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TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC CÔNG NGHIỆP DỆT MAY HÀ NỘI
KHOA TIN HỌC - NGOẠI NGỮ

STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION OF THE USEFULNESS OF AN ESP COURSE TO THEIR IMAGINED CAREER LIFE AT A UNIVERSITY IN HANOI

Ngày đăng: 09:52 - 09/12/2021 Lượt xem: 390

Phạm Kim Anh
Faculty of Foreign Languages and Informatics, Hanoi Industrial Textile Garment University, Le Chi, Gia Lam, Hanoi
Phone No: 0983591900
Email: anhpk@hict.edu.vn

Abstract

English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is now offering sound and practical approach to deal with the urgent need for professional communication on the global context. In Vietnam, such courses are raising the interest and motivation for the use of English as a medium of instruction. The matters that should be taken into consideration are what learners perceive ESP programs and how relevant the EPS courses are to the learners’ needs at tertiary institutions. This paper therefore aims to research the English language students’ perceptions of the usefulness of the ESP course of garment technology to their future job at a university in Hanoi. In particular, this paper seeks to find out what students majoring in garment technology expected in ESP program in terms of academic and occupational purposes. Apart from this, the research also focuses on studying the extents that such ESP program meets students’ expectations. The research was based on an exploratory sequential mixed methods design where the quantitative data is dominant. In this study, some interviews and two questionnaires were administered with one hundred fifty third-year students who were randomly chosen, majoring in garment technology and six teachers who are currently working with ESP program at this university. The findings of the research indicate that HTU garment students have clear expectations that their English course will provide them with vocationally relevant knowledge and skills, but the English course they receive does not necessarily equip them for their future employment. The findings also suggest the need to review ESP course curricula and steps to be taken to ensure that the goals of the course are delivered and the learners’ expectations are met.

Key words: ESP, students’ perceptions, future career, purposes, needs, students’ proficiency

Tóm tắt: Tiếng Anh chuyên ngành (TACN) hiện đang đi theo hướng tiếp cận phù hợp và thiết thực để đáp ứng nhu cầu cấp thiết về giao tiếp chuyên nghiệp trong bối cảnh toàn cầu. Tại Việt Nam, những khóa học TACN đang giành được sự quan tâm và là động lực cho việc sử dụng tiếng Anh như một phương tiện giảng dạy và học tập. Chính vì vậy, trước hết cần nghiên cứu nhận thức của người học về các chương trình TACN và mức độ đáp ứng của các khóa học TACN đối với nhu cầu của họ tại các cơ sở giáo dục đại học. Do đó, bài báo này nhằm mục đích nghiên cứu nhận thức của sinh viên ngành Công nghệ may tại một trường đại học ở Hà Nội (HTU) về tính hữu ích của khóa học Tiếng Anh chuyên ngành may đối với công việc tương lai. Đặc biệt, bài báo đã đi sâu tìm hiểu mong muốn của sinh viên chuyên ngành công nghệ may về chương trình TACN trên phương diện mục đích học thuật và định hướng nghề nghiệp. Ngoài ra, nghiên cứu cũng tập trung vào việc tìm hiểu mức độ đáp ứng của khóa học TACN may đối với nhu cầu của sinh viên. Nghiên cứu sử dụng phương pháp định tính (phỏng vấn) kết hợp định lượng (bảng hỏi). Một số cuộc phỏng vấn và hai bảng câu hỏi đã được tiến hành trên 150 sinh viên năm thứ ba chuyên ngành công nghệ may được lựa chọn ngẫu nhiên và 6 giáo viên hiện đang giảng dạy học phần Tiếng Anh chuyên ngành Công nghệ may tại trường. Kết quả của nghiên cứu chỉ ra rằng sinh viên ngành may của HTU kỳ vọng khóa học TACN sẽ cung cấp cho họ kiến ​​thức và kỹ năng liên quan đến nghề nghiệp, ngoài ra họ cũng mong muốn sẽ sử dụng tiếng Anh như một công cụ để nâng cao kiến thức chuyên ngành. Tuy nhiên khóa học TACN hiện nay chưa đủ để đáp ứng những mong muốn đó.

Các kết quả nghiên cứu cũng cho thấy sự cần thiết phải xem lại chương trình giảng dạy TACN tại trường và các biện pháp cần thực hiện để đảm bảo hoàn thành các mục tiêu môn học và đáp ứng kỳ vọng của người học.

