The use of Vietnamese in English phonology classes: Voices from tertiary teachers and students

Thao Quang Le, Cuong Huy Nguyen


Using the mother tongue (L1) to improve four English language skills, namely listening, reading, writing, and speaking for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students, and to enhance their understanding and learning process has been investigated throughout the years. However, very few studies focus on the context of Vietnamese as the L1 in a course related to English language components such as an English phonology course. Therefore, this research focuses on the use of Vietnamese by lecturers and students in this course. Specifically, the study explores teachers’ and students’ perceptions of using Vietnamese and how they used it in these courses. A five-point Likert scale questionnaire was distributed to 238 students majoring in English language studies at one of the universities in Vietnam to determine their perception and practice. Meanwhile, semi-structured interviews were also conducted with five lecturers of an English phonology course. The data from the questionnaire was analyzed descriptively and thematic analysis was used to analyze the responses from the interviews. The findings revealed that all the lecturers and students used Vietnamese primarily for academic purposes, strongly supporting its use in an English Phonology class. The results also showed that L1 played an important role in learning and teaching. In addition, students showed considerably positive attitudes towards the use of Vietnamese in this classroom context. The study provides some suggestions to enhance the use of L1 in classes related to English language components, and recommendations for future research.


bilingual approach; English phonology course; L1 in an L2 class; Vietnamese; Vietnamese perceptions

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