Comparative exploration of learning styles and teaching techniques between Thai and Vietnamese EFL students and instructors

Supalak Nakhornsri, Thailand, ID CLEaR2016-303;            Learning styles have been a particular focus of a number of researchers over the past decades. Findings from various studies researching into how students learn highlight significant relationships between learners’ styles of learning and their language learning processes and achievement. This research focuses on a comparative analysis of the preferences of English learning styles and teaching techniques perceived by students from Thailand and Vietnam, and the teaching styles and techniques practiced by their instructors. The purposes were 1) to investigate the learning styles and teaching techniques students from both countries preferred, 2) to investigate the compatibility of the teaching styles and techniques practiced by instructors and those preferred by the students, 3) to specify the learning styles and teaching techniques students with high level of English proficiency preferred, and 4) to investigate the similarities of Thai and Vietnamese students’ preferences for learning styles and teaching techniques. The sample consisted of two main groups: 1) undergraduate students from King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUTNB), Thailand and Thai Nguyen University (TNU), Vietnam and 2) English instructors from both institutions. The instruments employed comprised the Students’ Preferred English Learning Style and Teaching Technique Questionnaire and the Teachers’ Practiced English Teaching Style and Technique Questionnaire. The collected data were analyzed using arithmetic means and standard deviation. The findings can contribute to the curriculum development and assist teachers to teach outside their comfort level to match the students’ preferred learning styles. In addition, the findings could better promote the courses provided for students. By understanding the learning style make-up of the students enrolled in the courses, faculty can adjust their modes of content delivery to match student preferences and maximize student learning. Finally, this research could establish better understanding between language learning natures of people from Thailand and Vietnam.

Keywords: learning styles, teaching styles, teaching techniques,  EFL