Helping Vietnamese university learners to become more autonomous

Gareth Humphreys, Mark Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-63
JournalELT Journal
Issue number1
Early online date24 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Helping Vietnamese university learners to become more autonomous'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this