Using Technology-Enhanced Language Learning Environments to Influence the Communicative Potential of Adult Learners of English as a Foreign Language in Vietnam

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Le, Cuong Duc (2021) Using Technology-Enhanced Language Learning Environments to Influence the Communicative Potential of Adult Learners of English as a Foreign Language in Vietnam. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


To respond to the rapid development of industrialisation, modernisation and development of a knowledge-based-economy, Vietnamese citizens are encouraged to engage in lifelong learning to adapt to work and life changes (Hossain, 2016, MOET, 2017, 2020a). With the aim of fulfilling the nation’s education goals in the early 2000s, the Vietnamese government proclaimed the English language a compulsory foreign language for all learners throughout the nation, stating that Vietnamese citizens must master English-language skills to access a wide range of professions, compete in new labour markets and advanced technologies, and engage in nation- building and global community integration (Bui & Nguyen, 2016). Also, the Vietnamese government continues to encourage the use of technology in education, specifically for teaching and learning of foreign languages (MOET, 2020c; Prime Minister of Vietnam, 2017). One of the most important policies issued by the government is a favourable framework that supports the application of information and communications technology (ICT) to education and language learning (MOET, 2007, 2008a, 2008b, 2008c, 2016). Supported by these government policies, the introduction of ICT in education in Vietnam has been increasing, but still faces challenges in different contexts and institutions (Pham, Tan, & Lee, 2019). While a wide range of studies has examined language learning using technology in Western countries and in the Asia-Pacific Region, studies in Vietnam are still limited. This study explored learners' EFL learning experiences in gaining communicative competence, including (but not limited to) grammatical, sociolinguistic, discourse and strategic competencies within technology- enhanced language learning (TELL) environments. This study also aimed to discover how these learners' learning experiences, in their lifelong learning contexts, influenced not only their ability to communicate in English, but their professional knowledge and practice as well. The study’s findings showed that learners had little to no chance to experience foreign-language learning using technology in their previous education settings. As they began learning English using technology, they acknowledged the convenience and effectiveness of learning in TELL environments and showed improvement in their communicative capacity in English for their professional purposes. Although they faced challenges regarding time, support, and learning strategies, they showed a strong desire to learn, and to belong to particular imagined communities. The study adds to the existing literature by using a narrative approach underpinned by a social constructivist worldview to interpret the lifelong learning context of Vietnamese adult learners. Understanding these learning experiences helps contribute to assisting Vietnamese learners in their lifelong learning journey, supporting their learning approaches to enhance their communicative capability and contributing to their quest to access high-quality and robust learning resources. Also, this study has the capacity to add to the broader understanding of the use of technology in learning, assisting Vietnamese educators and educational institutions in updating and building relevant curricula for language learners, particularly adult learners. Thus, this study holds the potential to support and contribute to the achievement of governmental and local goals for language education in the current Vietnamese context. This narrative inquiry was grounded in a qualitative study (Mirhosseini, 2020) using language-learning histories, learners' diaries and semi-structured interviews as data-collection methods (Barkhuizen, Benson, & Chik, 2013).

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3904 Specialist studies in education
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords English; foreign language; Vietnamese; Vietnam; technology; education; information and communications technology; ICT; learning; adult learners; language education; professional knowledge
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