to the reality of ESP teaching, it has produced many difficulties and 
challenges related to learners, teachers, methodology, materials, testing and assessment. 
The movement of teaching and learning ESP initiated inVietnam from the 1980s, but most 
universities partly succeeded in teaching English for professional purposes like English for 
Tourism, Commerce, Bussiness, Reception and so on [4]. Undoubtedly, a controversial 
issue that has no answer is "Who teaches ESP?”. Regardless of that controversy, ESP has 
been maintained and taught under three different perspectives. 
First, traditional view saying that studies of languages are usually classified as 
humanities. For that reason, language teachers often lack specialized knowledge and are 
not qualified to solve science subjects. Moreover, subject specialist who has adequate 
mastery of English is more adventageous than ELT teacher. 
The second view is that in ESP course, it is the language that must be taught and not 
the subject matter. Language teaching itself is a kind of science and has its own knowledge 
and principles such as teaching method, knowledge of linguistics, language acquisition 
theory, phonetics, syntax etc. Definitely, ELT teacher is more qualified to be an ESP 
The third perspective is that ESP teaching must involve a close liaison between ELT 
teacher and subject specialist. 
However, according to English Proficiency Index 2015 reported by Institution of 
International Language, Vietnam ranked 31 out of 72 countries. English proficiency score 
of Vietnam is 54.06 and the highest one belongs to Sweden (70.94). In Asia, Vietnam 
ranked 7th behind Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Korea and Hong Kong. 
Rank Country Score 
1 Singapore 63,52 
2 Malaysia 60,70 
3 Philippines 60,33 
4 India 57,30 
5 Korea 54,87 
6 Hong Kong 54,29 
7 Vietnam 54,06 
8 Indonesia 52,94 
9 Taiwan 52, 82 
10 Japan 51,62 
 ( EF – EPI. 2015) [www.ef.com.vn/epi/] 
If making a comparision between the nationwide regions, English proficiency in the 
Southeast region is (56.08), the Red River Delta (53.56) and the South-central provinces 
(48.97). Although English proficiency of Vietnam belongs to moderate ranking group, but 
in South Central Provinces, that score (48.97) is among the low rangking ones. 
The field of language education is rapidly changing and traditional notions of 
education are giving away to more innovative ways of thinking about how we learn, teach 
and acquire languages. 
If English as a language major is for those who deeply study in the field of language, 
General English, English for Specific Purposes and English as a medium instuction have 
more extensive and diverse stakeholders in Economics, Engineering, Natural Sciences and 
Social Sciences. The National Foreign Language Project targets a remarkable advance in 
the improvement of foreign language proficiency for the Vietnamese during the period 
from now to 2020. 
For tertiary education, graduates from university should reach level 3 (B1 or B2). 
To achieve this goal, both teachers and learners need to distinguish between knowledge 
and skills in language acquisition. Nowadays, development of information technology has 
great influence on ELT because learners are now tech-savvy students. Once resources and 
information are at finger tips, to master a language will not be a hard job for anyone as it 
was. Although the CLT method and integrated skills have been applied in language 
teaching, the allocation for language skills in ELT process has not taken into account in. 
According Renukadevi [12], in process of language acquisition, learner can acquire 45% 
from listening activities, 30% from speaking, 15% from reading and 10% from writing. 
Listening and reading comprehension, thus, outweight other skills, which means the input 
(receptive skills) is more important and indispensable than the output (productive skills) in 
language acquisition. Renukadevi [12] states that listening comprehension is the "macro" 
skill in learning a language. Dunkel (1991), Krashen (1995) and Rost (1993) regarded 
listening comprehension skill as a cornerstone to acquiring a second language [9]. Many 
studies have also proved that adults use 40-50% of time for communication, but to 
recognize the role of listening in language learning has been only found recently [11]. 
There is no doubt that to speed up foreign language acquisition process, listening and 
speaking must be paid more concern than any other skills and ICT (Information and 
Comunication Technology) is the unique tool for implementation. We are living in digital 
era with the rapid development of AI (Artificial intellgence), the application of ICT in 
leaning and teaching language at tertiary level is indispensible; therefore, E-learning and 
social media are the short–term solution at present. 
Globalization and integration process have comprehensively taken place and 
directly impacted many fields of social life in all countries in the world. On the one hand, 
English is the main communicative medium enhancing and serving the globalization. On 
the other hand, the satus of English speakers as global citizens provides great opportunity 
and challenge as well to the field of English teaching. The emergence of ICT also 
contributes to new possibilities and opens a brilliant prospective in learning and teaching 
language. However, the existing limitations and challenges in ELT must be critically 
revaluated in order to make the right decisions, holding the pace with other countries in the 
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