Appendix A

Plan for Situation Analysis

Societal factors

Richards suggests five pivotal questions that situation analyses address (p. 93):

  1. What is the role of foreign languages in the community?
  2. What is their status in the curriculum?
  3. What are the educational traditions of foreign language education in the community?
  4. What is the community's experience in language teaching?
  5. What are the expectations that members of the community have for language teaching and learning?

Groups to consult are: educational government officials, employers, higher education specialists, educational organizations, parents, citizens, students


Institutional factors

p. 98 Richards poses many questions, of which the following are relevant:


Teacher factors

p. 99 Richards poses many questions of the which the following are relevant:


Learner factors

pp. 101-102 Richards poses a variety of questions of which the following are relevant:


Note. Categories of societal, institutional, teacher, and learner factors are suggested in Richards (2001).


Appendix B

Document Retrieval Plan

Societal factors from students

Societal factors from MOE/Board of Ed officials

Societal factors from higher education/teacher education specialists

Articles in the popular press

Articles in journals


Appendix C

Sample Interview Protocol (includes one student's responses)

March 14, 2005, Interview with Ms. XXXX XXX XXXXXX, Second year English student, Vinh University, Nghe An Province, Vietnam. Interview was conducted in my flat. Interview was recorded on a Sony Walkman with a lapel recorder. The transcription style is a broad style, as this interview is not being used for a linguistic analysis. The interview protocol was provided to the interview subject by e-mail, and was made available and in paper and ink form to her throughout the interview. The finished interview was sent to her for comment and correction.

Societal factors

What foreign languages are used in Vinh?

I think there are some foreign languages such as Chinese, Russian, English, Korean, and Japanese.

What are they used for?

They are used for teaching and business. And learning and their job too, for work.

What foreign languages are used elsewhere in Vietnam?

I think these foreign languages are used in other places.

What are they used for?

For education, for business.

Are some foreign languages in greater demand than others?

Yes I think so. You know the number of person use English or Chinese outnumber than other language. Most of people use English for their education and other people use Chinese for their job.

Has this pattern changed over time?

Yeah I think so. I think maybe 15 years ago English are only used in a small area of our country such as Hanoi in Hue or Danang. Some big city in our country. But nowaday I think every city in our country use English as a second language. And I think nowaday I think the number of people who use Chinese is increasing. And I think many Chinese businessmen come to Vietnam especially come to Vinh and they invite in Vinh so I think the number of people who use Chinese increase.

Do some foreign languages have greater prestige than others?

Has this pattern changed over time?

What degree are you getting at Vinh University?

I check the dictionary and I think the degree I am getting at Vinh University is under master. It's a bachelor degree. I think in teaching.

Is knowing a foreign language a significant part of that degree?

Yes. I am learning French as my we call it second language.

Do you think you will teach French some day?

I don't think so because we only learn French to help us read other research in French and we only learn French in two years. And after that we stop learning French at school. We can learn French at home if we want. We can get a degree of French. But I think we can't teach French because the bachelor we get from Vinh University is English not French.

Are your friends learning a foreign language?

Which ones? What for?

Yeah. I can say that most of my friend learn foreign language and most of them are living in Hanoi some people learning in Hue and some people are learning in the south of our country. Most of them learn English and only some people learn Chinese. Most of them want to become a businessman or businesswoman in their future so they have to learn foreign language.

When you graduate do you intend to go into business or would you prefer to be a teacher?

As you know the degree decide what I can do in the future. So my degree is teaching so I can teach that's all. If I want to do another job like business I think that is better if I can take part in other university to get other degree.

Are your family members learning a foreign language?

Which ones? What for?

Only my older sister and my younger brother. My mother and my parents know no foreign language. Only for education.

Would your parents be willing to be interviewed in Vietnamese?

Yeah I think so. I will be interpreter if you want.

What foreign languages do you know?

I only learn English and French that's all.

When did you begin learning a foreign language?

As many other student I begin learning English from grade 6.

Is knowing a foreign language helping in finding a job?


If you had the opportunity to work in business or politics or something like that, would you?

Yes. Because in my opinion teaching is a good career but other job is if I have opportunity to work in business I will accept because that is a good chance for me to use my English and furthermore I will have chance to communicate with many other people.

Describe a typical foreign language lesson in your junior high school.

