A Study on Adult Learners of English as A Foreign Language in Vietnam: Motivations, Advantages, and Challenges

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.54855/ijli.24313

Keywords:

English as a Foreign Language, Adult learners, learning difficulties

Abstract

English has become highly popular in Vietnam, emerging as the preferred language for diverse purposes. The increasing attendance at English Training Centers and schools shows a surge in adult learners seeking language refinement. Motivated by career progression, job prerequisites, learning objectives, and communication needs, these learners encounter many difficulties. This article explores the obstacles Vietnamese English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners face, providing practical solutions for both learners and educators. A comprehensive study involving 70 adult learners studying EFL at the University of Danang - University of Foreign Language Studies (UD-UFLS) utilized questionnaires and interviews, employing qualitative and quantitative analyses. The research revealed that despite high motivation driven by job and career goals, learners struggle due to time constraints, limited English literacy skills, and financial burdens, diminishing the effectiveness of their learning. In response to these difficulties, constructive recommendations are offered to enhance the learning experience and address the prevalent issues.

Author Biographies

Nguyen Le An Phuong, The University of Danang - University of Foreign Language Studies, Vietnam

Nguyen Le An Phuong earned a Master of Arts in TESOL studies in 2006 from The University of Queensland, Australia. In addition, she completed an Advanced Diploma of Event Management in 2012 at William Angliss Institute, Australia. Presently, she serves as a lecturer at the Faculty of English, Da Nang University of Foreign Language Studies, where she earned her Bachelor of English degree in 2004. Phuong boasts 20 years of teaching experience and has been involved in the National Project of Foreign Languages for ten years as a trainer.

Nguyen Thi Hoang Bau, The University of Danang - University of Foreign Language Studies, Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Hoang Bau holds an M.S in Tourism Management from Chinese Culture University, Taiwan (2015) and an M.A in Applied Linguistics from the University of Melbourne, Australia (2018). She is a lecturer at the Faculty of English for Specific Purposes, the University of Foreign Languages Studies, the University of Danang, where she obtained her Bachelor of Business English in 2012. She is an accomplished author of local and international papers, and has guided students in research. Her research interests span tourism and linguistics.

References

Adam, M. A. A. (2016). Role of Vocabulary Learning Strategies in Promoting EFL Learners Performance (Doctoral dissertation, Sudan University of Science and Technology).

Anh, N.Q.P. (2021). Under the impacts of globalisation: the rising power of English as a foreign language (EFL) and the corresponding response of EFL policy in Vietnam. SN Social Science, 1(31). 11 January, 2021. http://doi.org/10.1007/s43545-020-00047-9

Brookfield, S. D. (1986). Understanding and facilitating adult learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Deborah.S., Lori, K. & Salwa, M. (2018). Teaching strategies that motivate English language adult literacy learners to invest in their education: A literature review. Literacy and Numeracy Studies, 26(1), 25-42. https://doi.org/10.5130/lns.v26i1.6260

Jiuhan, H., Evie, T. & Deanna, N. (2011). Authentic Activities and Materials for Adult ESL Learners. Journal of Adult Education, 40(1), 1-10.

Krashen, S. D. (1988). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Lenneberg, E. H. (1967). The Biological Foundations of Language. New York: Wiley.

Lieb, S. (1991). Principle of Adult Learning. Phoenix, AZ: Vision – South Mountain Community College.

Mali, G. C. Y. (2017). Adult learners' experiences in learning English: A case study of two university students in Indonesia. JOLTL: Indonesian Journal of Language Teaching and Linguistics, 2(2),131-146. http://doi.org/10.30957/ijoltl.v2i2.280

Mei, B. (2022). The Characteristics of Adult Learners and Second Language Teaching Strategies. Chengdu 610037, SEAA 2022, 675, 980–987. 2023. Sichuan, China. http://doi.org/10.2991/978-2-494069-05-3_117

Mihaela, C. (2015). The Challenge of Teaching English to Adult Learners in Today's world. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 197(1209-1214). July 25, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.380

Nguyen, T. N. Q. (2022). Vietnamese standardized test of English proficiency: A panorama. English Language Proficiency Testing in Asia. 1st Edition. Routledge. 2019.

Phan, T. T. Q. (2023). EFL Students’ Perceptions towards Cooperative Learning in Writing Skills at a University in the Mekong Delta. International Journal of Language Instruction, 2(3), 48–62. https://doi.org/10.54855/ijli.23232

Ruijuan, W., Ruiting, W. and Tai, V. L. (2014) Challenges of Adults in Learning English as a Second Language: Focus on Adult Education in China. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 5(5), 1132 –1138. September, 2014. http://doi.org/10.4304/jltr.5.5.1132-1138

Ruyun, H. (2016). The age factor in second language learning. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 6(11), 2164 – 2168. http:/doi.org/10.17507/tpls.0611.13

Svetina, M., & Perme, M. (2004). Adult Learner – 1st Module. Retrieved August 28, 2019 from http://arhiv.acs.si/publikacije/Adult_learner-1st_module.pdf

Tight, M. (1996). Key concepts in adult education and training. London: Routledge.

Tuong, H. G. B. (2022). TVU Non-English Majors’ Attitudes toward Utilizing Oral Presentations to Overcome Speaking Difficulties in English Classroom. International Journal of Language Instruction, 1(1), 99–119. https://doi.org/10.54855/ijli.22119

Downloads

Published

01-02-2024

How to Cite

Nguyen, L. A. P., & Nguyen, T. H. B. (2024). A Study on Adult Learners of English as A Foreign Language in Vietnam: Motivations, Advantages, and Challenges. International Journal of Language Instruction, 3(1), 31–42. https://doi.org/10.54855/ijli.24313

Issue

Section

Research Article

Similar Articles

1 2 3 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.