Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset for Language-Majored Undergraduates in Vietnam

Tram T. M. Nguyen reflects on “Exploring Language-Majored Undergraduates’ Needs of Entrepreneurial Mindset Competencies for an Effective Workplace Preparation Course in Vietnam,” which was published in Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy.

My research motivation rooted from the global and local, workplace and education contexts, in which a module on entrepreneurial mindset (EM) designed for language majors can be critical for their employability, and possibly their academic and life journey so that they can become lifelong entrepreneurs.

According to 2016 World Economic Forum, creativity, communication, problem-solving and collaboration are crucial 21st century competencies in the modern education century, helping students approach complex changes effectively, as well as discover potential competencies within themselves. In Vietnam, the participation in the World Trade Organization since 2006, Trans-Pacific Partnership and ASEAN Economic Community since 2015, and especially European-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement since 2020 have enabled the country to integrate further into the global trading system with more potential international business deals than ever before. These opportunities have strengthened the motivation and also set out the urgent requirements for Vietnamese labor force in general. Therefore, universities should “nurture and develop entrepreneurial intention of undergraduates, forming the young generation of potential entrepreneurs to contribute to the development of emerging countries, such as Vietnam.” Particularly, the scope of entrepreneurship education has been extended to embrace broader educational goals for undergraduates such as improving career self-efficacy, adaptability, and project-management skills.

Given the under-researched area of EM education in Vietnam, I aimed at conducting an exploratory mixed methods study on the language learners’ EM needs from the perspectives of different stakeholders to inform the course features accordingly. Otherwise, it would lack realistic foundation if the course designers just selected a textbook or adopted a program designed overseas without a proper needs analysis study.

It is hoped that the study can make significant contributions theoretically, practically and methodologically. A needs-based framework with eclectic application of multiple and complementary instructions shedding light on the EM course design can contribute to entrepreneurial education. Particularly, the study results can be substantial in providing new insights to EM pedagogy such as creating a supportive EM learning environment, empathizing learners and creating partnerships among EM communities. 

Methodologically, this study can contribute to the innovative application of the exploratory mixed methods design to develop an appropriate EM course. The collection and analysis of qualitative data in the first phase of the design can contribute to gain insights from multiple perspectives for the grounded results to inform the course features and help design the questionnaire in the second phase. Overall, the stakeholders I have interviewed and students I have surveyed have provided me with insightful ideas not just for the research but also enormous inspiration about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in Vietnam through their intriguing stories and experiences.

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Tram T. M. Nguyen

Tram T. M. Nguyen, is a member of the Faculty of English Language Teacher Education, VNU University of Languages and International Studies

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