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# CULTURE FIELD TRIPS TO DINH BANG VILLAGE FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS STUDYING VIETNAMESE IN VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI

Module by: Thao Vu. E-mail the author

Summary: The gap between second-hand experience through class lectures and first-hand experience through real-life exposure is reported to be the crucial limitation of the VNU (Hanoi) Vietnamese language-learning programme for foreign students. This study, as the earliest bird in addressing this issue, investigated the merits of culture field trips (CFTs) to Dinh Bang village for foreign students studying Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi and advocated this extra-curriculum activity to the VNU (Hanoi) Vietnamese language-learning course for foreigners. “Thick and rich” data collected from all the involved subjects: the students, teachers and Dinh Bang local people, were obtained by means of survey questionnaire and semi-structure interviews. The corresponding analysis revealed the a strong consensus among the teachers and students about the benefits of CFTs to Dinh Bang village for the students’ language and culture learning process, and the great support for this activity from Dinh Bang local people and authorities, which, in turn, consolidated the distinguished value and feasibility of the researchers’ proposal. The applicability of the study is further enhanced when one sample culture field trip to Dinh Bang village for the foreign students learning Vietnamese is also included.

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

1. CFT(s): Culture Field Trip(s)
2. SLL: Second Language Learning
3. TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language
4. TESOL: Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages
5. VNU, HN: Vietnam National University, Hanoi

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION

## 1. Statement of the problem and rationale for the study

It was not until the publication of “The Travels” by Marco Polo in 1298 that most Westerners developed a strong sense of curiosity about the great civilization in the East (Smethurst, 2006). Since then, human beings from every corner of the world, in an attempt to build up mutual understanding among different countries or cultures, have initiated various ways to come into contact with each other. One way that has become a global trend is to study foreign languages, the ideal practice of which is believed to take place in the native language environment.

Not departing from this universal movement, Vietnam has also welcomed many foreigners who want to study Vietnamese and discover Vietnamese culture. Many of them have taken the Vietnamese language-learning courses run by the country’s colleges or universities. Regarded as a credited academic institution in the country, Vietnam National University (VNU), Hanoi, has annually received hundreds of foreign students to enroll on its Vietnamese language-learning courses.

Despite the undeniable fact that the native language and culture environment is the learners’ crucial advantage, a closer look at the course programme shows that this favourable condition has not yet been fully exploited. Most of the learning practice is restricted within the classroom environment and the organization of extra-curriculum field trips for the students to integrate themselves into the native Vietnamese language and culture environment has not been of frequency. Indeed, according to Vu Xuan Thao, a Vietnamese language teacher from CFL, VNU, Hanoi, during their Vietnamese language course in the university, the only two main ways for foreign students to get to know about Vietnamese language and culture are class lectures and one short trip to the Vietnamese Ethnology Museum. Clearly, up to the time of the research, the lack of extra curriculum field trips remains one limitation of the VNU (Hanoi) Vietnamese language-learning programme.

Meanwhile, “field trips are vital components of professional education” (Clark, 2005), “fully integral to learning’ (Paist, 2001), and according to Kern and Carpenter (1984), “the cognitive and affective benefits of field trips” have also been “documented” by researchers. Therefore, in order to remedy the aforementioned shortcoming of the course programme, obviously, the inclusion of field trips in the VNU (Hanoi) Vietnamese language-learning programme for foreign students would be of real necessity.

Hanoi and its neighboring area, at the same time, well known for the natural beauty, cultural heritage and friendly people, offer a number of interesting places for foreign students to go on their field trips. Among them, Dinh Bang village in Bac Ninh province, culturally, educationally, geographically and economically speaking, may emerge as an ideal destination. However, in fact, there have never been any studies into the merits of culture field trips in Dinh Bang village for foreign students studying Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi.

With this gap in mind, the researchers have decided to conduct a research entitled “Culture field trips to Dinh Bang village for foreign students studying Vietnamese in Vietnam National University, Hanoi.” In carrying out the research, the researchers hope to prove the virtues of culture field trips in Dinh Bang village for foreign students studying Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi and thus, make a recommendation of including this extra-curriculum activity to the VNU (Hanoi) Vietnamese language-learning course for foreigners.

## 2. Aims and objectives of the study

The research is aimed at outstanding the necessity of organizing field trips to Dinh Bang Village for foreign students studying Vietnamese in Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Specifically, the researchers, first, would like to investigate the benefits of culture field trips to the students studying Vietnamese in Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Second, the virtues of Dinh Bang as an ideal destination for these field trips are to be proved. Finally, the researchers hope to suggest a sample field-trip program for the Vietnamese course of Vietnam National University, Hanoi.

## 3. Research questions

The research is carried out in order to answer the following questions:

1. To what extent are culture field trips beneficial to the Vietnamese language learning of foreign students in Vietnam National University, Hanoi?
2. What do those students expect of a culture field trip in Vietnam?
3. What are the important merits of Dinh Bang village as a CFT destination?
4. What is a suggested program for a field trip to Dinh Bang for those students?

## 4. Scope of the study

The research focuses on culture field trips, among the many kinds of field trips such as virtual field trips or geological field trips. In addition, it works on the benefits of culture field trips to Ding Bang village to the Vietnamese language learning of foreign students studying in Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Therefore, the population of interest of this study is the foreign students studying Vietnamese in Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Other participants include the teachers who are teaching Vietnamese in the university, the authorities and the local people in Dinh Bang village.

## 5. Methodology

In order to reach the aims of the research, three data collection methods were employed, which can be explained as follows:

5.1 Survey questionnaire

Survey questionnaires were completed by 50 foreign students studying Vietnamese at Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU). Through the conducting of this familiar and time-saving method, several important points for the research, such as students’ interests and expectations, were drawn out.

5.2 Semi-structured interviews

Five teachers who are teaching Vietnamese in VNU were interviewed, besides five face-to-face talks with the authorities and seven with the people in Dinh Bang commune. This method obviously helped the researchers achieve deeper understanding of the investigated issue.

## 5. An overview of the study

The research is divided into five chapters. Chapter I – Introduction provides an overview of the research. The study, then, is developed with chapter II, III and IV. Chapter II-Literature Review offers a brief summary of the key theories and related studies; thereby brings to light the gap that the current study can fit in. Next, in Chapter III–Methodology, the researchers’ approach to conducting the research and the procedures of collecting and analyzing the data are to be described in details. This will serve as a springboard to chapter IV – Discussion of results- where the researchers, after analyzing and interpreting the findings of the research, discuss a number of implications and make suggestions in the light of the previous literature. Lastly, Chapter V – Conclusion summarizes all key points of the research and touches upon several recommendations for further research on the topic.

CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW

The following review on the benefits of culture field trips to second language learning, the merits of Dinh Bang village is the researcher’s endeavour to show how strongly this study is based on previous research and how much it can fit in the available gap in the field.

## 1. The benefits of culture field trips to second language learning

Paist (2006) ever exclaimed that “It’s exhausting just thinking about the possibilities [of classifying field trips]” Indeed, field trips, based on various criteria such as content, purpose, venue, duration, can be categorized to different kinds. Regarding the content and goal of field trips, culture field trips could emerge as one type. Though having been used as a conventional term, to the knowledge of the researchers, “culture field trip” has never been official studied in any research. The understanding of culture field trips-second language learning relationship, thus, should be technically drawn out from the analysis of the correlation of its components, i.e. “field trips” and “culture,” with second language learning.