How can I say. As many other subjects the teacher would come and ask something about the previous lesson and then she will ask some student to check their knowledge for the previous lesson and after that she will go through the lesson and then she teach. Usually the teacher usually check our new word first and after that she will teach grammar or she will give us some exercise usually in textbook. And after that she will give us mark. But you know the lesson we learn before is very different from now because we have change textbook and the way to teach English. When I am in junior school junior high school we only learn grammar. Grammar is the most important thing but now the student now can learn four skills. They have to learn speaking, they have to learn reading, writing and listening. That is different thing from now.

Teacher factors

Did the teacher use Vietnamese or English?

I can say that most of teacher in junior high school use Vietnamese.

What about senior high school teachers?

Senior high school only some teacher use English when they speak or when they teach. Because you know in only some student can learn can hear and understand what the teacher are saying. So after they use English speak English for short time they have to translate into Vietnamese.

How many students in a high school class?

About 60 from 50 to 60.

It might be difficult to use English to control the class.

Yes. They will not have enough time to check every student.

Was it useful?

Yes because at junior and senior high school we can get knowledge of English from teacher in class. And I think

[turns off recorder]

Subject adds here that she has studied English without having to take extra tuition outside of normal English class meetings at school.

Institutional/Teacher factors

Describe a typical foreign language lesson at college.

Was it useful?

[some discussion here over meaning of question] In speaking class as XXXX [a female foreign teacher] teaching us now she gave us some idioms and then we talk about it and we try to use it in our speaking. And after that she can give us a topic to talk about something like Christmas holiday Tet holiday and some other special day or some other special holiday. And in speaking we have special room in five five floor building in front of gate and we have textbook but you know we don't have any cassette tape. We can't buy it in Vinh. Only the teacher have cassette tape and we listen to for three or four times it depend on the content of the lesson. If we can't hear anything the teacher will switch on many times so that we can hear exactly. He only give us some time to talk about what we what we have heard. And after that she will he will give us the key. And about reading we have textbook too and the teacher will give us time to finish our exercise and after that she will give us the key and explanation. And writing we only learn theory about writing. We don't have enough time to practice at class. Rarely we have to write an essay or paragraph at home. We only learn most of the time we learn theory.

What size are the classes?

33 students. Only a half of what is in high school.

Are foreign teachers used in a different way than Vietnamese teachers?

Yes I can say that. You know I think most of student want to learn with foreign teacher. You know I can say the reason why because when we are communicating when we are taught by foreign teacher if the foreign teacher are saying something and we do not understand we will try to ask the teacher in English. And we try to explain how we don't what we don't understand and how to do how to explain it in English. But if that is a Vietnamese teacher we will raise our hand and we speak in Vietnamese so we can't we can't say we can't express our idea at the time.

Why do you ask a question in Vietnamese?

We try to explain in English but sometime we can't find a suitable word and it only take a little bit time but the class can't wait and the teacher do not have time to wait do not have enough time to wait until we explain and so to save time we translate into Vietnamese.

So if you were to compare a class taught by a Vietnamese teacher and a class taught by a foreign teacher how would you compare the number of questions that are asked?

I think the number of question in foreign teacher is outnumber than Vietnamese teacher.

How do you think your parents learned a foreign language?

To be honest they have never learn any foreign language. [brief conversation about parents, subjects' father is an engineer and her mother is a nurse] Because in the past learning other language that is not the main subject. Only when our country develop then other language is really necessary.

Foreign language learning is easy? difficult?

In my opinion a foreign language learning is really difficult. If I learn I can say if I learn English when I was six or seven years old I can [inaudible] my accent is a little bit different from now because I learn English when I were in grade six. So my accent is difficult to learn other language especially in pronounce.

A good foreign language teacher is someone who:

Is someone who know [turns off recorder] who has who pronounce well very very well. Yes I think that is the most important thing and after that is their knowledge of foreign language. And they will willing to answer every question about foreign language the student want to ask.

Sometimes if a teacher needs time to come up with an answer, is that OK?

Yeah I think. In Vietnamese some teacher some student don't want teacher they want to have answer after they give the question. But some other teacher say that let me know or tomorrow I will answer for you. I think when the teacher have time to think about they will have a time to check their knowledge it will be more if will be better than answer immediately but not really exactly or correct.

A good language learner is someone who:

Is a person can use foreign language as their mother tongue as their mother language.

The best ways to learn a foreign language are:

[turns off recorder] I think the best way to learn a foreign language are try to talk with foreign language as much as possible.

