“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

9-11: The Day the Chickens Came Home to Roost

Photo by MAA (2019) I was sitting at my desk, cup of coffee in hand, when I heard the news and watched it on CNN. Some of my memories include the crisp late summer weather punctuated by a deep blue sky, the messages of concern from colleagues around the world that arrived in my inbox, … Continue reading 9-11: The Day the Chickens Came Home to Roost

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

Patriotism: The tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime/Lòng yêu nước

In honor of Viet Nam's National Day on 2 September here's an article of mine that appeared in English and Vietnamese last year in VNExpress International and VNExpress. Patriotism: The tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime (2.9.19) Lòng yêu nước (1.9.19) Source: Nhân Dân 75 years ago today in Hanoi's Ba Đình Square Ho … Continue reading Patriotism: The tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime/Lòng yêu nước

Letter From Under Secretary Keith Krach to the Governing Boards of American Universities

What a surprise. Here we have Keith Krach, one of Trump's .01% political appointees, lackeys, and cheerleaders grinding an anti-China ax. I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that this 18 August 2020 letter will end up being so much pissing in the wind. I'm thinking trash folder, recycle bin, or … Continue reading Letter From Under Secretary Keith Krach to the Governing Boards of American Universities

Look Up!

Keeping it in the family. A graphic illustration of Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD). “I feel tremendous guilt,” admitted Chamath Palihapitiya, former Vice President of User Growth at Facebook, to an audience of Stanford students. He was responding to a question about his involvement in exploiting consumer behavior. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have … Continue reading Look Up!

Working for The Man

NOTE: And on a lighter note... (Just kidding!) This post has absolutely nothing to do with international education or Viet Nam. It's about just one of the many things that's wrong with the US economy, meaning the entire society - back in the day and now more than ever. The following vignettes were learning experiences … Continue reading Working for The Man

VinUniversity as the Crown Jewel of Vinhomes Ocean Park

This is an ad for Vinhomes Ocean Park, a new development on the outskirts of Hanoi. (0% interest until 30 March 2022; 35-year mortgage!) Note that VinUniversity is featured as the centerpiece of this new community, an example of doing well (profit) and doing good (community service). This has played out pretty much as I … Continue reading VinUniversity as the Crown Jewel of Vinhomes Ocean Park