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Lesson Transcript


Michael: What are some common Vietnamese proficiency tests?
Nguyet: And how do I choose the right one for me?
Michael: At VietnamesePod101.com, we hear these questions often. In the following situation: Emma Nguyễn is talking to Jack about her attempts to motivate herself to study Vietnamese harder. She says,
"I have to take the NLTV VNS exam."
Emma Nguyễn: Tôi phải làm bài thi năng lực tiếng Việt NLTV VNS.
Emma Nguyễn: Tôi phải làm bài thi năng lực tiếng Việt NLTV VNS.
Jack Jones: Bài kiểm tra năng lực ngôn ngữ tiếng Việt hả?
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Emma Nguyễn: Tôi phải làm bài thi năng lực tiếng Việt NLTV VNS.
Michael: "I have to take the NLTV VNS exam."
Jack Jones: Bài kiểm tra năng lực ngôn ngữ tiếng Việt hả?
Michael: "The Vietnamese Language Proficiency Test?"

Lesson focus

Michael: There are various reasons people learn the Vietnamese language, and each person definitely has their own. Perhaps, you want to live and work in Vietnam, or maybe study there for a few years. Regardless of what your reasons may be, obtaining a certificate is one of the best measurements of your attainment so far. And what better measurement of your fluency in the Vietnamese language than the NLTV VNS, or the Vietnamese Language Proficiency Test?
[Recall 1]
Michael: To learn more about this test, let's take a closer look at the dialogue.
Do you remember how Emma Nguyễn says "I have to take the NLTV VNS exam?"
(pause 4 seconds)
Nguyet as Emma Nguyễn: Tôi phải làm bài thi năng lực tiếng Việt NLTV VNS.
[Recall 2]
Michael: Now, let's take a look at our second sentence.
Do you remember how Jack Jones says, "The Vietnamese Language Proficiency Test?"
(pause 4 seconds)
Nguyet: Bài kiểm tra năng lực ngôn ngữ tiếng Việt hả?
Michael: The NLTV VNS exam or The Vietnamese Language Proficiency Test is a standardized proficiency test for learners of Vietnamese as a foreign language. It is the most prominent Vietnamese language proficiency test and is administered by the University of Social Sciences and Humanities at the Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City. The exam consists of five sections, which are
Nguyet: Phần nghe
Michael: or the Listening Section,
Nguyet: Ngữ pháp và Từ vựng
Michael: Grammar and Vocabulary,
Nguyet: Phần đọc
Michael: the Reading Section
Nguyet: Phần Viết
Michael: the Writing Section,
Nguyet: Phần nói
Michael: and the Speaking Section. There are several reasons for taking the NLTV VNS. For instance, foreigners who wish to study or work in Vietnam are required to take and pass this test. The test is also ideal for business people who have networks in Vietnam and wish to communicate better using the Vietnamese language. The NLTV VNS exam classifies examinees into one of three proficiency levels,
Nguyet: Sơ cấp
Michael: Level A or Elementary Level,
Nguyet: Trung cấp
Michael: Level B or Intermediate Level, and
Nguyet: Nâng cao
Michael: Level C or Advanced Level. Under each level are two sub-levels. Students who fall under the Elementary Tier 1 level, or
Nguyet: Cấp độ 1,
Michael: are expected to understand and use familiar language structures. They are able to use basic words that meet specific communication needs. They can introduce themselves and others present information regarding their place of residence and who their relatives are, and are able to understand as long as the native speaker speaks slowly and clearly. Under ability level 2, or,
Nguyet: Cấp độ 2,
Michael: students are expected to understand commonly used language structures and sentences related to basic communication needs, including information about one's self and information regarding daily activities, such as shopping, asking for directions, and the like. They are also able to exchange information on familiar topics, such as descriptions of self and surroundings. Students who fall under Level 3, or
Nguyet: Cấp độ 3,
Michael: are expected to understand the primary ideas of standard speech on everyday topics in work, study, or leisure. They are able to handle most situations in places where Vietnamese is spoken. They are also able to write simple paragraphs related to hobbies and other things that interest them. Finally, they are able to describe experiences, events, and give their opinions about familiar topics. Students who fall under Level 4, or
Nguyet: Cấp độ 4,
Michael: are expected to understand the primary ideas of a complex text on a broad range of topics. This includes discussions about one's profession. They are also able to communicate spontaneously and fluently with native speakers, as well as write detailed texts on various topics. Finally, they are expected to be able to state their point of view regarding an issue and point out the advantages and disadvantages of different opinions. Under Level 5, or,
Nguyet: Cấp độ 5,
Michael: students are expected to recognize and understand the implications of long texts. They are able to fluently express themselves without difficulty and use Vietnamese effectively for academic, social, and professional purposes. Under Level 6, or,