## 1.1 The benefits of field trips to learning

Regarded as “vital components of professional education” (Paist, 2006), field trips have received special attention of education researchers. Barbara (1980) defined field trip as “an organized, sponsored excursion from the campus, in order to engage in studies that are part of the academic program.” Powis (1999), however, only perceived field trips as part of the study curriculum while Anderson et al (2006), in the definition, just highlights the purposes of these “out-of-school visits with classes,” say, “to settings they believe will complement and enhance their students’ understanding of aspects of the world.”

The definitions, though various, to many extents, pointed out common characteristics of field trips. The first feature is being “curriculum-tied,” (Anderson et al, 2006). One study on teachers’ perspectives of field trips conducted by Kisiel (2005), as cited in Anderson, (2006) revealed that “90 percent of participating teachers stated that a connection to the curriculum was an important reason for leading a field trip.” Other studies on the same topic also came up with the same conclusion about the dominance perception of teachers about this close relationship between the content of field trips and the study curriculum (Anderson et al, 2006). Powis (1999) supported this idea by stressing the “direct” relation and correlation of a field trip to the major learning contents of students at school.

Being practice-oriented is another characteristic of field trip. A study on field trips for engineering technology students pointed out that through “observing’ activities during field trips, students themselves could get first-hand experiences with theoretical stuffs learnt in classrooms (Withiam, 2005). In other words, “good field trips bring lessons to life.” (Paist, 2006)

Lastly, field trips are educationally beneficial to students. Kisiel (2003), as cited in Anderson (2006) found out that 83 percent of teachers perceived field trips as the source of “highly educational experiences” for their students. A relatively large body of research in field trips’ educational benefits brought about congruent outcomes. These benefits, as summarized by Athman and Monroe (2006), can be “cognitive and affective.” Powis (1999), elaborated on these advantages by highlighting “active learning” as the most important outcome of field trips for the students and summarizing various documented ways by previous researchers, in which the students’ capabilities could be developed, i.e. “facilitating the learning of abstract concepts (Orion, 1993), motivating students through increased interest and curiosity (Manner, 1995), improving long term retention of concepts (Manner, 1995 and Orion, 1993), increasing student-student and student-teacher social interaction (Manner, 1995 and Smith, 1995), developing social consciousness an increased appreciation for the phenomenon studied (Manner, 1995), and learning is seen as a practical component of life versus a structured classroom activity.“

In short, field trips so far have been attended to in a great number of studies and in general seen as a beneficial indispensable component of students’ practical learning process in both cognitive and affective dimensions.

## 1.2 The importance of culture to second language learning

Since the literature in this area is immense, the researchers are going to give only a brief review of items most relevant to the study, which covers the basic understanding of second language learning (SLL), culture and their relationship.

1.2.1 Second language learning

In the first place, According to the Wikipedia dictionary, a second language “is one that is learned where the language is spoken”. Therefore, SLL takes place in the native country, or in a country where the language which is learned is used officially. This, in turn, raises another question: what is SLL? Simply, SLL is viewed as “the processes by which people learn languages in addition to their native tongue(s)” (en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Second language_learning), which explains why the language to be learned is often referred to as the target language or L2.

In this sense, SLL has been a subject of interest of many researchers, who have attempted to clarify the principles of effective SLL. In “Enabling first and second language”, Margaret Early (1990) discussed the nine fundamental factors contributing to the success of language learning, of which the one dealing with culture and language use in real life is strongly emphasized. She pointed out that learning a second language means learning to use the language to socialize, query, imagine and wonder. Devitt (2004) gave a deeper view when affirming that in one way or another, learning another language is learning another culture and “trying to figure out the nature of other people”. Going into more details, Paige et al. (?) suggested that “Words and their meaning are linked to a cultural context, and language and cultural patterns change over time and vary according to the situation”. In another approach, Krasner (1999) stated: “Linguistic competence alone is not enough for learners of a language to be competent in that language”, implying that understanding of culture is a must in order for communication to be successful. Thus, generally speaking, it would be a mistake not to mention the role of culture concerning the issue of effective SLL.

1.2.2 Culture

Regarding culture, researchers so far seem not to have reached a consensus about what culture can refer to. On the one hand, when defining culture, many researchers put their focus on the intellectual values. For instance, Useem, J., & Useem, R. (1963) perceived culture simply as the inherited and common patterns of behaviour among different member of a community. Banks and McGee (1989) supported this idea by confirming that the understanding of culture” as consisting primarily of the symbolic, ideational, and intangible aspects of human societies” became universal among researchers. On the other hand, in other studies on culture, this term has been investigated in both intellectual and materialistic dimensions. According to Parson (1949), culture refers both to common behaviour practice and the “inherited” “products of human action“ between generations of a society. Sharing the same view, Kroeber & Kluckhohn (1952) paid attention to the “essential core“ and “system“ of culture, which both cover the intellectual and materialistic values.

1.2.3 The relationship between culture and second language learning

To date, the involvement of culture in SLL has always been of great concern to scholars, educators and teachers. Many of them, through their analyses and experiments, have proved the undeniably important role of culture to the success of SLL. Bada, E. and Genc, B. (2005) assert that without the study of culture learning L2 is “inaccurate and incomplete”. Because “a language forms part of the sociocultural context” (McComish, 2004), the lack of cultural factors would not lead to effective language learning, especially in the case of SLL.

Firstly, culture is a motivation for second language learners. In truth, learners with certain awareness of the target culture normally find it easier and more interesting to study the target language. In other words, “studying culture gives students a reason to study the target language as well as rendering the study of L2 meaningful” (Stainer, 1971).

Apart from being such motivation for SLL, understanding culture also helps ESL learners, as shown clearly by Chastain (1971), relate the abstract language to real people and places. Thus, they will get nearer to the successful communication in the language that they learn with the native speakers. Bada (2000: 4) reaffirmed this benefit by stating “most language learners, not exposed to cultural elements of the society in question, seem to encounter significant hardship in communicating meaning to native speakers.”

Besides these benefits, studying culture also plays a useful role in general education since studying culture, learners could also obtain knowledge of the geography, history, etc. of the target culture (Cooke, 1970).

In summary, culture plays an extremely important role in SLL. Peterson and Coltrane concluded “culture must be fully incorporated as a vital component of language learning (...) Students can be successful in speaking a second language only if cultural issues are an inherent part of the curriculum” (2003). It is, therefore, understandable that nowadays the second language culture is presented as an interdisciplinary core in many L2 curricula designs and textbooks (Sysoyev and Donelson, 2002), of which culture field trips, as mentioned previously, is an integral part.

