e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 29 (S3) 2021 / JSSH(S)-511-2021


Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions on the Impacts of Service-Learning in a Language Course

Giang Thi Thu Bui and Hanh Thi Minh Nguyen

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 29, Issue S3, December 2021


Keywords: English major, impacts, language course, perceptions, service-learning

Published on: 30 November 2021

Service-learning, also known as community-based learning, is considered a pedagogical tool in various disciplines at different levels, including tertiary education. It has proved its significant effects on social and academic aspects. Different institutions have incorporated service-learning in their language curricula in language education to create better exposure to the target language for learners. However, the research on the application of service-learning components in language learning has still been limited in Asia-Pacific countries, especially in Vietnam, where learners have fewer chances of serving a native community by using a target language like English. This paper reports on teachers’ and students’ perspectives on the impacts of a service-learning project incorporated in an English speaking course at a public university in Vietnam. The study used questionnaires for 117 second-year English-majored students, three focus-group discussions with 16 surveyed students, and semi-structured individual interviews with four subject teachers. The results reflect students’ positive feedback on language competence, social awareness, personal traits and soft skills. The interviews with teachers reveal the progressive changes in students’ presentation skills, self-confidence, and critical thinking skills. However, the main difficulties hindering the implementation of the project are the insufficient understanding of project procedures, the passive way of thinking, lack of financial support, and the limited exposure to English in authentic environments. This paper also brings about some practical implications for language teachers and researchers in similar educational contexts.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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