Our English language school gets a visit from Vietnam

Vietnamese students learning on an English language course in the UK


Vietnamese Students study at LSI/IH Portsmouth

Recently, we had an amazing group of Vietnamese students come to study with us. All of us at LSI/IH Portsmouth were delighted to meet them. Here, Ross and Rebecca wanted to share a little bit about their experiences.


Ross and the Vietnamese group

Ross – Director of Studies (General English)

Ross, one of our director of studies, is responsible for the day to day running of General English courses and the overall timetabling of classes and teachers.

He spent quite a bit of time with the Vietnamese students. Mainly organising classes and test days for them, but also occasionally teaching them. Ross has been at LSI/IH Portsmouth since 2005, but has rarely come across students from Vietnam so this was a really interesting experience for him.

We asked Ross to give us a few words on his experience meeting the Vietnamese group, Ross was more than happy to tell us all about it and this is what he had to say.

Ross talks about English language with a Vietnamese student

We had a group of 20 Vietnamese civil servants studying at LSI/IH Portsmouth for 13 weeks, from 17th October 2019 to 17th January 2020. Although they came from different parts of Vietnam, they had all done a 3-month IELTS course prior to their arrival here. Their aim in the 13 weeks, was for each one of them to reach the equivalent of IELTS 6.5.

What happened on the course?

Their course was comprised of some General English, to try and help them with their spoken fluency and pronunciation and then IELTS, to help them fine-tune their skills to achieve that score. Just over halfway into their course, they did an in-house IELTS exam which we tried to make exactly like the real thing and then they repeated the exercise in their final week. They all needed English because their jobs all required some kind of interaction with non-Vietnamese nationals, whether it be through joint academic research on socio-economic issues or coordination of pangolin-protection programmes with other nations –what fascinating jobs they all had!

What was the result?

Each of the 20 achieved and in some cases surpassed the goal, reaching a score of 6.5. There was much celebration and relief at the end of the course! Written into the contract was a clause that if they didn’t achieve the 6.5, they would have to hand back their grant of I think, several thousand pounds. Knowing this, and seeing their obvious stress and worry in the later stages of the course, they all worked incredibly hard, as did their teachers.

On a personal note

The Vietnamese group was a wonderful addition to the school. They were very mature, funny and above all enthusiastic to be here. That enthusiasm was infectious, so I think they brought out the best in the other students, who got on really well with them. They really got stuck into getting to know British culture as much as possible.

I will always remember them very fondly. So polite, charming, and hardworking. Model students!



A teacher’s viewpoint

Rebecca – Teacher

Rebecca is a very experienced teacher!

Rebecca teaches a wide variety of courses at LSI/IH Portsmouth, but in particular she specialises in IELTS, 30+, Business English and OET preparation. She has been teaching at LSI/IH Portsmouth since 2016. She joined our team when she moved back to the UK from Italy.

English language teacher helps Vietnamese student with IELTS

What were they like to teach?

The Vietnamese students were absolutely lovely to have in class. They all worked really hard to improve their English and made huge amounts of progress because of their efforts. They always worked really well together and brought out the best in one another. Furthermore, they were always on time and always did their homework!


Rebecca Blakey teaching Vietnamese students
students from Vietnam work hard on English language course
teacher talking about Vietnam
Vietnamese teaching English language


How did they adapt to life in the UK?

The Vietnamese students were really interested in British culture and took every opportunity to immerse themselves in the experience of being in the UK. They visited Brighton, Bristol, Bournemouth and even got as far as Cardiff and Edinburgh. They really made the most of being here.

The students made new friends from other cultures and it was wonderful to see them practicing their English socially and in a variety of contexts. They got involved in the social programme and went on trips around the city and local area with the school, something which they enjoyed very much!

I miss them, they were great students to have in the school.



Ross interviews the Vietnamese students

When the time came for the students to leave, Ross sat down with them to ask them a few questions about their time here in the UK and at LSI/IH Portsmouth. The interview is in both English and Vietnamese.

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English language teacher helps vietnamese student