Online professional development for teachers of English as a foreign language: Vietnamese faculty's motivations and learning experiences
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 16:33 authored by My Thi Truong
The increasing prevalence of English as an international language has necessitated the opportunities for Teacher Professional Development (TPD) in the countries where English is spoken as a foreign language; and online training programmes have recently emerged as a promising option because of their considerably less cost, more flexibility, high quality and easy access compared to the face-to-face counterpart. According to existing literature, the success of TPD in general and online TPD (oTPD) in particular depends largely on participants‘ motivation to attend and remain in the whole course of learning. Scant research, however, has been done on teachers‘ motivations for TPD, and even more scarce studies can be found in oTPD settings. This research project centred on the English Discovery Online (EDO), an online Teacher Professional Development (oTPD) programme offered for Vietnamese teachers of English in the current National Foreign Languages Project 2020. Employing a qualitative research approach with semi-structured interviews to collect data, this research aims to investigate teachers' motivations to start and remain in the EDO course. From a dynamic and process-oriented view of motivation, the research examines teachers' initial and sustaining motivations for EDO and their attitudes towards oTPD. The results show a positive attitude towards oTPD in general but a wide variation in the reasons why they started EDO and maintained their participation thereafter. There are even contrasting views teachers gave on the factors that affect their motivation, i.e. some factors are found motivating by some teachers, but reported to be demotivating by others. Technology appears to play a significant role in both motivating and demotivating participants in and there seems to be a correlation between their attitudes towards oTPD and their motivation for EDO. This research project is hoped to be useful at both alocal and a wider level. Locally, it is the first attempt to investigate teachers‘ motivations towards online mode of TPD in Vietnamese context. On a wider level, the study‘s findings may contribute to understanding the interrelationship between teachers‘ motivations and different aspects of oTPD, filling in the gap of the overall TPD picture in the literature. Future research is invited to examine the concept on a larger scale that allows for ―triangulation‖ of data and construction of a possible model of teachers‘ motivations for oTPD that can be widely applied across settings. Another direction is to investigate teachers‘ motivations for oTPD in relation to another individual-difference factor such as age, self-efficacy, or to the effectiveness of an oTPD intervention.