“Learning English at school, a mandatory chore that leads nowhere”

High-school seniors listen as an inspector informs them with regulations before taking a test of the national high school graduation exam at a school in HCMC, August 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran. An excellent article about the status of English instruction in Viet Nam in which I'm quoted. Here's my 8.9.20 article about this issue: … Continue reading “Learning English at school, a mandatory chore that leads nowhere”

Balancing Solidarity & Individualism in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond: a View from Vietnam

Image courtesy of Zing By contrast, Vietnam is well-positioned with a younger generation that is more individualistic than that of its parents because of their country’s integration into the global community, the Internet, and the fact that they are growing up in a time of peace with no (physical) external enemies, yet still possesses a … Continue reading Balancing Solidarity & Individualism in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond: a View from Vietnam

ĐOÀN KẾT VÀ TRÁI ĐẮNG CỦA CHỦ NGHĨA CÁ NHÂN

Image courtesy of Zing News Hành động phản đối đeo khẩu trang vô cùng phi lý cho thấy chủ nghĩa cá nhân siêu đẳng đang ngự trị ở Mỹ, nơi các quyền cá nhân thường được đề cao hơn quyền lợi của cộng đồng. Một đồng nghiệp Việt Nam gần đây hỏi tôi về vấn … Continue reading ĐOÀN KẾT VÀ TRÁI ĐẮNG CỦA CHỦ NGHĨA CÁ NHÂN

Resetting the Debate About English Instruction in Viet Nam

My latest essay for VNExpress International about the subpar results of the August national high school graduation exam for English. Think of it as a reality check on what is generally a favorable situation in comparative perspective. One of my key suggestions is that foreign language study be made optional at the K-12 level. An … Continue reading Resetting the Debate About English Instruction in Viet Nam

Racism in China (& Viet Nam) the Result of “Naivety & Ignorance”

Photo: Alex Leung I was inspired by the story of Jasmine Cochran, a young African-American woman who has been teaching teaching English literature and language since 2016 to students aged 14 to 16 in China, where she lives with her husband and two children. It was serendipity that I came across a BBC profile of … Continue reading Racism in China (& Viet Nam) the Result of “Naivety & Ignorance”

2019 Article Awarded 2nd Prize in Vietnam Competition

A 2019 article of mine entitled On the outside looking in: A US American in Vietnam (Người Mỹ tại Việt Nam) won a 2nd prize in the 2019 National External Information Service Awards competition, the results of which were announced earlier this week. The English and Vietnamese versions originally appeared in VNExpress International and VNExpress, … Continue reading 2019 Article Awarded 2nd Prize in Vietnam Competition

Promoting Study in the USA in Trying Times

Hot off the digital press, here is my latest essay. I kick it off with one of my favorite quotes from Senator Fulbright about international educational exchange: There is nothing obscure about the objectives of educational exchange. Its purpose is to acquaint Americans with the world as it is and to acquaint students and scholars … Continue reading Promoting Study in the USA in Trying Times

“We Are More Than Your Paycheck: The Dehumanization of International Students in the United States”

Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash Here's some (more) recommended reading for anyone interested in the current situation of international students in the US. The authors are Santiago Castiello-Gutiérrez and Xiaojie Li, both Ph.D. students at the University of Arizona’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. This excerpt may whet your appetite to read the article in … Continue reading “We Are More Than Your Paycheck: The Dehumanization of International Students in the United States”

“Why Democracies Do Better at Surviving Pandemics”

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the debate over whether authoritarian states are gaining the upper hand across the world. In contrast, democracies are showing capacity for innovation and adaptation. Seriously? When I first saw the title, I thought it was satire. It's downright Orwellian along the lines of war is peace and freedom is slavery. … Continue reading “Why Democracies Do Better at Surviving Pandemics”

A Childhood Without Play & Imagination

As television shows and professional competitions targeting kids mushroom, many wonder if children are being exposed to too much limelight too soon, scarring what should be a carefree childhood. This quote appeared in a 19 June 2020 article Growing up too soon in media age. The vanishing childhood applies not only to children whose parents … Continue reading A Childhood Without Play & Imagination