The Invisible Obstacles Preventing Vietnamese Enterprises From Entering International Markets | Vietcetera
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Nov 02, 2020

The Invisible Obstacles Preventing Vietnamese Enterprises From Entering International Markets

For businesses looking for a way to teach employees English without burning a hole in the pocket, ELSA offers a comprehensive solution.

The Invisible Obstacles Preventing Vietnamese Enterprises From Entering International Markets

Source: Shutterstock

Elsa presented logo

Let’s take a moment to consider the role of English in education, business and across cultures. The third most widely spoken language after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish, English is spoken in 118 countries, 53 of which consider it as their official language.

English is commonly used across all industries, from finance, commerce, aviation and technology to tourism, making its mastery a requirement for international communication, information processing and online communication.

Barriers to development

In a developing country like Vietnam, learning English is often seen as a master key opening a door to a connected, globalized world.

Globalization brings with it significant changes to life, economy and society – most of them positive. Investment funds and foreign corporations piling into Vietnam mean “bells and whistles" career opportunities for the Vietnamese people, while more and more local enterprises are starting to have global ambitions of their own.

But globalization comes with its challenges too. After the ratification of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) earlier this year and with the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) expected to replace the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) from which the US withdrew in the first few days of the Trump administration, domestic companies will face increased competition. Digitization is one way to level the playing field.

Source Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

Employers and businesses with foresight have already adjusted their recruitment strategies to bring in staff who will help their companies transition to a more automated business model that requires little human intervention. Soft skills - complex problem solving, critical thinking and especially English proficiency - are seen as prerequisite.

However, according to a Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper survey, only 5% of the Vietnamese workforce speak English fluently. The gap between supply and demand for employees fluent in English has spurred growth in a cottage industry of language centers across the country. Many of them focus on teaching English to people already in employment.

Source A research by IPSOS the thirdlargest market research company in the world
Source: A research by IPSOS, the third-largest market research company in the world.

Learning English as an adult: easier said than done?

In an interview with Vietcetera, Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoa (Chairman of the Board, Co-founder of IMAP Vietnam Education and Training Joint Stock Company) shared: “Students who juggle studies and work are at a disadvantage as they are easily distracted by the demands of work and family, which interrupts their learning process and directly affects language retention.”

From the perspective of a business owner, especially when it comes to a large-scale operation, developing English skills among employees continues to be an issue as the number of employees who need English training is high. With different levels of proficiency found within one team, devising a training program that works for all is time-consuming, expensive and often ineffective.

Many bosses gripe that it is difficult to measure return on investment when it comes to language training, as existing measurement tools are imperfect, and are hence hesitant to open the purse. As a result, many Vietnamese businesses with global ambitions are hamstrung by poor language skills of their employees.

ELSA Training Program for Business’s and Schools

Source ELSA
Source: ELSA

Good news is that alternatives to traditional classroom training do exist. In recent years, "virtual assistants" have become popular among language students. One of the first movers in the field was ELSA, today the world's leading English speaking learning application.

Smart, efficient, affordable, ELSA app offers personalized lessons that are a hit with leading English language centers in 100+ countries worldwide. For businesses looking for a way to teach employees English without burning a hole in the pocket, ELSA offers a comprehensive solution known as 'ELSA Training Program for Business’s and Schools'.


Source ELSA
Source: ELSA

Designed as a learning-and-play experience for working-age people, ELSA Pro offers 6,000+ exercises spanning across 50+ work-related topics. The curriculum is personalized to suit each person's level.

Each day, learners are required to spend only 10 minutes practicing on their mobile device. With its proprietary speech recognition technology ranking among the top five AI applications, ELSA Pro helps students master pronunciation, including correct stress and intonation.

Company Dashboard

Source ELSA
Source: ELSA

Crucially, ELSA allows employers to track the progress of each employee, each department and the entire company in real time through a tool called “Company Dashboard”. With ‘ELSA Training Program’, significant improvement is evident after the first 3-6 months (employees are able to speak English more coherently and confidently), with fluency achieved after 9-12 months of training.

Customized Content

Source ELSA
Source: ELSA

The reason ELSA model is so successful is because in addition to offering personalized lessons it applies the 'co-create' model where the world's leading language experts are invited to design a curriculum to meet the business needs, specific to their industry.

This enables employees to have access to a wealth of vocabulary and expressions that can be applied in their respective work environments.

For enterprise inquiries, English centers or individuals operating in English education, please reach us via email at for further details.