Từ khóa: Tiếng Anh chuyên ngành, nhận thức của sinh viên, nghề nghiệp tương lai, mục đích, nhu cầu, năng lực sinh viên

1. Introduction

English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is rather different from general English. The most important difference results from the learners and their purposes for learning English. ESP students are neccesary those who already have some background knowledge of English and they desire to learn the language in order to communicate with professional skills and to perform particular job-related tasks. Therefore, an ESP course should be designed on an assessment of learners’ purposes and needs and the functions for which English is required. At present, a variety of universities construct English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses in response to learners’ needs in their future workplaces. However, it seems that ESP courses may become a trend in polytechnic universities owing to various promotions and incentives from the educational authorities. Alongside, significant interest and expectation are posed to the ESP quality teaching and learning; however, instructional contents and designed course books in educational institutions especially vocational schools or colleges are observed commonly to have little connection with learners’ needs . Moreover, lecturers’ teaching methods and guiding activities are, to some extents, not fulfill the learners’ learning desire. Thus, exploring students’ needs and expectations will eventually lead to offer the right assistance. At Hanoi Industrial Textile Garment University (HTU) – formerly managed by Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, we are mainly specializing in textile and garment technology training and in fact, HTU is considered one of top universities of this field. In addition, at present, Vietnam garment industry is operating mainly by processing foreign partners’ orders so most of the technical documentaries and transactions are in English. The aims of ESP program in HTU is that upon graduation students are expected to be able to function in workplaces and to be ready to accept the challenges that exist within these. Therefore, the needs and interest for ESP of this major are becoming meaningful. This paper therefore examines students’ perceptions of the usefulness of an ESP course to their imagined career life at a university in Hanoi. Especially, it tries to figure out students’ perceptions toward the course of English for garment technology at HTU. The research questions that guided the study are (1) What are students’ expectations of their ESP course?” and (2) “To what extent are their needs being met?”.

2. Review of literature

For decades, English has gained its unique status among other language in the world and till now it remains the role of “a global language” (Graddol, 1997). Especially in the period of global integration, ELT is not only concerned with the teaching of general English but also brought about a particular (professional, occupational or vocational) interest in the study of a particular domain of the English language. Most definitions share common point that ESP course is designed based on leaners’ needs to suit their interests of particular subject areas. Cindy et al. (2008) claimed that “ESP courses are commonly developed to teach detailed and specific content knowledge within a vocational or professional context”.…..And Richard and Platt (1985) and Robinson (1991) emphasized the role of English in meeting learners’ occupational purposes. Accordingly, learners need to learn English in order to improve their job performance. Tzu-Ling Hua & Sue Beverton (2013) summed up in their research that Taiwanese vocational high school students expect their English learning in schools to benefit their future career development, enabling them to have the language ability to interact with foreigners. Also, these students show instrumental motivation, associated with career improvement in their English learning.

When studying problems of teaching and learning ESP, several studies (Kavaliauskiene & Janulevieiene, 2001; Kavaliauskiene, 2003; Alsolami, 2014; Chostelidou, Griva, & Tsakiridou, 2009; Luo & Garner, 2017) described a number of factors found to be influencing the quality of teaching English for vocational education. For instance, inappropriate instruction, students' vocabulary deficiency, lack of ESP teachers’ pre-service training, lack of courses’ needs analysis, lack of ESP materials, students’ and teachers’ lack of functional academic literacy and knowledge about the field. The ESP practitioner is expected to possess specialty knowledge and language-teaching skills at once. When investigating the problems of ESP program in Iran, Majid Hayati, A. (2008) concluded that there were three main problems of ESP programs in Iran mainly concern three factors: teachers’ lack of opportunity to acquire knowledge in the first field to learn English intensive and guided to grasp the technical and sub-technical information at a higher level than the textbooks, the insufficiency of the time and the inefficiency of textbooks.

In Vietnam, when studying the factual situation of teaching ESP in University of Social Science and Humanities, HCMC (Nguyen Thi Kieu Thu, 2007) and National Economics University (Nguyen Phuong Nga et al, 2007), the authors shared the view that there was a gap of students’ proficiency level between General English and ESP as well as among students themselves in a class. Moreover, students are not interested in ESP and learn reluctantly and passively only in order to pass the exam. These facts resulted in difficulties in teaching and designing the program.  One considerable problem in teaching ESP in Vietnam is the inadequate and outdated course books. Nguyen Hoang Tuan (2007) claimed that these materials focus on only vocabulary, reading comprehension and translation and sometimes teacher-made learning materials are main teaching sources. This design obstructs the teachers’ creativeness and students’ activeness.

