Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number3   September 2021                                         Pp.351-365

Full Paper PDF

Gifted High School Students’ Needs for English Learning in Vietnam Contexts

 Do Minh Hung
Foreign Languages Faculty, Dong Thap University
Cao Lanh City, Vietnam
Corresponding Author:

Nguyen Thi Thu Ai
Ca Van Thinh High School
Ben Tre City, Vietnam


Received: 5/21/2021                           Accepted:  9/3/2021                Published: 9/24/2021

The learning needs of English students have been researched over the past decades in different countries, especially among non-speaking English ones. The core goal of these studies was to examine if learner needs/wants and learning outcomes of the English course/curriculum provided are sufficiently matched, i.e., whether or not students feel satisfied (because their needs/wants are met). Expanding this line of research, the current study attempts to find out the needs for English learning among gifted high school students in the current Vietnam context by seeking the answer to the main question: How do these students report their needs for English learning? The findings are supposed to provide useful insights into this English learning – teaching setting. One hundred and eighty English-majored students from five gifted high schools in five provinces of Vietnam participated in a questionnaire-interview survey. The obtained results show that most participants opted for English because they needed it for future employment and cross-cultural/national communications for long-term purposes. As a result, they wanted to practice more English speaking and listening skills rather than other components of English knowledge (pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary) and skills (reading, writing). Yet, their English practices in the classroom did not place much emphasis on speaking-listening skills, i.e., their needs were not very satisfactorily met. Some of the findings echo those of previous research, and some are first reported in the current study.
Keywords: English learning, gifted high school, needs analysis, practice, survey, Vietnam context 

Cite as:  Do, M. H., &  Nguyen, T. T. A. (2021). Gifted High School Students’ Needs for English Learning in Vietnam Contexts. Arab World English Journal, 12 (3) 351-365.


Akbari, Z. (2016). The study of EFL students’ perceptions of their problems, needs, and concerns over learning English: The case of MA paramedical students. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 232, 24 – 34. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.10.006

Al Hilali, T.S., & Mckinley, J. (2021). Exploring the socio-contextual nature of workplace writing: Towards preparing learners for the complexities of English L2 writing in the workplace. English for Specific Purposes, 63(July 2021), 86-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.esp.2021.03.003

Bhattacherjee, A. (2012). Social science research: principles, methods, and practices. South Florida: Scholar Commons.

Brindley, G. (1989). The role of needs analysis in adult ESL programme design. In R. K. Johnson (Ed.), The second language curriculum (pp. 63-78). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139524520.007

Brown, J. D. (1995). The elements of language curriculum: A systematic approach to program development. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.

Cao, T. H. P., Ta, T. B., & Hoang, B. C. (2016). National policies for teaching English contexts: a discussion of policies. Thai TESOL Journal, 29(2), 1-17.

Chatzikyriakou, M., & Zafiri, M. (2019). Needs analysis in EFL teaching in Greece, the teachers’ stance. Education and Linguistics Research, 5(1), 1-20. DOI: 10.5296/elr.v5i1.14191

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th Ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

Dissanayake, K. M., & Harun, R. N. S. R. (2012). Theory and practice of EAP in the Sri Lankan context. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 66, 106 – 116.

Dooey, P. (2010). Students’ perspectives of an EAP pathway program. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9(3), 184-197.

Gass, J. (2012). Needs analysis and situational analysis: Designing an ESP curriculum for Thai nurses. English for Specific Purposes World, 36(12), 1-21.

Gborsong, P. A. et al. (2015). A needs analysis of undergraduate students of communicative skills: the case of tertiary institutions in Ghana. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 5, 413-424. DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2015.55037

Ho, N. Q. (2017). English learning needs of Business Administration students: factors to consider in ESP curriculum development. Tạp chí Khoa học Ngôn ngữ và Văn hóa [Journal of Language Science and Culture], 1(1), 59-71.

Hutchinson, T., & Waters, A. (1987). English for specific purposes: A learning-center Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ibrahim, A. S. E. M. (2016). ESP needs analysis: A case study of PEH students, University of Khartoum. Sino-US English Teaching,13(12), 1-19. DOI: 10.17265/1539-8072/2016.12.00

Kazar, S. G., & Mede, E. (2015). The perceptions of ESP students’ target needs: A case study. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 191, 2526 – 2530.

Kendall, L. (2008). The conduct of qualitative interview: Research questions, methodological issues, and researching online. In J. Coiro, M. Knobel, C. Lankshear, & D. Leu (Eds.), Handbook of research on new literacies (pp.133-149). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Loan, D.T., & Dan, T.C. (2018). An evaluation of general English course from non-English major students’ learning needs analysis. Can Tho University Journal of Science, 54(2), 56-66.

Long, M. H. (Ed.) (2005). Second language needs analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511667299

Lou, Y.G., Li, H.X., & Zhao, Z.J. (2020). A study on needs analysis of Chinese vocational non-English majored undergraduates in English for specific purposes. Open Access Library Journal, 7(5), 1-15.

MOET. (2014). Quy chế: Tổ chức và hoạt động của trường trung học phổ thông chuyên. [Regulations: Organizations and activities of gifted high schools].

Nguyen, A. T. (2011). Learners’ academic and occupation needs in ESP course (English for civil engineering) at a vocational college in the Mekong Delta, (Unpublished Master’s thesis). Can Tho University, Vietnam.

Nguyen, T. Q. et al. (2021). A needs analysis of Vietnamese users of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese languages. VNU Journal of Foreign Studies, 37(2), 112-135.

Nunan, D. (1988). The learner-centered curriculum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nurakhia, A., & Palupi, F. N. (2018). Exploring ESP needs of undergraduate nursing students in a university in Indonesia. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 5(7) 77-85.

Poedjiastutie, D., & Oliver, R. (2017). English learning needs of ESL learners: exploring stakeholders perceptions at an Indonesian university. TEFLIN Journal, 28(1), 1-21. DOI: 10.15639/teflinjournal.v28i1/1-21

Priya, S. (2014). Lacunas identified in syllabus design of English language teaching in Engineering Colleges: A study with special reference to Odisha, India. International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies, 2(4), 34-51.

Read, J. (2008). Identifying academic language needs through diagnostic assessment. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7(3), 180-190. DOI: 10.1016/j.jeap.2008.02.001

Seedhouse, P. (1995). Needs analysis and the general English classroom. ELT Journal, 49, 59-65.

Sönmez, H. (2019).  An examination of needs analysis research in the language education process. International Journal of Education & Literacy Studies, 7(1), 8-17.

White, R. V. (1988). The ELT curriculum design, innovation, and management. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Zafar, S. A. (2020). What it takes to design the best model for the English for academic purposes course?  English for Specific Purposes World, 22(60), 1-27.



Received: 5/21/2021  
Accepted:  9/3/2021 
Published: 9/24/2021   

Dr. Do Minh Hung has been teaching English at Dong Thap University, Cao Lanh City, Dong Thap Province, Vietnam, for more than 20 years. He holds a doctoral degree in Applied Linguistics and has published several journal articles in the areas of English instruction and English-Vietnamese translation. ORCID ID

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Ai is an English teacher at Ca Van Thinh High School, Ben Tre City, Vietnam. She has worked there for more than 12 years. She received his MA degree in TESOL from Can Tho University, Vietnam.