A case-study on teacher-child verbal interaction within an intensive science education activity in a Vietnamese preschool classroom

Dinh Thi Thu Hang, Hiroshima University, Japan (
Fuminori Nakatsubo, Hiroshima University, Japan (

Background: Intensive science education activity (ISEA) is one of the compulsory subjects in the Vietnamese early childhood education (ECE) curriculum. Science activity, through the positive interaction with teachers and materials, can shape a child’s science knowledge and skills (Abdul, 2009; Harter, 1999; Marsh et al., 1998). The quality of teaching ISEA in Vietnamese preschool classrooms is at the low level for a number of reasons (Ho, 2013; Ho, 2017; Luong, 2014; Ngo, 2017; Truong, 2019). Unsuccessful teaching and learning processes were found because students could not understand what the teachers were trying to convey (Albert, 2012). However, no research consideration is given to the behaviour in using statement and questions from teachers to interact with children in ISEAs in Vietnamese preschools as the factor to improve the quality of ISEA as well as enhancing the teaching of science skills.

Aim: To investigate teachers’ behavior using the statement and questions to interact with children in an intensive science education activity (ISEA).

Method: The single case study – one public preschool – was chosen to provide the critical and precise evidence of which type of statement and question teachers tend to use and their distribution in ISEA. Eight ISEAs taught by eight teachers were videotaped in four 3-4 children’s classes in Da Nang, Viet Nam.

Results: The findings showed in the ISEAs that the group of three types of statements frequently used are the learning guidance statement, acknowledgment statement, and information talk. Regarding distribution in using questions in ISEA, teachers tended to use mostly closed questions, the next frequent type was a rhetorical question, and the open ended question was least used to interact with children.

Conclusions: The limited time of ISEA and the lesson design skills lead to the imbalance in using statements and questions from teachers to children in ISEA.

Implications for practitioners: These findings suggest that we need to consider designing ISEA from the teacher. Significantly, the teacher needs to focus more on the inquiry activity and/or the experiment activity that boosts children’s science skills and helps teachers mix various statements and questions in ISEA.

Keywords: verbal interaction, science activity, statements, questions
This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: