About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5406-5413
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain

VIETNAMESE PRIMARY STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF SMALL GROUP LEARNING IN LEARNING VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE: A PILOT STUDY

N. Nguyen

HoChiMinh City University of Pedagogy (VIETNAM)
In Vietnam,though teaching in small groups is encouraged by Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) for every teacher in all levels (Moet, 2000), it is still a rarely used method in Vietnamese schools and institutes. For example, in primary level, it can be seen that students are taught mostly in whole-class curriculum. This may explain why Vietnamese students are evaluated as “lacking of learning autonomy” (Lap, 2005, p. 20). Since 2007, some primary schools in Ho Chi Minh City have applied small group teaching in all subjects and teaching-and-learning activities. This new plan was seen as raising a new advanced teaching method at primary level ("Dan tri,"). However, a total change from teaching as a whole-class to small group model probably impacts on both teachers and students who have not experienced this phenomenon before. This research, therefore, studied in depth the students’ perceptions of using small group learning in some primary school in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam which have been implementing small groups. To get a balanced perspective of small group learning, the students’ perceptions about it were compared and contrasted in relation with the principal’s and class teachers’ perceptions.
It can be seen clearly that the students’ perception of cooperative small group learning will provide an insight perspective about small group teaching in primary schools. As a consequence, teachers, educators and administrators can understand in depth about the teaching and learning processes that are deployed in classrooms. Moreover, although there are some experiments examined the effects of cooperative small-group learning in Asian contexts (for example, Hertz-Lazarowitz & Zelniker, 1995; Sugie, 1995), it seems that there are fewer studies focusing on Asian primary students’ perception of small group learning. In addition, the social, cultural and epistemological factors have a strong influence on how effective a new teaching method is to students. For example, for Asian education systems following Confucianism like Vietnamese one, sitting silently in class, listening, and repeating precisely what teachers say are the ways the students show their respect to the teacher (Phuong-Mai, Terlouw, & Pilot, 2005). To them, discussing or questioning is considered as impolite behaviours. As a result, adapting to the criteria of an effective cooperative small-group discussion may challenge both teachers and students’ teaching and learning procedures. Student perspectives of small group learning, therefore, may be different to their Western counterparts. Hence, this research concentrated on studying the perceptions of Vietnamese primary students being taught in small groups when learning their mother tongue. The research results, hopefully, may contribute to the current literature of cooperative small group teaching and learning.
Research methods: Three primary schools with different types of implementing small group learning in HoChiMinh city were selected as multi-cases. 140 fourth and fifth-year students from these schools were examined by observations, questionnaires and individual interviews. The initial results show that Vietnamese students are interested in learning in groups more than in individuals eventhough they are learning in different types of small groups. Moreover, the differences in gender and academic achievement have a strong effect on how students perceive the benefits and the difficulties when learning Vietnamese in groups.
@InProceedings{NGUYEN2011VIE,
author = {Nguyen, N.},
title = {VIETNAMESE PRIMARY STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF SMALL GROUP LEARNING IN LEARNING VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE: A PILOT STUDY},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {5406-5413}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Nguyen
TI - VIETNAMESE PRIMARY STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF SMALL GROUP LEARNING IN LEARNING VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE: A PILOT STUDY
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 5406
EP - 5413
ER -
N. Nguyen (2011) VIETNAMESE PRIMARY STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF SMALL GROUP LEARNING IN LEARNING VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE: A PILOT STUDY, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, pp. 5406-5413.
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