## 1.3 Conclusion

To sum up, a thorough explanation of the comprising terms of “culture field trip” (CFT) has been offered, yet the term “culture field trip” itself has never been studied in sufficient details. However, it can be easily drawn out that CFTs, as one variable of field trips, also present all the important characteristics of field trips in general. CFTs, without doubt, would be more specific in terms of its culture-related purpose and contents: to provide students exposure to one type of culture on the basis of first-hand basis so that the students can get practical knowledge as the realization of what they learn in the classroom. In this sense, CFTs would play a crucial role in making SLL “accurate and complete” (adapted from the idea of Bada, E. & Genc, B. (2005))

## 2. The important merits of Dinh Bang village

According to the official website of Hanoi Administration of Tourism (http://www.hanoitourism.gov.vn), Dinh Bang village which comprises a group of historical and cultural relics is one of the most attractive destinations of Bac Ninh

province. Located in Tu Son District this village is the native place of Ly Cong Uan (or King Ly Thai To) – the founder of Dinh Bang Communal Housethe Ly Dynasty (1010-1225) and Thang Long Capital (present Hanoi) (1010).

As one typical entity of the Vietnamese village culture, Dinh Bang is famous for its Communal House which is among the biggest ones in the north of the country, the Do Temple with its highly praised architecture; and the culture of making “husband and wife pie” – the traditional cake of Vietnamese wedding.

The construction work on The Dinh Bang Communal House started in 1700 and finished in 1736. Located in the centre of the village, it is an architectural site full of national identity with unique carving and decoration. Dinh Bang spring festival is organized yearly. In a lake at its front, people often ride boat and sing folk songs, which has attracted many who come to enjoy traditional entertainments and relaxation after hard working days. The house is a place of worship for three genies: Cao Son Dai Vuong (God of Earth), Thuy Ba Dai Vuong (God of Water), and Bach Le Dai Vuong (God of Agriculture), symbolizing the Vietnamese village culture of grateful worship of village protectors. (http://www.vietnam-tourism.com/vietnam_gov/e_pages/Dulich/touspot/ langdinhbang.asp)

Furthermore, as one tourism website of Thailand has confirmed, Dinh Bang’s Do Temple is also one of the most famous destinations with its architecture, its history of honouring the eight Ly Kings and its festival (http://vietnam.sawadee.com/bacninh/attraction.htm). Highly praised as having marvellous architecture, Do Temple was heavily damaged by the French colonialists in 1952 and now under reconstruction of skilful craftsmen. From centuries, the Do Temple has become the place to worship the eight Ly Kings. Interestingly, according to the introduction of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (http://www.vietnamtourism.com) , the Do Temple festival, from the 14th to the 16th of the third lunar month, holds many traditional activities such as “quan ho” folk songs, water puppet performances and a lot of traditional games like wrestling, cock fighting, chess playing and pigeon releasing. Participants thereby can get to know more about Vietnamese culture.

Den Do (Do Temple) Quan Ho club

The village of Dinh Bang nowadays has successfully preserved and developed the 1000-year-old art of making “husband and wife pie”. Hundreds of families in Dinh Bang have been pursuing their traditional career for centuries. According to one website of Vietnam Travel Guide (http://www.vietnamtravelguide.com) the Phu The cakes which often come in pair with beautiful appearance and distinctive taste and scent

expresses the belief of Vietnamese people in the faithfulness between husband and wife,. According to VietNam Net, the concentration of the few experienced artisans now is to pass on their technique to her sons and daughters in hoping that they can preserve this traditional recipe for the future (http://english.vietnamnet.vn/vniden/2004/05/219980/). Visiting artisans’ house, looking at making Phu The cakes and discovering the meaning of cake’s recipients and appearance will surely help visitors understand more Vietnamese village culture.

Briefly describing Dinh Bang village, the President of Dinh Bang Commune said that Dinh Bang village is a group of historical and cultural relics which indicates the typical characteristics of Vietnamese village culture. For anyone, foreigners or Vietnamese, who want to explore Vietnamese culture, Dinh Bang village is always an ideal destination.

## 3. The way that the current study fits into the research area

Having examined the literature on culture field trips and second language learning, the interrelation between culture field trips and second language learning, this section discusses how the present study fits into the area of investigation.

In the first place, as mentioned earlier, there have been several thorough related studies on: the benefits of field trips to students’ second language acquisition and the importance of culture learning in foreign language study. For instance, in The Great Outdoor language lab (Timothy Wagner, 2005), a detailed analysis on the benefits of outdoor activities as motivating factors to students’ second language learning has been presented. Besides, Susan E. Gilmore and Glenn L. Norris (1992) described in depth in their Using Field Trips To Enhance Language Treatment how to use field trips to enhance vocabulary skills and to provide a setting for meaningful communicative interaction.

Likewise, the importance of culture learning in second language study has been the focus of many studies. For example, Culture Learning in Language Education (R. Michael Paige, 1997) pointed out the necessity of studying the culture of the target language in learning that target language. Or in Culture In Second Language Teaching, Elizabeth Peterson and Bronwyn Coltrane (2003) elaborated on the significance of culture in teaching second language as well as the misconceptions about approach to culture in second language teaching.

It can be said that the above researches have exploited the benefits of field trips and the significance of culture in second language learning to a vast variety of extents and in depth. However, to the best knowledge of the researchers, studies on the benefits of CFTs to SLL are very limited in number. Thus, the inquiry of the present study was relevant and did not fall into the category of “reinventing the wheel”.

Secondly, despite the fact that there has been a number of studies on the benefits of field trips to as well as the importance of culture in foreign language learning, this field has hardly ever seen a research on the benefits of CFTs to foreign students studying Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi. The study therefore will offer a different perspective on the application of CFTs to Vietnamese studying of foreign students in VNU, Hanoi.

Finally, it is the common knowledge that Dinh Bang in Bac Ninh province is a cultural heritage, even considered as “the cradle of Northern culture of Vietnam” (Steven K. Bailey, 1996). Yet, the literature investigation shows that it is hard to spot any research on Dinh Bang as an ideal destination for the culture field trips for foreign students studying Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi. This study, hence, could well be the earliest bird in this topic.

To sum up, with regard to the literature review, the present research was implemented, having its own unique features in a specific context, bridging certain gaps existing in the research to date. The study is described in details in the following sections.

CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY

Regarding the methods that were adopted to collect and analyze data, it is worthwhile to mention the three following main points: the participants, the instruments and the procedures of data collection and data analysis.

## 1. Participants

The participants selected for the study can be divided into four groups: foreign students `who study Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi, teachers who teach Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi, the local authorities and the local people of Dinh Bang commune.

The first group of participants includes 50 foreign students studying Vietnamese in the Vietnamese Department of VNU, the Vietnamese Department of the University of Humanities and Sciences, VNU and the Chinese Department of VNU, Hanoi College of Foreign Languages. Within the scope of the current study, this number is appropriate as it can provide enough data for a thorough analysis. The students come from different countries such as China, Russia, the US, Sweden, Cuba, etc. They were chosen randomly as the study is aimed at students at various levels in terms of Vietnamese competence. Therefore, the choice of this group could serve the inquiry of the study well. For more information about the student participants, see table 1.

