Developing Capital in Language Learning: A Mixed-Method Study on Vietnamese English Learners

Ngoc Tung Vu, Hoa Do


English-as-a-Lingua-Franca’s acceleration serves an ultimate goal of preserving English language users’ cultural and linguistic identities. In Vietnam, English has emerged as the common language in the education sector, since it aims to equip learners with language proficiency and competence. Hence, it enables the acquisition of linguistic and cultural capital, which is fundamental to accentuate the future Vietnamese workforce’s personal commitment and competitive advantage in the globalized labor market. Therefore, this mixed-method study seeks to fill missing literature on how capital is acquired and developed through language learning in Vietnamese higher education, based on the interpretation of Bourdieu’s (1986) capital stances in social fields. Among 194 English learners from various cultural and disciplinary backgrounds, data suggested that (1) all forms of capital developed very differently and (2) symbolic capital was directly associated with other forms of capital. Implications are also presented at the conclusion of the article.


Bourdieusian stances, capital, English language, field, higher education, Vietnam.

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