VietNamNet Bridge – Writing compositions proves to be a very easy work for Vietnamese students, because they just need learn the sample essays by heart and then write down what they can remember on the exam papers.
The fourth graders of a primary school in district 4 in HCM City were asked to describe an object with which they have good memories about schooldays. Some students could not fulfill the task, because instead of writing about an object, they described the dogs.
When asked why they described the dogs instead of other things like pencil or schoolbag, textbook or eraser, the students answered that when preparing them for the exam, the teachers did not have sample compositions about object description.
A local newspaper quoted a teacher of the school as saying that she did not give sample essays on the topics because a similar question was made for the mid-semester exam, and she did not think that this would be repeated.
Therefore, the teacher spent most of her time on showing students how to describe animals and pets, such as dog, cat, fowl or bird. Unfortunately, the students were asked to describe objects, and they wandered from the subject.
The technology of making prototypes for essays
In general, teachers would give students the detailed plans showing what students should write when describe objects or animals. In some cases, they would give them completed essays, so that students can learn by heart.
As a result, different students seem to have the same literary style, while the dogs of different students seem to be exactly the same.
My, a mother who has a daughter going to a primary school in Hoc Mon district, said that her daughter can describe birds, fowls, dogs or cats, because the teachers prepared her to describe the animal. However, the girl would not be able to write anything if she is asked to describe a monkey, for example, because she did not learn this before.
My also said that when reviewing for the second semester exam, her daughter was given the sample essays about pencil, schoolbag, watch and table. When My came to visit the teacher and asked why the teacher applied such an odd teaching method, the teacher said that this is the method applied by all general school teachers.
Another parent related that when students were asked to described the tree that they like most, he daughter wrote about hibiscus which she saw in the countryside, while 90 percent of her classmates wrote about the flamboyant tree, simply because that the they had a sample essay about that kind of tree.
The biggest problem in this case, according to the parent, is that the teacher asked students to follow a fixed structure plan to describe trees. As a result, all the students started their essays with: “Among different kinds of trees, I like…. most.”
While parents have strongly opposed the current teaching method, teachers have argued that they have to do that because they have no other choice.
“Only a few of students like literature lessons, who can watch the objects and describe themselves with the support of parents or teachers. Meanwhile, others cannot,” a teacher in Tan Binh district complained.
“We have only 45 minutes for every teaching period. Therefore, we cannot help every student practice the skill of writing essays,” she added. “It would be better to give them the ready made essays. This would benefit both teachers and students”.
Source: Tien phong