DUYEN TRAN, Ph.D.
Hanoi University of Industry, Vietnam
Dr. Duyen Tran is the Manager of the Language Education project and the Deputy Director of the Testing Center, Hanoi University of Industry, Vietnam. She has many years of experience working as an English teacher at her university. She has been actively involved in designing and conducting teacher professional training courses, especially in English language teaching and assessment. She received her PhD degree from Queensland University of Technology, Australia in 2015. Her research areas include language teaching and assessment, teaching methodology, the employment of ICT in language education, and English for Special Purposes.
Key stakeholders’ perspectives on English language requirements at work: concerns and solutions
Identifying students’ target learning needs has been identified as a crucial task in curriculum and course design in English language education, especially English for specific purposes at tertiary level (Dudley-Evans & Jonh, 1998; Hutah, 2013). Teachers and students need to have a thorough understanding of the target learning needs in order to design, undertake, evaluate and adapt the teaching and learning activities effectively. However, until now, few studies have been undertaken to investigate the use of English language in real working environments, or examine how much university teachers and students know about those requirements. This paper, therefore, reports research results of a large-scale need analysis study conducted by Hanoi University of Industry on the English language requirements at the workplaces. Participants include 815 ESP students, 54 ESP teachers, 88 subject teachers, 81 employers, and 412 professionals currently working in 7 professional fields including Business, Electronics and Electrics, Information Technology, Tourism and hospitality, Automobiles, Fashion and Garment technology and Environmental Technology. Research results demonstrate the use of English language in the professional areas and the graduates’ opinions on the usefulness of their English language education at universities for their work. The results also point out significant differences between the target language needs indicated by the professionals and employers and the perceived language needs indicated by the students and teachers regarding the frequency of carrying out specific professional tasks using English. This study carries significant implications for teachers, researchers and higher education institutions in their search for solutions to improve the effectiveness of English language education at their educational contexts.