Trends in Teaching and Learning English in Vietnam: Implications for the Future Dr. Lillian Utsumi & Dr. Doan Thi Nam-Hau CHEER for Viet Nam - Traversing Borders: Viet Nam Teacher Program Abstract In this paper, researchers Doan and Utsumi present the results of a study, using mixed methods that examined current teaching methods and practices in English language teaching. Spanning five major universities in Vietnam, data were collected from multiple sources, including focus groups, interviews, classroom observation, and questionnaires. Results show a shift in teaching and learning practices, challenges to managing system changes, and perceptions of staffing and resource shortages, including financing. The researchers and workshop participants will explore the implications of this study in light of MOET‘s Education Plan to accelerate and improve the teaching and learning of English in Vietnam as one of several pathways for economic equity in the global community. This paper discusses the results of a 2008 study on a compilation of English language teaching (ELT) practices at the university level in Vietnam. Conference Paper Limitations For the purposes of this presentation, we present only the research methods and summary of combined findings. An Executive Summary of the full research report will be posted on the CHEER (Culture, Health, Education, and Environment Resources) website, www.cheerforvietnam.org. CHEER, the sponsoring organization for this study, is a non-profit organization based in the United States. One of CHEER‘s major educational activities is Traversing Borders: Viet Nam Teacher Training Program (VTTP). The objectives of VTTP workshops are to improve the quality of English language instruction (ELT), to provide participants with first-hand experiences and opportunities to apply best practices in ELT to their own classrooms, to promote teacher collaboration and leadership, and to deepen cross-cultural understanding between the Vietnamese and American teachers. CHEER forged partnership with several universities to implement these workshops.
THE STUDY Methods This study obtained descriptions of practice from five universities using a mixed methods approach of surveys, interviews, and observations. The use of mixed methods--qualitative and quantitative-- allowed us to gather data about a complex behavior—the act of teaching--through multiple perspectives and settings. Quantitative data collection methods included the use of teacher and student surveys. Qualitative data collection methods encompassed teacher and student focus groups, individual interviews and classroom observations. Direct observations in classrooms provided data on teaching practices in the naturalistic setting (Merriam 1998). The combination of methods enabled us to uncover trends in the practices and challenges of English language teaching. These methods also provided participants with a voice on potential solutions to the challenges of English language teaching. Together, the multiple sources enabled us to weave of broad tapestry of teaching in Vietnam. Triangulation of the multiple data sources enhanced the confidence of our results. The essential questions guiding this study were: What do teachers and students report are the teaching practices used in English language teaching at the university level? What do teachers and students report are the challenges to teaching and learning English? What do teachers and students propose as solutions for improving English teaching in Vietnam? Site Selection and Access Five public universities that offer programs in English, pedagogy, and American Studies were invited to participate in the study. These five sites represent a cross section of regions in Vietnam-- northern, central, and southern and a mixture of urban, provincial, and rural settings. We obtained access to the universities through Ministry of Education and Training‗s (MOET) agreement to co-sponsor this study. MOET sent an...
References: Brown, H. D. (1993). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall Regents. Bui, M. H. (2006). ―Teaching Speaking Skills at a Vietnamese University and Recommendations for using CMC.‖ Asian EFL Journal 14(August). Do, H. T. (1999). Foreign language education policy in Vietnam: the emergence of English and its impact on higher education. The Fourth International Conference on Language and Development, Hanoi. Doan, N.-H. and A. E. Steiman (2008). ―Plant a Seed of Peace." Report Fall/Winter 2008. Culver City. Doan, N.-H. andL. Garrett, et al. (2006, 2007). "Plant a Seed of Peace" Report Winter 2006/Spring 2007. Culver City. Doan, N.-H. and R. E. Grant (2005). "Traversing Borders. Viet Nam Teacher Training Program. CHEER for Viet Nam Report 2005. Culver City. Duong, H. O. (2008). ―Memorization and CLT in Vietnamese Foreign Language Study.‖ TESOL Classroom Practice Series (Forthcoming). Gorsuch, G. (2006). ―Doing Language Education Research in a Developing Country.‖ TESL-EJ 10(2). The Government. (2008). Decision on the Approval of the Project entitled "Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages in the National Education System, Period 2008-2020. Hanoi. Institute, A. (2008). Vietnamese Higher Education: Crisis and Response. Cambridge, Ash Institute. Krashen, S. D. and T. D. Terrell. (1983). The Natural Approach. San Francisco, Pergamon Press. Labov, W. (1970). ―The Study of Language in its Social Context.‖ Studium Generale 23: 30-87.
Larsen-Freeman (1999). On the appropriateness of language teaching methods in language and development. The Fourth International Conference on Language and Development, Hanoi. Le, V. C. (1999). Language and Vietnamese Pedagogical Contexts. The Fourth International Conference on Language and Development. Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education. San Francisco. Jossey-Bass. Nguyen, B. and D. Crabbe. (1999). The design and use of English language textbooks in Vietnamese secondary schools. Hanoi. Nunan, D. (1999). Second Language Learning and Teaching. Massachussetts, Heinle & Heinle Publishers. Nunan, D. (2005). ―Important Tasks of English Education: Asia-wide and Beyond.‖ Asian EFL Journal 7(3). Pajares, M. F. (1992). ―Teachers ' beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct.‖ Review of Educational Research 62(3): 307-332. Pham, H. H. (1999). The key socio-cultural factors that work again success in tertiary English language training programs in Vietnam. The Fourth International Conference on Language and Development. Hanoi. Pham, H. H. (2005). ―Imported" Communicative Language Teaching Implications for Local Teachers.‖ English Teaching Forum 43(4). Pham, H. H. (2006). ―Researching the Research Culture in English Language Education in Vietnam.‖ TESL-EJ 10(2). Stigler, J. W., R. Gallimore, et al. (2000). ―Using Video Surveys to Compare Classrooms and Teaching across Cultures: Examples and Lessons from the TIMSS Video Studies.‖ Educational Psychologist 35(2): 87-100. Stigler, J. W. and J. Hiebert.. (1998). ―Teaching is a Cultural Activity.‖ American Educator Winter. To, T. H. (May 12, 2007). TESOL in the internationalization of higher education in Vietnam. Hanoi.
Trinh, Q. L. (2005). Stimulating Learner Autonomy in English Language Education. Graduate School of Teaching and Learning. Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam. Vu, P. T. (2003). ―The Contribution of Multimedia Tools for EFL Settings Unfamiliar with Technology.‖ Asian EFL Journal September. Wideen, M. F., J. Mayer-Smith, et al. (1998). ―A critical analysis of the research on learning-to-teach.‖ Review of Education Research 68(2): 130-178.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document