In the past two weeks, my survey (created using SurveyMonkey) has been circulated via online platforms (Facebook, Twitter and BCM212 Moodle Forum) to recruit participants. Although 32 is a small/tiny number of respondents, most of the answers were highly informative AND surprising.
Contrary to my presassumptions, Speaking – although being an “active” skill – is considered less challenging than Reading. Listening is voted as the most difficult. The next graph further supports this finding:
Given that the lectures are delivered with the English that is more formal and more accustomed to Vietnamese students, it is reasonable that respondents found listening to them relatively easy. On the other hand, Listening to other students is the most troublesome.
This is understandable, since conversational and Australian English has some aspects that are significantly difficult for non-native speakers to master, particularly the slangs/colloquialisms and speed of speech:
Previously, from scholarly readings, I had drawn a conclusion that most international students tend to stick together in a group rather than making friends with domestic students, yet the answers to the following question has proven me wrong:
On a scale from 0 as Never to 10 as Always, on average, these Vietnamese international undergrads sometimes speak up in tutorials. However, this is not due to lack of confidence or competence in their English, but mostly because of personal preference – whether to say anything or not – and whether they have any ideas to share:
That’s it for now; the focus group is next week, so hang on for more surprises guys!