VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2018

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Matching Needs to Curriculum Content in an English for Academic Purposes Program in Vietnam
Nga Ngoc Nguyen

Building: A12
Room: Room 402
Date: 2018-10-12 10:35 AM – 11:05 AM
Last modified: 2018-09-15


Undergraduate programs using English as the medium of instruction (EMI) are spreading rapidly in Vietnamese educational institutions. However, due to a lack of English proficiency and study skills, many Vietnamese students cannot start their EMI studies immediately but to enrol into English for academic purposes (EAP) programs instead. For these students, EAP is the only pathway to their tertiary education; for such high stakes, these EAP programs need to be effective. For an effective EAP program, it is important that an initial needs analysis (NA) is conducted to ensure program content design and delivery match students’ identified needs. In this study, 41 first-year university students in an EAP program in Vietnam completed an online self-reported NA survey. In turn, these results were compared with those from an analysis of EAP syllabuses. While findings indicate that students rank speaking, listening, and specialized vocabulary as the most important, these program components received disproportionately lower attention in the program design and content provision. These mismatches seem likely to constitute negative impacts on the effectiveness of the program. These findings imply that the designers of this program should take students’ needs into account; also they have broader implications for other educational institutions that fail to incorporate NA in the program design.


Needs analysis, EAP in Vietnam, Vietnamese EAP, EMI