Table 1 – Brief profile of the student participants

Total number: 50

____________________________________________________________

NationalityNumber of participants

Chinese28

Korean7

American5

Japanese4

Russian2

English2

Cuban1

Swedish1

____________________________________________________________

The second group consists of Vietnamese language teachers in VNU, who were interviewed in informal settings. As the focus of the interviews was collecting additional in-depth data which could not be gained through the questionnaires, only four teachers participated in the interviews. A bigger number than that, as seen by the researchers, would be not necessary. Two of the interviewees were from the Vietnamese Department, VNU, Hanoi, and the other two from the Chinese Department of Vietnam National University, Hanoi College of Foreign Languages (CFL, VNU). These four teachers were approached for their experience, of at least five years, in teaching Vietnamese to foreign students in VNU. Thus, they were supposed to have deep understanding of the current condition of the Vietnamese courses offered by the university. Their opinions, therefore, were of great value to the reliability of the study.

In the third group were the local authorities of Dinh Bang commune. Specifically, three leaders of the commune and two from Bac Ninh and Dinh Bang Youth Union were interviewed by the researchers. They were chosen for two reasons. Firstly, the ideas of the commune’s leaders were essential to the reliability of the project in the sense that their approval was an assurance for the project to come into practice. Secondly, the representatives from the Youth Union were chosen not only because of the necessity of their approval but also of their suggestions and co-operation in organizing activities for the culture field trips, if any, to their own village. It should be noted that most of the authorities interviewed were male (for more details, see table 2), which may reveal a limitation of the research in terms of the participants’ gender. However, this drawback would not necessarily exert much influence on the results of the study as gender obviously does not play an important role in its validity.

Table 2 – Brief profile of the authority participants

____________________________________________________________

ParticipantOccupation

Mr. Nguyen Thac VinhPresident of Dinh Bang People’s

Committee

Mr. Nguyen The BinhHead of Thuong hamlet, Dinh Bang

Commune, Bac Ninh province

Mr. Dao Sinh HungSecretary of Dinh hamlet

Mr. Nguyen Dang KhangBac Ninh Youth Union secretary

Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Luong Deputy Dinh Bang Youth Union secretary

____________________________________________________________

The fourth group of participants is comprised of seven households in Dinh Bang village. In fact, the researchers initially intended to interview at most ten households with careful consideration of the village’s population and the number of students who would take part in a CFT to Dinh Bang. Therefore, seven was not off the plan and suitable within the scope of the study. The villagers of these households were selected for two main reasons: Firstly, their houses, as claimed by the local authorities and observed by the researchers, were big enough to have two to three students to stay there. Secondly, these seven households all exposed some distinguishing features of village culture of Northern Vietnam such as: family career of making traditional cakes, having traditional lifestyle, etc. from which the students could learn many things about Vietnamese village culture. Obviously, this proved to be an appropriate choice for the persuasiveness and validity of the study.

## 2. Instruments

Based on the nature of the research and its participants, two data collection methods, i.e. survey questionnaires and in-depth interviews, were triangulated to provide both ‘hard,” ‘thick and rich’ data (Burns, 2000:13) about the research matter and to minimize potential limitations in the study’s internal validity caused by relying only on the qualitative approach. (Nunan, 1992)

## 2.1 Survey questionnaire

Regarding the survey questionnaire, the researchers adopted this data collection method for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it is relevant to the exploratory nature of this current study (Marshall & Rossman, 1999) in the sense that survey-questionnaires can enable the researchers to gather the information in “field settings” (Nunan, 1992) and at the same time, to achieve a “snapshot” of the subject situations, experience and opinions (Cohen & Manion, 1865 in Nunan, 1986).

Secondly, it serves the purpose of the researchers to get both “behavioural” and “attitudinal” data from a considerable number of respondents, which, in turn, permits the researchers to generalize the information about the targeted subject at a later stage, thus, enhances the external validity of the research.

Finally, the employment of open ended questions in addition to the conventional close ended questions of this method is believed to provide the researchers with more helpful and reliable data, “more accurately reflecting what the respondent wants to say.” (Nunan, 1992)

In short, the merits of survey-questionnaire method to the research can be clearly seen in its relevance to the research as well as the considerable amount of useful and valid information about the subjects provided to the research.

## 2.2 Interviewing

During the research process, interviews were made with different target population, i.e. the teachers, the local authority, the local people and the students. Through the interview, the researchers aimed at understanding the viewpoints of the teachers and students towards the benefits of culture field trips to the Vietnamese language learning of foreign students in VNU, Hanoi and their expectations towards such programs. Moreover, being aware of the attitude of the local authorities and local people towards the research ideas, and having a more thorough look on the current conditions of Dinh Bang village would also help define the important merits of the village as a CFT destination.

In terms of the formality degree, all the interviews were semi-structured. It means that the interviewers could get control of the general flow of the interviews without “entering the interviews with lists of predetermined questions” (McNamara, 1999). In the research, interview questions were specifically designed for different groups of participants and for certain stage of the interview. For instance, at the beginning of the interview, the question could be simple like “Have you ever attended or organized a culture field trip for students during the time they studied Vietnamese in VNU?” (for the teachers), “Have there been any field trips of foreign visitors coming to Dinh Bang village?” (for local authority)and “Have you ever interacted with foreigners?” (for local people). These simple Yes/No questions, along with the atmosphere of sharing, were supposed to create good rapport with the interviewees and helped the interviewers easily lead the interviewees to give more comprehensive information through such questions as: “What might be the benefits of culture field trips to the Vietnamese language learning of foreign students in VNU in your opinion?”, “What difficulties in organizing this program?” (for teachers) and “Which merits of Dinh bang can attract the visitors?” (for local authority). These semi-structured interviews, as can be seen, could provide the researchers with rich information and brought about a degree of flexible control over the course of the interviews.

Furthermore, among many types of interviews via internet, telephone, etc, the researchers decided to employ face-to-face interviews which have long been the dominant interviewing technique for qualitative research. Face-to-face interviews are characterized by its advantage of social cues such as voice, intonation; body language, etc., of the interviewee which can give the interviewers a lot of extra information that can be added to the verbal answer of the interviewee on a question (Dowsett, 1986). Based on the predictable attitude of the interviewees, the following question could be asked all interviewees: “If there is a culture field trip for your students, to what extent you will support it?” In addition, the face-to-face type also played an important role in creating a good interview ambience which created comfortable feelings of the interviewees to share their opinions from the beginning (Opdenakker, 2006).

All the interviews were from five to ten minutes and tape-recorded which were transcribed at a later stage. Tape-recording did not bear any threats to the reliability of data collected, due to the non-threatening situation of the study, particularly when the interviewees were aware of the benefit of the study from their positions. This technique was useful in helping the researchers to distinguish and exactly analyze the results when the subjects of the interviews in this research were various.

In summary, utilizing interviews in the data collection process helped the researchers get rich information from the interviewees who were definitely related to the study. The internal validity and reliability of the research, thereby, could be remarkably strengthened.

## 3.1 Procedure of Data Collection

The procedure of collecting data largely depended on the geographical location and the convenience of the participants. Therefore, it could be divided into two phases: (1) collecting data from foreign students and Vietnamese language teachers from VNU, Hanoi; (2) collecting data from authorities and people from Dinh Bang village. Also, due to the peculiar conditions of the study and the researchers, the interviews and questionnaire were implemented in a mingled way and divided into small chunks.

In order to collect data from the foreign students and Vietnamese language teachers from VNU, Hanoi, both interviews and questionnaire were employed. For the precision of the study, the researchers decided to deliver questionnaire to most of the students and only interviewed very few of them who were supposed to acquire good English or Vietnamese. The questionnaire was then collected on the spot. As for teachers, interviews were employed for the purpose of getting in-depth data and showing respect for the teachers. With the permission of the interviewees, all the interviews were tape-recorded.

