Understanding students’ opportunities and challenges in a curriculum vitae writing process: Activity system as an analytical tool





Writing is a complex language skill, and writing using English as a medium for employment purposes requires an intricate set of knowledge and skills. Because such a writing process frequently occurs outside of a formal learning setting, few attempts to study the phenomenon have been made. Through the lens of the activity theory, the paper analyses the influence of six components in a CV writing process from a social-constructivist approach. A mixed-method approach was adopted with a Likert scale survey with open-ended questions and semi-structured interviews. Quantitative data from 184 participants revealed that students were mostly influenced by various digital artifacts (e.g., online dictionaries, online courses) and situated in online communities of learning. Qualitative results also indicate the prominent challenges relating to syntax and lexical use as one the conflicting factors and a certain level of autonomy as a facilitating factor while they managed to overcome these complications. The paper suggests how the curriculum of Business English could be adapted to support language learners in real-life employment situations.

Author Biographies

  • Ngoc Hong Phuong Vu, Foreign Trade University, Ho Chi Minh City Campus, Vietnam

    Ngoc Phuong Hong, Vu (M.Ed): Ngoc is working as an English lecturer at Foreign Trade University, Ho Chi Minh City Campus, Vietnam. She has seven years of teaching experience. Her interests include technology assisted language learning and teaching, task-based language teaching, intercultural communication.

  • Ha Thanh Le, Foreign Trade University, Ho Chi Minh City Campus, Vietnam

    Ha Thanh, Le (M.Ed) has shown great commitment in the field of English language teaching and education with a master in education in University of Hull, UK. Ha is an English lecturer at Foreign Trade University, Ho Chi Minh City Campus, Vietnam. Her interests include technology-infused learning, task-based language teaching, and students' motivation and engagement.


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Research Article

How to Cite

Vu, P. H. N., & Le, T. H. (2022). Understanding students’ opportunities and challenges in a curriculum vitae writing process: Activity system as an analytical tool. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 2(2), 66-81. https://doi.org/10.54855/ijte.22224