Using a foreign language, what topics do you like to learn?

[subject asks for examples, interviewer provides] When we learn foreign language I would like to learn much more about the country we are learning their language. Such as we are learning English. We want to know about the geography of England and some other thing that is related to England such as the people the tradition the weather and something like that. And many other thing about England like the traffic light law and many many thing about England. So that we did such as I did about traffic I can explain for them what is it in England and that's why they different from Vietnam and that's why we go on the road in England we have to do that.

What foreign language skills (listening, reading, speaking, writing) are most useful?

I think it depend on what field I will teach in the future. Because you know if I become a teacher speaking is the most useful because I will use my English when I teach so I have to speak well and when I speak well it may not my knowledge of grammar is well also. And how about listening, reading and writing. I think for the four skills related to each other but I think the most important thing for my job in the future is speaking.

Which skill is most important for your future learning as a human being?

Writing. Because the more I learned the more I feel the knowledge I have is a little bit. And furthermore how can I say if I want to do something like research somethng like that my writing skill have to get improve because as you know if I want the most the most way we use in examination is writing not speaking or listening or reading. When we apply for a job we have to write and everything I think is related to writing.

What foreign language textbooks are you currently using?

I usually learn First New First News. I usually bought a book from this publish publisher because [tape runs out] Subject adds that she also buys books from western publishers.

I know that photocopied materials are very common in Vietnam. I wonder if it's harder to learn from the photocopies or does it make no difference?

Anyway photocopy and textbook from publisher is a bit different. When we learn from photocopy it is not really clearly to read. Furthermore the size of the letter is too small so when you photocopy it become fainter and fainter. It is a little bit difficult to learn. In my opinion I don't really like to learn photocopy because sometime it make me tired.

What do you use them for?

[subject asks for clarification] To learn English. I usually buy some textbook for my listening, reading, that's all. Because writing I don't know which one is suited for me. So it is really difficult for me to choose a book and furthermore you know learn writing in Vietnam I have to write it out and then other people can check for me. But up to now I only write it by myself and check it by myself.

You mentioned earlier that you only learn the theory of writing. What do you mean by that?

Something like when we learn about paragraph we learn that in paragraph we have to write topic sentence supporting sentence and concluding sentence and what we will write on the topic sentence we will write the main idea and it has two parts and that is topic and the controlling idea. And after that the teacher will give us something like now you can write some topic sentence for this topic, traffic, something like that.

What other foreign language textbooks, or tapes, or computer programs do you use?

To be honest I only learned French for more than one year so I can only read my textbook in French some that is very simple. I can say that is the lowest level of French so we don't need I can't read any other French book. Something I can read some knowledge of English in French. I only read in English. Tape? Yes I use many. Computer program not really.

What kind of tapes do you use?

I go to bookshop and buy some tape and close to it there are some book so I listen to the tape and after that I look for the tape read (script?) at the back of the book.

Do you have a computer at home?


Is it connected to the internet?

No. It only for my father jobs.

Do you have access to computers outside your home?

Yeah but I don't usually it for my study now. I only use it to get in touch with my friend.

How often do you go?

Not very often. Only once a week.

Is it expensive?

No. And sometimes I use it only 15 minutes.

In terms of foreign language learning or use how would you rate the tapes, videotapes, computer softwareor DVDs available to you at school?

Only some tape. Video tape it is only a little but that is only movie. Most of them are movie. And tape there are some in my in our library.

How would you rate the copy meachines, tape recorders, VHS players, OHPs, computers at school?

We don't usually the tape recorder and copy machine we are student we don't usually use it. Only teacher. I think the equipment is not really good that is OK.

How would you rate the library?

I think most of them are out of date. You can see many stories most of the are stories from our library. Some other are newspapers. But all of them are out of date. We need more newspapers up to date so that we can know something about what happen all over the world and in Vietnam in English. Although some other book in English they are only their theory about English. I think that is only effective for researcher not for student.

What would be more useful for you?

I would like to read newspaper. I don't really some other student want to read story instead of reading newspaper but I like reading newspaper more than story.

Do you ever look at any internet websites?

Not really.


Underlined interview protocol items were asked spontaneously in response to something the participant said earlier. Interview protocol items are in italics.

The responses of one participant are added in the table for the reader's interest (I cannot claim the responses are representative of responses from other participants).