Since none of the researchers grasped the location of Dinh Bang, for the effectiveness and precision of data collection, the procedure of collecting data was conducted during two visits to Dinh Bang. The first trip to Dinh Bang was to get a general picture of Dinh Bang village and how to contact the authorities and local people. The second trip to Dinh Bang was taken to get in-depth data from the people and local authorities as well as the cultural activities of Dinh Bang. The data was collected by interviews and were recorded with the allowance of the interviewees.

By incorporating interviews and questionnaire, and taking the procedures of data collection by separate steps, the data collection ran in an organized way which could ensure the effectiveness and precision of the collect data and in turn, yield useful data for the study.

## 3.2 Procedure of Data Analysis

At the data collection stage, clear identification of the main areas to focus attention to made the analysis process convenient and not time-consuming, except for a lavish time-budget for writing transcripts.

As for the data collected from the questionnaire, it was firstly grouped into the specific groups of questions, which had been designed by the researchers based on the research questions. The data then was synthesized and diagrammatized according to the research questions.

Regarding the data collected from the interviews, it was transcribed first. Most of the conversations were transcribed in full. For some other lengthy conversations, summarizing and paraphrasing was employed. Then, a colour-coded system was used for analyzing. In addition, to avoid potential rigid classification without context, page numbers of the transcripts were attached to the findings from interviews (see Appendices) so that the researchers could always refer to the transcripts when necessary.

In short, employing the above procedures of data collection and data analysis helped guarantee the reliability and validity of the data and a thorough analysis on the data collected.

In conclusion, all of the methods adopted were useful in the sense that they helped the researchers obtained comprehensive and rich data. From such data, interesting results were found out, and will be presented in the next chapter, i.e. the results and findings chapter.

CHAPTER IV: RESULTS AND FINDINGS

The data collected was analyzed and interpreted in accordance with the four research questions, which corresponded with the four main ideas: The benefits of CFTs to the Vietnamese language learning of foreign students in VNU, Hanoi, as perceived by the students and the teachers; the students’ expectations of the virtue of a CFT in Vietnam; the important merits of Dinh Bang village as a good CFT destination for the students; and suggested features of a CFT to Dinh Bang village.

## 1.1 The benefits as perceived by the students

The bar chart below illustrates the students’ perception of the benefits of a CFT in Vietnam to their Vietnamese language learning in VNU, Hanoi.

***SORRY, THIS MEDIA TYPE IS NOT SUPPORTED.***

As can be seen, in general, “understanding more about Vietnamese culture” was the most important benefit of CFT to their Vietnamese language learning, chosen by about 80 percent of the participants. In the second place was “improving their Vietnamese language”. From the above finding, it can be drawn out that the students are fully aware of the language related advantages of CFTs. However, they see culture understanding as a more important benefit of CFTs than language development. Additionally, about 30 percent of the subjects agreed that CFTs could bring about motivation for their Vietnamese learning. This also reflects their awareness of the merits a CFT in terms of language. Apart from those benefits suggested by the researchers, more than 10 percent of the students gave other benefits such as: understanding more about the life of Vietnamese peasants and knowing more Vietnamese people. The former generally can be perceived as a cultural aspect, while the latter relates more to the social relationship of students. (For more information see Appendix 1)

## 1.2 The benefits as perceived by the teachers

The interviews with three teachers directly involved in teaching the Vietnamese language and culture to foreign students in VNU, Hanoi, also revealed the three main benefits of culture field trips to the language and culture learning process of the students.

Better culture understanding

First, improving the students’ knowledge of Vietnamese culture is the advantage of CFTs that all three teachers highlighted the most. Mr. Le stressed that after such CFTs, the students would "acquire better and deeper understanding about Vietnamese culture." Dr. Chinh elaborated on this idea by specifically pointing out that "CFTs can help the students have more thorough ideas about Vietnamese culture, people, country, especially many beauty spots throughout the country." Moreover, according to Mr. Pham, CFTs to historical places in the country can also help the students naturally and easily sense the similarity between their home culture and Vietnamese culture. Mr. Pham illustrated this point by the trip organized for Chinese students to The Literature Temple (Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam) in Hanoi. Through the trip, the students were reported to discover a lot of similarities between Vietnamese and Chinese culture by themselves, thus, enhance their knowledge about the culture of their target language.

Language development

In addition, all the three teachers explicitly acknowledged the advantages of CFT to the second language acquisition of their foreign students. As stated by Mr. Pham, "This kind of activities [CFTs] is really beneficial to the teaching process, especially TESOL process." This advantage is explained by Dr.Chinh, who asserted that the direct interaction with Vietnamese people "gives the students opportunities and motivation to speak Vietnamese." However, the extent to which CFTs can develop the students’ Vietnamese is not of the consensus among the teachers. On the one hand, Dr. Chinh observed that after a few hours of the CFTs, the students could only "acquire some vocabularies," the level to which their Vietnamese could be improved, thus, was quite limited. Mr. Le, on the other hand, confirmed that "the direct interaction with the Vietnamese language and culture can develop considerably the language skills of the students." However, by and large, it is clear that from the viewpoint of these language teachers, CFTs can assert positive effects on the Vietnamese learning process of the foreign students in VNU, HN.

More motivating learning environment

Lastly, the teachers also underlined the benefit of CFTs in offering the students a more motivating learning environment. The motivation, first, is brought about by the practicality of the trips. Mr. Pham shared his special preference for "the positive changes in the learning environment," stressing that ‘the classroom activity, though may vary from seminars to self-study, cannot be as effective as the changes in the learning environment towards outdoor activities whereby the students can get their own first-hand experience of what is taught in the class." This idea is supported by Mr. Le, who pointed out that "it’s really good that the students can have direct interaction with the real world." Moreover, the source of motivation can also be the relaxing and interesting learning atmosphere. Dr.Chinh’s observation shows that during and after CFTs, "the students felt very relaxed and happy to learn." Also, according to Mr. Pham, this way of learning is "very interesting" and can "significantly attract the students’ attention." In short, CFTs make the learning process of the students more motivating and effective.

## 2. The students’ expectations of the virtues of a culture field trip in Vietnam

The following bar chart shows the student’s expectations of the merits of a CFT in Vietnam

.Generally, the students’ expectations of a culture field trip in Vietnam did not go beyond the researchers’ anticipation. Vietnamese lifestyle understanding takes the highest place in the chart, followed by Vietnamese language development. This finding matched well with the students’ perception of the benefits of a CFT in Vietnam. As mentioned earlier, culture understanding was believed by many students to be the most important advantage of CFT to their Vietnamese language learning. Language development was also seen as a noticeable benefit. Therefore, these two virtues, not surprisingly, were expected by the most students. However, they were not the only virtues that the students wanted in a CFT in Vietnam. These students were also interested in making friends with more Vietnamese people, if they ever had a chance to attend a CFT in Vietnam, which is shown clearly in the chart. Besides, standing in the fourth place, Vietnamese traditional music grasped the attention of more than 30 percent of the students while only one fifth of them would like to explore the traditional architecture of Vietnam. Yet this percentage was still slightly higher than that of the participants who expected to have a time to relax in such a field trip. From those above mentioned findings, it can be drawn out that the students were more inclined to the cultural and academic benefits of a CFT while they were still aware of the others.

