Helping Vietnamese university learners to become more autonomous

Gareth Humphreys, Mark Wyatt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Scopus citations


    Autonomy is an important educational goal in international universities in countries with Confucian heritage cultures, such as Vietnam. However, approaches taken to support autonomy can sometimes be limited by overgeneralizations about culture, dependence on pre-packaged materials, and a focus on technical practice. This can result in the slow development of learner autonomy. We report on an attempt to stimulate autonomous practices among EAP learners in Vietnam. This collaborative action research first focused on discovering how learners perceived and experienced autonomy, with data collected through questionnaire and focus groups. Data were analysed and discussed with teachers, autonomy levels identified, and strong autonomy-supporting strategies selected for use. Priorities included developing goal setting and self-reflection. An independent learning journal that included focused autonomy-supporting tasks was developed, trialled, and evaluated. Although this was a small-scale intervention, it provided evidence that socially mediated support for autonomy can help Vietnamese university learners take greater control over their own learning.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)52-63
    Number of pages12
    JournalELT Journal
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2014


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