There are a lot of research studying L2 learners’ needs and perceptions of ESP courses. Cindy C.H. Tsao et al. (2018) conducted a survey in a selected technological university in Taiwan about students’ opinions and attitudes toward English for Specific Purposes and ESP-related issues. The results reported that students perceived ESP to be important and necessary for technological students and shared a view that ESP instruction should focus on the training of language communication skills while integrating terminology and subject content into the course and ESP instructors should possess English-teaching competency and subject content knowledge. Boran (1994) in a quantitative research recorded that although speaking and listening were two most important language skills in the students’ future work, they did not practice frequently in their ESP classes. The author also found that students and tourism lecturers perceived translation as the least important skill. Alsamadani H., A,. (2017) in a case study to explore Saudi Engineering Students’ needs of engineering students and the uses of English in the engineering field informed that engineering students needed English primarily for professional purposes at the target situations (giving oral presentations, reading articles and writing specific field-specific reports, etc) and then for academic purposes (exams, note taking, classroom participation, etc).

Research on students' perceptions and needs has demonstrated that understanding students’ perceptions and needs can play a crucial role in developing the right program to meet their needs. For academic purposes, English is used as a medium of instruction and a tool, meaning that students use English to develop and master their knowledge of the subject matter. For the latter purpose, ESP helps them communicate and deal with the professional situations at the workplace. Hence, students’ needs, perceptions and learning difficulties should be sought first in order to offer them the required assistance.

3. Settings

In response to the demand of Garment technology students and garment industry, Hanoi Industrial Textile Garment University (HTU) administrators have been applying and training the course of English for Garment Technology for three years. Although this course has gained much attention and investment into the teaching and learning in terms of curriculum, learning materials, equipment and teaching approach, there are still various issues that need to be taken into account. The biggest problem needs to be made clear is how students perceive this course and what problems they are facing and may encounter in learning ESP. When the administrators and teachers interpret the students’ perceptions of the course, it will help to make some adjustments and changes so as to optimize the training results. For students themselves, they may find the way to change their study to get better achievements.

Participants

Students

The participants are 150 third-year students from 5 classes of the Faculty of Garment Technology who are taking English for Garment Technology course. These participants including 130 females and 20 males come from different cities and provinces and are not at the same level of English. They have to attend respectively the courses of General English level A1 and A2 and then ESP course with 45 periods. They will take part in the interviews from researchers and answer the questionaires.

Lecturers

Six English lecturers of Faculty of English at HTU, who are in charge of teaching English for Garment Technology, will give support in completing the questionnaires. All of them are well qualified with degree of MA, who graduated from well - known foreign language universities for teacher training in Vietnam such as Hanoi University, Hanoi University of Languages and International Studies. They have been teaching English for at least 8 years and English for Garment Technology for 5 years.

4. Data collection instruments

Questionnaires

In this study, two sets of questionnaires (for teachers and students) were designed including both closed-ended and open-ended questions. Questionnaires are distributed to 6 lecturers and 150 students involved. Questions were designed in two formats: multiple choice in which respondents could select multiple items and add any that are not listed; and Likert scale responses to statements about the ESP courses. These questionnaires aimed to investigate the reasons why students choose to study ESP and what their needs for this course are. Besides, by answering the questions ESP students and teachers will give their detailed evaluations about the level of meeting students’ expectations for the ESP course. 

Interviews

The researcher uses semi-structured interviews for ten students and five teachers which were closely related to the questionnaires with little modification but still facilitated chances to obtain a variety of responses from the interviewees. The information from the interviews would be categorized and analyzed in accordance with the data from the questionnaires to answer the research questions. The interviews helped to get a deeper and detailed understanding of students’ purposes of learning ESP as well as students and teachers’ evaluations of the course. So they were used to support and explain the results obtained from the questionnaires.

5. Findings and discussion

Research question 1: What are students’ expectations of their ESP course?

Figure 1 shows the reasons why questioned students learn English for Garment. In an initial overview of the results, learning English for ‘career development’ stands out as students’ first reason followed by ‘employment exams’. It means that HTU students now are well conscious of the role of English toward their future job opportunities. These results support the study of several authors as Richard and Platt (1985), Robinson (1991:3), Tzu-Ling Hua & Sue Beverton (2013)   ……….): for students from the vocational education system, the reason for learning ESP is closely associated with career development. Especially, this result is the same as the results of Tzu-Ling Hua & Sue Beverton which shared the idea that students’ first aim of ESP learning was for career development. Learning for academic purpose ranked the third meant that students now desire to use English as a medium of instructions.
Figure 1: Responses to question “Why do you learn ESP?”