## 3. The important merits of Dinh Bang village

All the data from 50 foreign student’s questionnaires reveals the fact that most of them have not experienced any field trip during the time they attended Vietnamese courses in VNU. Among 11 students who had chances to visit some Vietnamese villages, only four took tours to Dinh Bang village and all of them were impressed by its unique characteristics. To be more specific, two of the students were struck by the local people’s life style, folk music, and the history of Dinh Bang, whereas the other two preferred Dinh Bang’s traditional architecture, natural beauty and traditional food.

For those who had never come to Dinh Bang, over 13 percent did hear about Dinh Bang. Their opinions of its merits vary as follows:

Chart 3 – The important merits of Dinh Bang village

From the chart above, it is clear that all students were fascinated by Dinh Bang’s history. Except for Vietnamese traditional life, which interested only haft of students, all the other characteristics of Dinh Bang interested more than 60% of the students. Undeniably, these figures would bear important implications for the exploitation of Dinh Bang village as a CFT destination in the next part of the study.

Regarding the majority of the subjects (40 students) who had no idea of a village called Dinh Bang, their interest in given characteristics of this village was also taken into account in chart 3.

Chart 4 – The students’ Interest in Dinh Bang’s features

 a People’s life style d Traditional architecture b Folk music e Natural beauty c History f Traditional Food g Others

As can be seen, Dinh Bang’s traditional food and its history received the most favour of these students, accounting for more than 60 per cent. Ranked second is the life style of Dinh Bang’s villagers, which hopefully could give the students a sense of the Vietnamese culture, with half of the respondents. Sharing similar position are Dinh Bang’s merits in its folk music, traditional architecture and natural beauty. Interestingly, other prospects like exploring daily language of Vietnamese villagers were not highly appreciated by the students. These results may partly reflect the taste of the respondents and to some extents, their awareness of where they can get access to the standard Vietnamese language.

## 4.1 The students’ suggestions

Time

In terms of duration of a culture field trip to Dinh Bang village, the most favourite is two days, which was chosen by nearly 40 per cent of the respondents, exceeding other options, i.e. 2-3 days, 3-4 days and 4-5 days, about 20 per cent. This might be due to the difference in living conditions and time expenditure of the students who may work as businessmen, post-graduated students, etc.

Activities

Chart 5 – The students’ suggested activities in a CFT to Dinh Bang

***SORRY, THIS MEDIA TYPE IS NOT SUPPORTED.***

In terms of activities, as shown in chart 5, students seemed to pay much attention to out-door activities with 70 percent choosing to visit places of interest if they have a chance to take part in a CFT to Dinh Bang. Besides, with the interest in getting acquainted to Vietnamese people and getting used to their daily life, homestay was chosen by 40 percent of the students. It should be noted that even the other activities of watching and joining in folk music performance and camping in interactions with youth union were only preferred by 10-20 percent of students, they would still be taken into consideration in balance with other activities to create the variety of the program.

Cost

The majority of the respondents found $15 to$20 for each trip appropriate. Whereas, more expensive trips, of $5 to$10, could be afforded by only over 40 per cent of the student.

## 4.2 Suggestions of the local authorities and local people

From the analysis of the interviews conducted with the local people and authority from Dinh Bang village, a field trip for foreign students studying Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi is expected to meet the following criteria.

Time

Traditionally, the village festivals are held on the full moons of the lunar February and March. According to the manager of Dinh Bang Communal House, during these times, a multitude of traditionally cultural activities are celebrated to greet a new year and also pay tribute to the kings who were born here. Therefore, it was suggested by the manager of Dinh Bang communal house that it would be ideal to organize field trips for students at these times so that students would have chance to learn and join in these typically Northern-culture activities.

People

With absolute consensus of the people from Dinh Bang towards the field trips of students studying Vietnamese in Vietnam National University, Hanoi, the villagers, the authorities and the youth union were happy to involve in the program. For example, as confirmed by Ms Nguyen Ngoc Luong, Deputy Dinh Bang Youth Union secretary: “we will try our best to help those students”

Activities

First of all, the long-standing history of Dinh Bang would be the focus. As a result, the area is composed of various historical sites and architectures, such as: the royal tombs of the kings, Do Temple (Den Do) or Ly Bat De temple, Dinh Bang Communal House (“the unique architecture masterpiece still survived in Vietnam”, according to the president of Dinh Bang village), the Dragon temple, Kim Dai pagoda etc. Especially, students would be introduced the history as well as the culture of Dinh Bang village by the old villagers, as offered by the managers of Dinh Bang communal house and Den Do.

Second, the vast variety of cultural activities is another value peculiar to Dinh Bang village. Students would have chance to listen to or even learn “Quan Ho” songs by “lien anh”, “lien chi” (male and female Quan Ho singers) as suggested by the leader of Quan Ho club of Dinh Bang village. Additionally, students can join in various folk games with the local people like: playing human chess, fan, wrestling, dragon twirl, making Phu The cakes, etc. which used to be organized by the local people to greet foreigners.

Especially, students can lengthen their stay in Dinh Bang village through home staying with the local people, thereby can explore the life of traditional Vietnamese families and their cultural values. From the results of the interviews conducted with the local people, all of them were willing to host foreign students at their houses, as Ms Nguyen Thi My, a local resident said “we are more than willing to help those students with everything. Wherever they want to go, whatsoever they want to do, near or far, we will help.”

To sum up, the data revealed extensively the perceptions of CFTs’ benefits commonly shared between the subject teachers and students, the specific expectations of the students of a CFT in Vietnam, their views towards the merits of Dinh Bang village, and the local people’s and authorities’ recommendations. This information, though strongly supported by the previous studies, interestingly, still provided a number of distinctive features of the related field.

CHAPTER V: DISCUSSION

In this chapter, the researchers would like to highlight the significance of the study by discussing the relationship between its aforementioned findings and the available literature as well as the researchers’ expectations at the beginning of the study.

## 1 The benefits of CFTs to the Vietnamese language learning of foreign students in VNU, HN

As stated in the previous part, the three biggest benefits CFTs to the Vietnamese language learning of foreign students in VNU, HN, as perceived by both teachers and students, are exerted on the students’ culture understanding, language development and learning motivation. In comparison with previous studies on related issues, the findings suggest both conventional and novel information about the benefits of CFTs to SLL.

As pointed out by earlier researchers (Coltrane, 2003; Cooke, 1970; Paige, 1997; Peterson & Coltrane, 2003), CFTs, indeed, play an important role in enhancing the students’ knowledge about the culture of the target language. However, another new benefit that has never been explicitly mentioned in previous studies is that CFTs can give language learners chances to make comparison and find out the similarities between their home culture and the target language’s culture. It should be noted that regarding previous studies, the issue was only discussed generally based on an overall basis of SLL. Meanwhile, this study focuses on a particular SLL context, where the L1 (Chinese) and L2 (Vietnamese), and the close relationship between the two cultures, are specifically identified. The difference in the scope of the research may lead to the revelation of this finding, which, in many ways, can be regarded as one significant contribution of the research to the related field.

