Common Mistakes of Vietnamese Learners of English
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Learning another language is never easy. English is also known to be quite tricky because it is actually a mix of many different languages. Our language learners are bound to have problems learning English. A lot of this has to do with language transfer, when the differences between the learner’s first language and English cause confusion.
When a language is similar to English, this can be quite helpful to the learner, but when the two languages are very different, this can cause problems.
As you can imagine, Vietnamese and English are like chalk and cheese. There are very few similarities between the two languages, which means that Vietnamese learners of English can have a tough time learning English.
Here are a few difficulties Vietnamese learners of English can have when learning English.
There are a few grammatical issues which can cause problems for Vietnamese learners.
The first relates to the verb to be. The Vietnamese equivalent of the verb to be is là, but là is not used in the same way as to be. In English we use to be to link the subject and a predicative adjective – for example He is hungry. In Vietnamese, this same statement would be Nó đói which directly translates to He hungry. As a result, Vietnamese learners of English will often omit the verb to be.
Articles are another source of confusion. In Vietnamese there are no articles, whereas in English we have definite and indefinite articles. Consequently, Vietnamese learners tend to make mistakes when using articles in English. For example, I want to be teacher, She went to the work this morning.
In terms of tenses, Vietnamese utilises a much simpler method of denoting time than English does. Time is expressed by a particle in front of the main verb. Not surprisingly, Vietnamese learners can find tenses other than the simple tenses in English quite confusing and may avoid using them altogether.
If you’ve ever heard Vietnamese being spoken, you’ll know that it sounds nothing like English. It’s no surprise then that there are loads of problems Vietnamese speakers have with English pronunciation.
Vietnamese learners have problems pronouncing a final consonant sound, such as /z/, /s/, /t/, /v/, /ks/, /ʤ/ – for example, mice, right, manage. Instead, they leave them out. These same sounds cause difficulties when they are in the middle of words too – for example, never, president.
Vietnamese does not have the equivalent sounds for /l/ and /r/. As a result, they are commonly mistaken for /n/ and /z/ respectively.
Vietnamese speakers also find the /ð/ sound difficult to pronounce – as in weather, rather – and so they pronounce it as a /d/ or /z/ sound. Similarly, the /Ɵ/ sound – as in both – is replaced by /t/.
Finally, Vietnamese students can mispronounce long vowel sounds as short vowel sounds as there are no long vowel sounds in Vietnamese. Needless to say this can cause confusion when talking about sheets or beaches!
What can we do to help our Vietnamese learners?
A massive underlying problem is that of confidence and practice. Vietnamese learners are taught English from a young age at school so what you will find with Vietnamese students is that they are aware of the rules governing English and they will do well with isolated grammar exercises. However, when it comes to fluent communication, be it written or spoken, the students are not able to put these rules into practice.
This can stem from an individual’s own shyness, or from a general fear of making mistakes and making a fool of themselves. Losing face and saving face are widespread phenomena throughout Asia. Making mistakes or being corrected when making a mistake will cause a learner to lose face, so it stands to reason that they are reluctant to take chances when speaking in English in the classroom.
What we can do, then, is incorporate relevant pronunciation activities into our lessons in a way which makes them fun and enjoyable. If they are seen as games rather than learning activities our learners are more likely to participate fully and, ultimately, practice English pronunciation.
At the same time, rather than draw attention to an individual learner’s pronunciation difficulties, treat pronunciation as a class issue and work on it together, instead of making individual students the centre of attention.
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- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to Everything TEFL Ltd collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think Everything TEFL Ltd has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the Everything TEFL Ltd processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.