Alongside with the fact that garment students aim to learn ESP for their intended jobs, they still are under pressure of a compulsory subject. This result was agreed with two studies by Nguyen Thi Kieu Thu (2007) and Nguyen Phuong Nga et al, (2007). The use of English for communicating with foreigners of their field is not of their intention when pursuing the course. This result seems to show that they learn English for both practical reasons and ‘academically-oriented’ reason of passing exams.
 Figure 2: Responses to question “What are your individual ESP learning needs?”

The question ‘what are your individual ESP learning needs?’ revealed high percentage of choosing most options (Figure 2). Most were associated with instrument/practical needs: ‘pass employment exam’, ‘English for garment relevant to intended jobs’ and ‘communicating with foreigners of the field’. This was also shown in results of the study by Tzu-Ling Hua & Sue Beverton (2013), which revealed that ESP facilitated student with ability to interact with foreigners. The same level of responses was associated with academic needs: ‘passing school exams’ and using English as “a medium of improving specialized knowledge”. It seems that garment students’ intention of learning ESP for its future practical use is a bit stronger than the need to pass examinations. Alsamadani H., A,. (2017) in a case study of Saudi Engineering Students’ needs about the uses of English in the engineering field also informed the same finding. This finding also illustrated that language needs arising from the use and requirement of the language in the learners’ particular environment. Accordingly, HTU students recognize the increasing demand and requirement for English proficiency in their job market, and they match their English needs accordingly.

This study has looked at students’ expectations of their English courses in terms of purposes and individual needs. Although there are slight differences among the results for these two aspects, the overall results show that ‘learning English for career development’ is regarded as the students’ top purpose and need for learning English for Garment. The other aspect, “interacting with foreigners’ was considered less important in students’ questionnaire responses. The importance of ‘learning English for career development’ is also confirmed by findings in the students’ and lecturers interviews. Typical statements were:

“English for Garment is very important for us now because it will be helpful when we study the materials in English.” (Student 1)
“I think it is useful for my future job, very important.” (Student 2)
“I think it also helps me to find a good job in near future because now Vietnam garment companies are carrying out the contracts with garment and fashion companies from other countries. Therefore, English plays the role of a medium of communication.” (Student 3)
However, two students revealed:

“I am so bad at English. I learn it only because it is a compulsory subject. I need to learn for passing my exam.” (Student 8)
 “English for me is so difficult. Passing the exam is my main aim.” (Student 9)
In fact, at HTU, students have opportunities to practice several orders in English so learning English for Garment is very helpful.
Students’ interview data also reveals another important purpose for their English learning: the academic purpose, that is English acts as a medium of instruction, helps them access learning materials in English.

To sum up, HTU students recognize the role of English for Garment in their study now and their career opportunities in the near future. They are expecting their ESP learning in the university to benefit their future career development. However, the use of English as a tool to communicate with foreigners seems to be not taken into much consideration.

Research question 2: “To what extent are the students’ expectations met?

Students’ and lecturers’ perceptions of the usefulness of English for Garment program

Table 1 below demonstrates students’ and lecturers’ opinions about current English for garment program. (1. strongly disagree, 2. disagree, 3. neither agree nor disagree, 4. agree, 5. strongly agree)

Table 1:  Results of Students’ and teachers’ perceptions of  ESP program

Item Questions

Students

Teachers

 
1

 
2

 
3

 
4

 
5

 
1

 
2

 
3

 
4

 
5

1. English for garment is useful for your students’ imagined career life

0%

8%

10%

72%

11%

0%

0%

0%

92%

18%

2. Curriculum was designed especially for job-oriented English use

1%

5%

13%

54%

27%

0%

0%

16%

67%

17%

 From this table, we can see that there is a slight different in the teachers and students’ responses. While teachers show a highly agreement with the role of current English for garment to students’ future employment (100%), their students put 83% of the importance of this subject at school. Such difference may result from the teachers who have the experiences and the overview of the employment trend of the garment industry whereas some students still keep the opinion that this is only compulsory subject that does not help their future jobs (18%). This result shared the same finding with Cindy C.H. Tsao et al. (2018) when both studies found the students’ awareness of the importance of ESP course to learners’ employment.