Nguyet: Cấp độ 6,
Michael: students are expected to understand most spoken and written Vietnamese. They are capable of summarizing information and organizing their thoughts in a logical manner. Finally, they are able to accurately discern subtle differences in the meaning of complex subjects.
Michael: Now, let's talk about the examination format. Under the Listening section, or,
Nguyet: Phần nghe,
Michael: you will be given 20 questions to answer. These are divided into three sections, with the first section involving 10 questions. There is a pause between each question to give you time to think. For the second and third sections, you will encounter five questions each. You will have to listen to a recording once, which is followed by some questions. Both the recording and the questions are played a second time. You will be provided with an exam paper on which you will mark the letter of your answer. The next section, which is Grammar and Vocabulary, or
Nguyet: Ngữ pháp và Từ vựng,
Michael: consists of 60 questions, which you should complete within 30 minutes. The questions involve a sentence with a missing word. You will have to choose the correct word from the four choices on your exam paper. For the Reading Section, or
Nguyet: Phần đọc,
Michael: you will be provided with four short texts, each accompanied by five questions. The texts vary in topic, and once again, you will pick the best answer for each question from four choices. The questions range from testing your comprehension of the text, choosing the best title for the text, and testing your understanding of various words and phrases. There will be a quick break of about five minutes after this section, and then you can proceed to
Nguyet: Phần Viết
Michael: or the Writing Section. For this portion, you will be provided with a writing paper with two sections, each worth ten points. The first section consists of three parts. First, there are five questions where you will have to write a sentence employing a particular grammar structure. Second, there are again five questions where you will have to complete a sentence. And, third, you will be provided with five answers to which you will have to formulate the question for each. The second part of the writing section is free writing, or
Nguyet: viết tự do
Michael: You will choose from two topics to write about, and you will have to write 150 to 200 words regarding your topic of choice. The final portion of the examination is
Nguyet: Phần nói
Michael: or the Speaking Section. Here, you will be examined in groups of four examinees. Your group will choose a piece of paper with a question written on it. You will then be given a short amount of time to prepare your answer. One candidate will be called by the examiners, who will then discuss with the Candidate the question and the topic while the rest of the examinees wait. When it's your turn, you can simply leave the venue once you're done with the exam. There are other tests that you can take to test your proficiency in the Vietnamese language, one of which is the VINATEST, a Vietnamese language proficiency test designed by
Nguyet: Đại học Hà Nội
Michael: or Hanoi University. The test was established in 1987 with the aim of helping foreigners who are learning Vietnamese to assess their comprehension of the Vietnamese language.
Michael: In this lesson, we had a look at the official language proficiency test for Vietnamese, which is the
Nguyet: NLTV VNS
Michael: or "The Vietnamese Language Proficiency Test." A similar test is the VINATEST, which was designed by Hanoi University. Ratings from these tests can be used for a variety of purposes in the government, commercial, and academic communities. You can find further information on the websites of each of these tests, which will be linked in the lesson notes.
Cultural Insight
Michael: The Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, or
Nguyet: Đại học Quốc gia Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh,
Michael: is just one sign of the rapidly growing education sector of Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. Founded in the 1950s, the university is the largest research and training center in Southern Vietnam in the field of social sciences,
Nguyet: Khoa học Xã hội,
Michael: and humanities.
Nguyet: Nhân văn
Michael: The Vietnam National University is home to some of the most brilliant minds in Vietnam in the field of social sciences and humanities. A truly prestigious international research institution, the university organizes international scientific conferences each year and invites an average of 40 lecturers from all over the world.
Michael: Taking the NLTV VNS in Vietnam lets you kill two birds with one stone. You not only get to discover your proficiency level in the Vietnamese language, but you also get to visit one of the country's most prestigious educational institutions!


Michael: Do you have any more questions? We're here to answer them!
Nguyet: Tạm biệt!
Michael: See you soon!

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