The generation raised in the 1980s and earlier may perceive English as nothing more than a foreign language. The experience of learning a foreign language used to be exactly like that. Today, English has evolved beyond a foreign language, and it is now seen as a tool to develop essential skills and mindsets for successful citizens of the future.
My colleague, Dam Thu Huong, talked about her daughter who is studying abroad. "As a student in Vietnam, her English test scores always ranked first and second in the class, so I had no doubts about her academic achievement. Despite being extremely busy, I managed to arrange for her to attend extra classes taught by teachers from prestigious schools. It was until when my daughter left to study abroad that I was shocked to find out that she had difficulties adjusting to the new environment,” said Huong. "Although other students were confident in teamwork and using technology, my daughter still struggled with presentations due to the passive learning method she used earlier. Her grammar perfectionist tendencies and fear of making mistakes make her even more nervous when it comes to interpersonal communication."
Barnaby Pelter - an education expert with more than 25 years of experience at prestigious global educational institutions such as Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, New York University, and National Geographic Learning - affirmed: “The modern model of teaching and learning foreign languages has changed a lot to keep up with social trends, as 65% of primary school children today will grow up and take on jobs we didn’t even know existed. Automation will replace 22% of unskilled workers. Children will therefore need to prepare for the future in a very different way from our generation. A good language learning program should inspire and at the same time equip children with skills and cultivate the love of learning. Only by continuous learning and discovering can children be confident and shape their own future."
Vu Dieu Trang - CEO of a prestigious English language centre, had the same perspective. “Our learning philosophy needs to change to prepare a more active, younger generation. This requires Vietnamese citizens to be proficient in digital and analytical skills, have emotional intelligence and the ability to communicate with English speakers around the world. They also need to be highly adaptable under any circumstance”, said Trang. She is currently leading Apollo English, an organisation that pursues a learning approach that stands out from the rest of the market. They believe that learning English is not just about learning a language, but helping children answer big questions: What is my passion? Where is my potential? What skills should I prepare to proactively shape my own future?
This requires education to quickly adapt to changes and catch up with major trends by applying modern technologies. Ernst Kallus - an expert who has 20 years at world-leading publications and other technology and education organisations before joining Apollo English, said: “Technology cannot replace teachers, but it can be used to create highly engaging lessons. It also provides teachers with an effective tool for analysing information and tailoring lessons to each student.”
Apollo is the first international standard English language centre in Vietnam, founded by Khalid Muhmood and his wife, Arabella Peters. It remains one of the few centres where the co-founders and first foreign language teachers retain their leadership roles, as well as their enthusiasm. In 1995, the two young foreigners came to Vietnam with their enthusiasm and belief that education can brighten children's futures. Khalid Muhmood was awarded the title of MBE (Member of the Royal Family) by the Queen of England for his dedication, and was the first foreigner to be awarded the medal "For the Cause of Education" by the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam.
Khalid Muhmood and Vu Dieu Trang at Apollo English
After nearly 30 years, Apollo now has 60 centres nationwide and has been trusted by millions of parents and students who are looking for an effective and high quality learning environment.
Bringing together top-notch experts with grand passion for education, Apollo English has relentlessly innovated leading-edge learning experiences. Apollo currently cooperates with the world's leading prestigious partners such as National Geographic Learning, DLA, Ooolab... The education organisation aims to further improve the curriculum and catch up with the latest trends. This is with an ambition to bring about a revolution that puts its academic programs on par with the finest in the world.
By combining global trends with customisations for Vietnamese culture and learning environment, Apollo English is striving to help their students unlock their potential, achieve excellent progress, and especially, discover their own passions through a personalised learning experience tailored to their individual interests. In order for a language learning program to be effective, it must inspire children while helping them cultivate a love of learning. The inquisitive child is bound to succeed despite all obstacles!