When looking at the ESP curriculum, both lecturers and students hold similar idea that the curriculum of ESP program is designed especially for the use in the workplace.  Only 6% of questioned students did not agree and only one lecturer kept the neutrality. When being interviewed these two teachers illustrated that:
      “Although this curriculum is designed that facilitates students’ use of English in working environment, there are some contents and tasks should be adjusted to keep up with the practical situations”. (Teacher 1)

      “The time for English for Garment program is still short, only 45 periods. It is hard to carry out all the contents and tasks. The result is both teachers and students have to work outside class much to reach the objectives of the course”. (Teacher 2)

      “The curriculum was constructed 6 years ago so I think there are still some issues should be edited to keep updated with the development of the garment industry.” (Teacher 5)

Students’ and lecturers’ perceptions of course content

Table 2 below demonstrates lecturers and students’ opinions about the ESP course content. (1. strongly disagree, 2. disagree, 3. neither agree nor disagree, 4. agree, 5. strongly agree)

Table 2:  Results of students’ and lecturers’ perception of the course’s content of English for garment technology

Item Questions

Students

Teachers

 
1

 
2

 
3

 
4

 
5

 
1

 
2

 
3

 
4

 
5

3. The content of the learning materials is relevant to the major

2%

8%

20%

60%

10%

0%

0%

16%

67%

17%

4. Concepts and vocabulary are relevant to learners’ abilities

5%

5%

13%

50%

27%

0%

0%

16%

67%

17%

5. Designed tasks help to improve your skills/ develop English competence to meet future occupational requirements

5%

 10%

20%

43%

22%

0%

0%

17%

34%

50%

6. Learning materials helps to improve major knowledge

1%

8%

21%

61%

14%

0%

0%

16%

67%

17%

 
As can be seen from the Table 2, most of the students and teachers doing the questionnaire agreed that the content of the course is relevant to their major (90% and 100% respectively) and only 10% of students answered that concepts and vocabulary are not relevant to their abilities. This result was in contrast to Nguyen Thi Kieu Thu (2007) and Nguyen Phuong Nga et al, (2007) when these authors investigated the inadequacy and obsolescence of ESP course books. More than 50% of the participants thought that designed tasks in the textbook help to improve your skills/ develop English competence to meet future occupational requirements when teachers spend 84% of agreement. However, there is 15% of students do not agree with this statement. In an interview, some students explained:

      “I do not know if the tasks in the textbook are enough for me to use in the real situations.” (Student 2)
      “Some of the tasks seems strange to me, I think we will rarely meet in the real situations.” (Student 5)
      “Really, I do not how to cope with some kinds of tasks because I have never participated in any working environment so I wonder if what I learnt at school is useful.” (Student 6)

By contrast, participant teachers gave a very positive attitude towards the aims of the tasks in the course:
      “Tasks of the course are designed based on the careful research of real situation in the garment industry. Moreover, the course designing was consulted by specialists and experienced people.” (Teacher 3)

      “I have been teaching ESP for garment enterprises’ managing teams so I am sure that what we teach my students are up to date and helpful to their future jobs.” (Teacher 4)

Apparently, there was a large difference in the opinions of teachers and students in these aspects. From my perspective, that results from the experiences of the participants about the requirements and facts of the garment industry.

In the fourth question about whether learning materials help to improve students’ specialized knowledge, both two groups of participants share the same level of agreement (over 75%). Most of them see the advantage of learning ESP because this is a way to master learners’ knowledge alongside with other specialized subjects. This is not surprising because in fact, the course book is designed based on the real technical garment materials from some HTU’s partner companies so the up-to-date information is secured.

Students’ perceptions about ESP lecturers

Table 3 presents students’ perceptions of their ESP lecturers. (1. strongly disagree, 2. disagree, 3. neither agree nor disagree, 4. agree, 5. strongly agree)
Table 3: Results of students’ perceptions of their ESP lecturers

Item questions

Students’ response

 
1

 
2

 
3

 
4

 
5

7. Lecturers’ teaching methods were engaging and motivating

0%

8%

25%

53%

14%

8. Lecturers have rich specialized knowledge

0%

5%

14%

67%

14%

9. Lecturers’ assistance and consultancy helped you learn effectively

5%

8%

19%

55%

13%

10. Lecturers’ feedbacks were helpful to you

5%

8%

15%

57%

15%

 

 
In general, students gave a relative positive opinion about their ESP lecturers with over 65% of students totally agreed with methods, knowledge and instructions of their teachers. They saw that they were engaged and motivated by teachers’ methods; and the feedbacks and assistances helped them to better learn in class. High rate of 81% of students believed in the teachers’ rich specialized knowledge.

