Factors Affecting Ubiquitous Learning from the Viewpoint of Language Teachers: A Case Study from Vietnam

By Xuan Thu Dang, Howard Nicholas and Ramon Lewis.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Vietnam is promoting the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education with a view to improving the quality of teaching and moving towards ubiquitous learning. Many ICT tools and applications have been deployed at universities in Vietnam. However, availability of technology is not synonymous with the use of technology. In the area of foreign language teaching and learning, little is known about what could possibly enable or hinder teachers’ use of ICT. The aim of this paper is to present the results of an exploratory and empirical study regarding the use of ICT in modern language teaching at tertiary level in Vietnam. Our case is Hanoi University (HANU), one of the leading universities in the North of Vietnam. A mixed methods approach was applied with 222 survey participants and 43 interviewees including senior management, classroom teachers and ICT experts at HANU. Their responses have shed light on teachers’ perceived enabling and inhibiting factors in relation to ICT use in ubiquitous teaching and learning. It is hoped that teachers and university leaders from other countries may find the case study useful for their better integration of ICT in their classrooms and institutions for ubiquitous learning in the future.

Keywords: Information Communications Technology (ICT), Ubiquitous Learning, Barriers to ICT Use, Language Teaching, Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL)

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.57-68. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 791.631KB).

Xuan Thu Dang

Doctor-of-Education Student, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Xuan Thu Dang started his professional doctorate studies (on the use of ICT in language teaching in Vietnam) at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia in 2009. He was formerly Deputy Dean of the English Department, Hanoi University, Vietnam. Since 1991 he has been involved in teaching and research mainly in Vietnam in the discipline areas of English as a foreign language, technology in teaching, learning and professional development, translation and interpreting skills. Thu has been working as a high-level freelance interpreter for the European Commission since 2002. Last year Thu assisted a project in Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne about using the ambient technologies to create classroom presence for children absent due to health reasons. He is now working on phase 2 of the project using broadband-enabled ambient and phatic technologies to connect hospitalised children with their schools and families in Melbourne, Australia. His current research interests include ubiquitous learning, e-learning, mobile learning, blended learning, innovative use of ICT in teaching and learning, and best practices of ICT use in higher education.

Dr. Howard Nicholas

Senior Lecturer in Language Education, School of Educational Studies, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Howard Nicholas is Senior Lecturer in Language Education. He is based on the Bundoora campus. He has wide research and teaching experience in child and adult second language acquisition (German and English) and in the acquisition of German as a first language. He has researched extensively in the area of mobile technologies and education. From 1991 to 2007 he was Senior Researcher in the joint Macquarie University-La Trobe University Australian AMEP (Adult Migrant English Program) Research Centre. Howard was Vice-President, President and Immediate Past President of the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia between 2000 and 2008.

Prof. Ramon Lewis

Chair:Ethics Committee, Faculty of Education - Melbourne (Bundoora), La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Professor Ramon Lewis has made a strong contribution to the fields of classroom management and adolescent and adult coping. He is currently involved in researching the implementation of his Developmental Management approach to classroom behaviour in over 250 Primary and Secondary schools in Victoria, Australia. His writing has reached a wide national and international audience of parents, teachers and community leaders as well as a professional audience of teachers, psychologists and human service personnel.