Ying-Hsueh Cheng ； Vo Doan Anh Uyen
Special Issue 11卷2期 (2020 / 12 / 01) ; P54 – 70
Due to the competitive nature of the global high-tech industry, English plays a central role as a lingua franca in communicating and exchanging information. As a result, many high-tech companies, including those in Vietnam, often require engineers to be equipped with field expertise and English abilities. In response to the lack of knowledge regarding the English skills needed by engineers in Vietnam’s high-tech sector, this preliminary study investigates the English language needs and problems which Daikin engineers face in their workplace. For the purpose of the study, a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were employed to collect data. Thirty-two participants who were full-time engineers in a Daikin company located in Danang city, Vietnam, were recruited to fill out the questionnaire. Seven of them were later invited to take part in individual interviews. The questionnaire and interviews were both conducted online. The findings showed that reading and writing are the two most commonly-used skills in the workplace, including reading documents, emailing, communicating with customers, and contacting their bosses. However, we also found that both speaking and writing were ranked as the most difficult skills, indicating the challenges encountered by these engineers. In addition, a majority of engineers reported their lack of English use for speaking and listening, and so preferred to enhance these two skills in an ESP course in which they wanted to improve their vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and fluency. Therefore, based on the needs analysis of Daikin engineers, the researchers developed a syllabus with the focus on speaking and listening skills, and hope that it can be used to bridge the gap between these engineers’ current ability and their language needs in their workplace.