“I learn much, especially our professional knowledge from my teacher.” (Student 8)
This is not surprising as introduced in the first part of this study that all participant lectures had years of teaching ESP and HTU is well known as one of the top university of training Garment Technology. There is 8% of students did not agree with ESP teaching methods. The same rate of disagreement (13%) was posed at the helpfulness of the lecturers’ assistance, consultancy and feedback to students’ learning. This may be due to the fact that there is no teaching method that fits every type of learners. Some students keep the embarrassment of pursuing this subject as they told:

            “Although my teacher supports and guides me how to better learn this subject, I still find it difficult to keep up with the lessons.” (Student 10)       

Students’ self-assess of their proficiency in English language skills

The following table (Table 4) shows the results of Students’ self-assess of their proficiency in English language skills by 5 level (1-very poor, 2- poor, 3-average, 4-good, 5-very good)
Table 4: Results of Students’ self-assess of their proficiency in English language skills

Item Questions

Very Poor
1

Poor
 
2

Average
 
3

Good
 
4

Very Good
5

1. Speaking

6%

15%

41%

28%

10%

2. Writing

7%

14%

37%

35%

7%

3. Reading

1%

11%

34%

33%

21%

4. Listening

10%

21%

31%

36%

2%

5. Translating

1%

12%

21%

43%

23%

6. Sub-skills (negotiating, making contact, dealing with customers, working in groups, presenting…..)

15%

16%

32%

28%

9%

 
From the table, it can be seen that students’ reading and translating skills were considered better than other skills (writing, listening and speaking), those accounted for over 50% of answers. Boran (1994) recorded that although speaking and listening were two most important language skills in the students’ future work, however, they did not practice frequently in their ESP classes. This may be one of the reasons why listening and speaking were not of high agreeing percentage in this result. Moreover, this might be due to the methods of teaching used in classroom which focus much on reading and translating skills. In fact, several viewpoints claimed that ESP textbooks now in Vietnam focused on vocabulary in order to assist enriching specialized knowledge but not pay much concentration to improve students’ language skills. On the other hand, although ESP textbooks and other types of learning materials designed with the aim of developing all language skills, teachers still focused on two main skills (reading and translating). At HTU, some students in interviews replied:

“We had a few chances to practice writing and listening, but reading and translating were our tasks at all lessons.” (Student 3)

“My listening skill was so bad right when I learned General English. Now for ESP, it became worse because I had very few chances to listen in class.” (Student 7)

As analyzed in the first finding, students had much hope in learning ESP for workplace environment where sub-skills (negotiating, making contact, dealing with customers, working in groups, presenting…..) will be used frequently. However, the positive rate for them was small (37 %) whereas 31% of students assessed these of skills to be very poor and poor. As stated above, this might be due to the teachers’ much focus on reading and translating.

In conclusion, all the skills required for language learners were perceived by ESP students not to be paid equal attention. As a result, their English skills are not improved properly. To meet the students’ needs of an ESP program as mentioned in the first finding (for future job orientation), this program seemed to fail to equip enough skills for students’ future employment.

6. Conclusion

This study investigated Garment students’ perceptions of the current ESP program at HTU. The results of the research showed that most of the participant students perceive the role of this course in benefiting their future career. Besides, they are well aware of using English as a medium of instruction. That is the trend of using English in a global context. In Vietnam through participating in EMI courses, it is ultimately hoped that Vietnamese students will graduate with more employable skills and a greater ability to perceive the world around them.

However, the relevance of ESP program at HTU to students’ expectation should be taken into careful consideration. The overall finding from this study is that a mismatch exists between HTU students’ perceived needs from their English course, and the actual course of study they receive. It was also reported that the current ESP program appeared not to provide students with necessary and enough English abilities and skills they require to be competitive in the workplace.

The results of this study also bring out possible reasons as to why graduate’s outcomes are unsatisfactory for garment enterprises in term of using English at the workplace (as in an HTU’s survey of garment enterprises about HTU graduates).

Finally, research on how to better connect HTU English education to real world demand is needed. This study only looked at Garment students’ desires and expectation of their English study. Research is also needed to investigate the specific English requirements of the workplace in the garment industry.

References

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