In terms of CFTs’ benefits to the students’ language development, meaningful language usage with native speakers is, once again, stressed to be the contributive factors in addition to previous studies such as Bada (2000), Chastain (1971), Gilmore & Norris (1992), aand Wagner (2005). However, as stated earlier, in this study, the extent to which CFTs can develop the students’ Vietnamese is not of the consensus among the teachers. This discrepancy in ideas here is quite different from the consensus reached in the study of Gilmore & Norris (1992) that field trips can enhance the learners’ vocabulary skills. However, it should be noted that the previous study did not specifically discuss how helpful field trips could be in this case. Possibly, this finding may imply the importance of CFTs’ purpose and quality, which may decide the amount of vocabulary the participating students can acquire.

Concerning the learning motivation, generally speaking, the interesting first-hand experience, direct interaction with practical stuff as found in this study are also pointed out by earlier researchers like Manner, 1995; Powis, 1999 and Athman and Monroe, 2006. However, the findings related to this benefit of CFTs, in fact, do not cover all the benefits that have been concluded in previous studies, i.e. improving long term retention of concepts (Manner, 1995; Orion, 1993), increasing student-student and student-teacher social interaction (Manner, 1995; Smith, 1995), developing social consciousness an increased appreciation for the phenomenon studied (Manner, 1995). The limitation of the study’s findings in this case could possibly result from a large body of possible factors presented in the context of the research like the infrequency, the inadequate quality of CFTs in VNU, HN or even the ignorance of their benefits due to the lack of related research, etc.

In short, concerning the benefits of CFTs to SLL, although there is not a big gap between the findings of this study and its precedents, the differences in the research scope and context have also created some original features of the study. This originality, be it of an innovation or limitation, in many ways, still establishes a position of this research in its related field.

## 2. The students’ expectations of the virtues of a CFT in Vietnam

As is shown in the results chapter, the students’ expectations of the virtues of a culture field trip in Vietnam generally did not go beyond the researchers’ anticipation. Moreover, the data collected also reflected that the students base their expectations on their perception of the aforementioned benefits of a CFT to their Vietnamese language learning.

The two virtues that the students expect the most from such field trips are: understanding Vietnamese lifestyle and improving their Vietnamese language. This fact obviously reflects the findings about the characteristics of a good field trip, which were mentioned in the literature review.

As pointed out by William (2005), taking part in a field trip, “students themselves could get first-hand experiences with theoretical stuffs learnt in classrooms”. Specifically, foreign students in VNU, besides learning the Vietnamese language, also obtain certain knowledge of Vietnamese culture in their classrooms. Therefore, it is understandable that they expect to join in a culture field trip which would bring them a practical chance to understand more about Vietnamese culture, including Vietnamese lifestyle, traditional music and traditional architecture.

In addition, good CFTs also provide students with motivation for their learning, since they facilitate learning of abstract concepts (Orion, 1993) and improve long term retention of concepts (Manner, 1995 and Orion, 1993). Sharing the same idea, Sorrentino and Bell (1998) argue that field trips stimulate “interest and motivation in science” and give “meaning to the learning”. Those ideas help explain why the majority of the students expressed their hope of a culture field trip in Vietnam which would help them improve their Vietnamese language.

Apart from the above predictably chosen virtues of a culture field trip in Vietnam, the finding that a large number of the students wanted such field trips to help them “make friends with Vietnamese people” was not expected by the researchers. However, regarding the previous studies on field trips and the integral part that they play in life, this choice is quite well supported. According to Sherman and Green (1997), besides educational benefits, a good field trip also provides students with “social benefits” in that it motivates “personal (social development)” (Sorrentino and Bell, 1998: 45). It is, therefore, reasonable the students to expect the social aspect of a good culture field trip to Dinh Bang village, if any. It may also imply that they were fully aware of the social benefits of culture field trips to their language learning and their own development.

In short, the student participants held strong expectations of a good CFT in Vietnam. These expectations were taken into careful consideration by the researchers who, through their study, proved that the students’ needs would be met in a CFT to Dinh Bang village, Bac Ninh province.

## 3. Dinh Bang village – a good CFT destination for foreign students studying Vietnamese in VNU. Hanoi

In the previous part, we focused on the students’ expectations of CFTs in Vietnam. The following part discusses the merits of Dinh Bang village revealed in the research’s findings in comparison with what have been reported about this village and the researchers’ the former anticipations. The virtues of the village are discussed through two main points: a source of Vietnamese culture study and firm support of local authorities and people.

A source of Vietnamese culture study

According to the results of the research, most of the students who did visit or hear about Dinh Bang were deeply impressed by the history of this village, which was predicted by the researchers. Moreover, the number of the students who had not heard anything about Dinh Bang but were interested in its history also reflects the fact that Dinh Bang is actually considered as one of the typical villages of Vietnam with many historical heritages still remaining. Examples of these historical heritages, as mentioned in the literature review, and actually discovered by the researchers are the 270-year-old Dinh Bang Communal House and the famous Do Temple, where the eight Ly Kings are worshipped. This importance merit of Dinh Bang has been proved and become the foundation for the researchers to develop CFTs.

Besides the age-old history of Dinh Bang, the fact that traditional music, traditional architecture and places of interest in Dinh Bang attracted the majority of the students is understandable because of the curiosity made by the differences between different cultures. Moreover, the large number of students especially interested in Dinh Bang’s food may reflect the good preservation of the 1000-year-old art of making “husband and wife pie” of Dinh Bang village. This finding gives support one of the most interesting parts of CFTs, i.e. home staying. Also, as many students wants to make friends with more Vietnamese students and understand their daily life, discovering the meaning of cake’s recipients and appearance will extremely help visitors understand the lifestyle and the point of view of Vietnamese people in such an important issue of people’s life as the wedding.

Firm support of local authorities and local people

Apart from the attraction of the village itself, Dinh Bang also is a good destination for CFTs for foreign students studying in VNU, as CFTs to the village received firm support from the authorities and local people. As is shown in the results chapter, all the interviewed villagers promised to co-operate in any activities of the program, which opens a positive prospects of realizing this study in reality. This cooperation, in fact, was anticipated by the researchers as it is quite rational with the tourism development strategy of Dinh Bang authority. The head of one ward in Dinh Bang village said "it is really good to carry out this kind of activity," adding that his family would willingly let the students home stay.

As can be seen clearly, DB authorities’ support for CFTs is one merit of Dinh Bang, which has never been mentioned in previous studies. This is, conspicuously, is the study’s significant contribution to the related field as for successful CFTs, the attraction of nature, historical heritage can hardly suffice. The positive attitude of local people is clearly an important factor.

Furthermore, the finding about the frequent interaction between local people and foreigners, actually, came as a surprise to the researcher despite careful pre-research on Dinh Bang’s tourism development. Nevertheless, it obviously provided a good start for any program concerning interaction with foreigners.

To sum up, the discussion on the new research findings and the intersection of the current study with previous ones has indicated the significant feasibility of CFTs to Dinh Bang village for foreign students studying Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi. How can this research idea be realized? How can the mentioned expectations of the students be satisfied? These questions will be dealt with in the next part of the study.

