IELTS SPEAKING: MORE THAN JUST LANGUAGE CHALLENGES
In the context of globalization, many Vietnamese learners are taking an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) course to have a standardized level of English for communication and work purposes. However, personal observations show that many of them face various challenges, especially in Speaking and Writing. In an attempt to find out these difficulties in the Speaking tests, a study was conducted via a questionnaire with 43 IELTS learners about their problems in answering questions in Part 1 of some Speaking sample tests. The results showed that the challenges were caused not only by the learners’ language limitations, but also by their lack of socio-cultural knowledge and high order thinking skills. Recommendations and implications were drawn for necessary changes in the learning and teaching of English, as well as education in Vietnam so that Vietnamese people can respond better to the needs of a competitive globalized world for human resources.