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Information literacy capabilities of upper secondary students: the case of Vietnam

Huyen Thi Ngo (Faculty of Library and Information Science, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Alison Jane Pickard (CEIS, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Geoff Walton (Department of Languages, Information and Communications, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Article publication date: 23 August 2019

Issue publication date: 10 September 2019




This paper aims to focus on investigating information literacy (IL) capabilities and IL self-assessment of Vietnam’s upper secondary students.


The investigation was conducted in two upper secondary schools in the country using a multiple-choice questionnaire. The questionnaire was based on the IL competency-level assessment toolkit of high schools in the USA, the tool for real-time assessment of IL, to measure students’ IL in terms of developing search strategies, evaluating information sources, using information ethically and using English to engage with information effectively.


The findings reveal that students’ IL has not been well equipped. There is a real need to work toward improving the IL capability of Vietnam’s upper secondary students. The findings also reveal gender differences in IL capabilities.

Research limitations/implications

The research used a closed-response questionnaire, which is considered appropriate to engage with Vietnamese high-school students, to explore students’ lower-level IL skills and their self-assessment rather than higher-level thinking competencies.

Practical implications

This research may help Vietnam’s educators understand high-school students’ IL competency and raise their awareness of the importance of IL to encourage the implementation of an IL programme.


This study contributes to the existing knowledge by adding substantially to current understanding of IL level of Vietnamese upper secondary students – a context which has not been explored to date. It also indicates gender inequality in IL capabilities.



Ngo, H.T., Pickard, A.J. and Walton, G. (2019), "Information literacy capabilities of upper secondary students: the case of Vietnam", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. 68 No. 6/7, pp. 453-470.



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