CHAPTER VI: APPLICATIONS

A SUGGESTED FIELD TRIP TO DINH BANG VILLAGE

Based on the results collected from the questionnaires, the researchers would like to suggest a sample field trip to Dinh Bang Village for foreign students studying Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi. The sample field trip program may function as a source of reference for teachers and organizers who have the intention of holding culture field trips to their foreign students. All the activities suggested in the programs are designed in accordance with the desire of the students as well as the distinctive features of Dinh Bang Village stated in the previous parts of the research.

## 1. Time

As mentioned earlier, the tight time budget of most foreign students studying Vietnamese in VNU, Hanoi only allows one to two days for a CFT. Additionally, the money that the majority of the students suggested to pay for the CFT to Dinh Bang village is anticipated to be appropriate for a CFT two days long. Hence, a CFT of 2 days to Dinh Bang village is recommended in this study.

## 2. Participants

With an absolute agreement of people from Dinh Bang village revealed in the previous parts, people participating in this field trip would consist of local people, authorities who will assist students and teachers during their stay in Dinh Bang villages.

## 3. Accommodation

With regard to the wish of the students to improve their Vietnamese, explore the lifestyle of Dinh Bang villagers and the financial capacity, home staying with local residents are suggested in CFTs to Dinh Bang village.

## 1. Activities

According to the students’ specific expectations of CFTs in Vietnam as well as their interest in Dinh Bang’s merits in terms of food, history, folk music, architecture and place of interest, the researchers would like to suggest the following activities for a CFT to Dinh Bang village.

Day 1: Sightseeing

Students could have chance to tour around the village by carts or bicycles. In so doing, students themselves can observe villagers’ life as well as the village’s beauty. Besides, students can get to know more about the history of the village in particular and Vietnam in general through visiting historical relics such as: Dinh Bang communal house, Den Do, Ly Bat De temple, Kim Dai pagoda, the dragon temple. This is also hoped to help the students manifest the knowledge that they have acquired in classroom environment.

Day 2: cultural learning and exchanging

Students can have opportunities to not only enjoy but cook the speciality of Dinh Bang, Phu The cakes. Local authority, specifically youth union can organize cultural exchange activities with these foreign students such as camping, multi-cultural musical performances in which foreign students will have chance to listen to Quan Ho songs and even learn to sing Quan Ho. Notably, besides this interesting way, students can also improve their Vietnamese and cultural interaction through their direct and frequent communication with host family during their home stay.

5. Cost

Based on suggestions of the students and consulted ideas from the villagers, it is estimated that a two-day CFT to Dinh Bang village will cost each student around $15. CHAPTER VI: CONCLUSION The current study has highlighted the benefits of CFTs to the Vietnamese language learning of foreign students in VNU, Hanoi and the students’ expectations of a CFT in Vietnam. Also, the researchers have also underlined the merits of Dinh Bang as an ideal CFT destination thereby suggested a program for a CFT to this village. Despite the disparities between the results of this study and the previous ones (like the ones by Susan E. Gilmore and Glenn L. Norris (1992), Peterson and Coltrane (2003)), these discrepancies were supported by other non-empirical research in the area. Since to date, this study is the first to set foot on the research on CFTs to Dinh Bang village, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the topic, such as: What could be the actual effects of a CFT to Dinh Bang village on SLL reflected by students? To what extent are the expectations of the students met in a CFT to Dinh Bang village? What difficulties may an actual CFT to Dinh Bang encounter? These are some recommended areas for further research to investigate. The destination, notably, could vary in future studies. Although the findings of the research were thorough to a large degree, it does not means that the researchers have made an absolute exploitation of the comprehensive data collected from the research. Also, the perspectives of some foreign students studying Vietnamese who have been in Dinh Bang village before, due to the limited scope of the research, were not comprehensively examined. Indeed, if a more thorough analysis of the data collected from the research and the inclusion of the perspectives of foreign students who had been in Dinh Bang before had been implemented, the research could have brought more outcomes. Despite the constraints of the study, it is worthwhile for teachers and syllabus organizers to ponder over the benefits of a CFT to Dinh Bang, the expectations of students, the ideal virtues of Dinh Bang, and the suggested CFT program in designing Vietnamese learning programme for foreign students. It would be useful for the teachers, especially organizers of the Vietnamese course for foreign students of VNU, Hanoi to use this study as a source of reference in their preparation for students’ CFT to Dinh Bang or other places so that an effective CFT can be secured to all teachers, organizers and students. References Anderson et al, D. (2006, July). Understanding Teachers’ Perspectives on Field Trips: Discovering Common Ground in Three Countries. Retrieved September 10, 2006 from http://cust.educ.ubc.ca Athman, J., Monroe, M.C. (2006). Enhancing Natural Resource Programs with Field Trips. Retrieved September25, 2006 from http://www.ifas.ufl.edu Banks, J.A., Banks, & McGee, C. A. (1989). Multicultural education. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Retrieved October 2nd, 2006 from http://www.carla.umn.edu Barbara, S. (1980, February 1). ACADEMIC FIELD TRIPS. Retrieved September 25, 2006 from http://www.policy.ucsb.edu Elizabeth P., Bronwyn C. (2003). Culture in Second Language Teaching. Retrieved September 27, 2006 from: http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/ 0309peterson.html. Genc, B. & Bada, E. (2005, April). Culture in Language Learning and Teaching. Readingmatrix. Retrieved September 18, 2006 from http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/genc_bada/article.pdf Kroeber, A.L., & Kluckhohn, C. (1952). Culture: A critical review of concepts and definitions. Harvard University Peabody Museum of American Archeology and Ethnology Papers 47. Retrieved October 2nd, 2006 from http://www.carla.umn.edu Michael P., Helen J., Laura S., Francine K., Jeanette C. (1997). Culture Learning in Language Education: A Review of the Literature. Paist, F.M. (2006). Takin’ It on the Road The Importance of School Field Trips. Retrieved September 25, 2006 from http://www.southflorida.com Parson, T. (1949). Essays in Sociological Theory. Glencoe, IL. Retrieved October 2nd, 2006 from http://www.carla.umn.edu Peterson, E. & Coltrane, B. (?). Culture in Second Language Teaching. Center for Applied Linguistic. Retrieved September 27, 2006 from http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/0309peterson.html Powis, K. (1999, February). The Field Trip as an Active Learning Strategy: TAs in Science and Engineering. Retrieved September 10, 2006 from http://www.uottawa.ca Steven K. Bailey (1996). A Guide to the Countryside: The Traditional Village in Vietnam. Hanoi: The Gioi Publisher. Susan G., Glenn N. (1992). Using Field Trips To Enhance Language Treatment. Edmond Public Schools, OK. Timothy W. (2005). The Great Outdoors Language Lab Useem, J., & Useem, R. (1963). Human Organizations, 22(3). Retrieved October 2nd, 2006 from http://www.carla.umn.edu Withiam, B.W. (2005, December). The benefit of Student Field Trips. September 25, 2006 from http://www.pspe.org D.Nunan, 1986. Research Methods in Language Learning. Cambridge University Press. Hoang, X.H$ & Nguyen, T.T.M, 2006. Research Methodolody-Reading

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