Author Identifiers

Thi Ngoc Diem HOANG
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3485-4541

Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

First Advisor

Associate Professor Nicola F. Johnson

Second Advisor

Dr Maggie McAlinden

Abstract

During the past decade, English language teaching has received more consideration in Vietnam than ever before evidenced by strategic funding by the government. However, the English competence of the Vietnamese population remains low due to the lack of an authentic learning environment inside and outside the classroom despite significant and ongoing national investment. A suggested solution to this issue is the synergy of Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) and virtual reality (VR) mobile technology to create an authentic language learning environment. The potential of technology to facilitate language learning is a recognised but underresearched area of language education in higher education in Vietnam. This study was conducted to fill this gap. Its main aim was to explore the affordances of VR-integrated tasks to create an authentic language learning environment for a group of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students at a public university in Vietnam.

A mixed methods design was used to trial the VR technology and explore its affordances when used with TBLT. The research design included a mobile learning readiness survey (Phase 1), followed by a VR technology trial with classroom observations and individual interviews (Phase 2). The framework of authentic tasks in e-learning by Herrington et al. (2010) was used to guide the data interpretation. The survey showed that it was feasible to implement the VR technology trial and provided a snapshot of mobile learning readiness among university students (N = 505) and teachers (N = 31) in Vietnam. The interviews and observations with 24 students and one teacher showed that the use of the VR technology enhanced task authenticity and led to perceived improvements in their language learning. The findings also revealed that participants perceived improvements in their ICT skills, knowledge of the world and culture, learner autonomy, engagement, and motivation in learning via the combination of TBLT and VR.

The study provides some recommendations for policy and practice based on the key findings, clarifies its limitations, and offers implications for future research. The study findings strengthen the point that research on TBLT in synergy with technology should consider the affordances of VR technology in EFL learning. The study adds new insight into the affordances of immersive mobile technology in EFL learning which hopefully will pave the way for the integration of immersive mobile technology in foreign language education in Vietnam and other similar contexts.

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Available for download on Friday, October 24, 2025

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