College students feel threatened by new English requirement

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Hundreds of students at a Ho Chi Minh City college said the school was pushing them to the brink of suspension with a new English requirement.

According to the sophomores at the Saigon College of Arts, Culture and Tourism, the school’s management board announced last Thursday that second year students had obtain scores of 200 points or higher on their Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) by the end of this month or they would not be allowed to move to the next grade.

Those who failed to do so would be suspended until they achieved the required level, transferred to other schools, or went to vocational classes, according to the board’s announcement.

“Nearly 700 sophomore students don’t meet the requirement,” Ho Quoc Hung, head of the school’s foreign affairs department, said in an interview with Tuoi Tre on Tuesday.

A student who wished to stay unnamed said all the students were shocked at the unexpected announcement.

However, school president Vu Khac Chuong said they had already informed the student body of the requirement at the beginning of the students’ first school year.

“Students should have achieved TOEIC 200 points at the end of their first year, but the school delayed the requirement to the end of the second year’s first semester,” Chuong said.

On the other hand, the students said the school had stated that 350 TOEIC points was one of the requirements for students to graduate, but it didn’t give specific requirements for their English level prior to graduating.

Still, some said the school first announced the requirement at the end of May last year during a meeting with some students. They also said the school had sent letters notifying students of the requirement at the beginning of the school year as well.

Source: Tuoi Tre

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