As a result of the development in foreign trade in Vietnam, there is a growing need for trained business executives and business people. A good command of spoken English is one of the most important qualifications of a foreign trade executive who needs English as a means of communicating with English speaking people in various business activities. At present, the responsibility for training students of commerce mainly rests with Hanoi Foreign Trade College. English language teaching in general, and the teaching of speaking skills in particular still leave much to be desired. The students’ oral proficiency is far from satisfactory. The purpose of this report is to explore the two main problematic areas in teaching speaking skills to students of commerce in Vietnam: syllabus design and teaching methods. The report consists of four chapters. Chapter one looks at some major theoretical problems and practical issues in English for Specific Purposes teaching. Chapter two provides an analysis of the teaching and learning situations at Hanoi Foreign Trade College and problems in teaching oral skills. Chapter three is mainly concerned with designing a communicative syllabus for the teaching of speaking skills to students of commerce. Chapter four deals with the theoretical assumptions and processes involved in oral communication and discusses some classroom methods and techniques in the light of the current communicative approach. This report should be regarded as an exploratory attempt in adopting the communicative approach to teaching oral skills to students of commerce in Vietnam.
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