Chapter published in:Expanding Individual Difference Research in the Interaction Approach: Investigating learners, instructors, and other interlocutors
Edited by Laura Gurzynski-Weiss
[AILA Applied Linguistics Series 16] 2017
► pp. 174–199
Vietnamese TESOL teachers’ cognitions and practices
Developing learner-centered learning
Due to its historical and socio-cultural context, the traditional way of teaching and learning in Vietnam follows Confucian traditions and is characterized by teacher-centeredness and passive student learning. To develop learner autonomy and promote the development of communicative competence, especially in English classrooms, recent policy reforms require a shift from traditional teaching to a learner-centered approach and methods that promote meaningful interaction. This study was undertaken in a tertiary teaching setting in Vietnam where English is taught to speakers of other languages. A total of 36 English language teachers participated with a particular focus, a sub-group of 10. We used open-ended survey questions, classroom observations, and in-depth interviews to explore teacher cognitions and the relationship of these to pedagogical practices. Using thematic analysis, we found that teachers’ cognitions centered on five issues: centrality of student need, the acknowledgement of student characteristics, the cultivation of student autonomy, the development of interpersonal relationships in the classroom, and principled pragmatism. Through classroom observations we found individual variation, but overall a complex, and at times inconsistent, relationship between teacher cognitions and their classroom practices.
Keywords: teacher cognition, L2 classrooms, pedagogical practices, educational policy
Published online: 12 December 2017
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