Language education policy enactment and individual agency
The cauldron of conflicts in policy positions in implementing the Common European Framework of Reference for languages in Vietnam
This article explores language planning and policy from the perspective of individual agency and its embodiments in the process of implementing an English language education policy ensemble at a public university in Vietnam. The policy exemplifies the influence of globalized standards on local language education systems. It aims to build a national framework in Vietnam based on a Western model known as the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) which is expected to serve as a platform for reforming curriculum design, course materials development, and testing and assessment. Drawn from a set of data obtained through in-depth interviews with university administrators, the findings highlight the conflicting policy positions taken up by teacher-cum-administrators engaged in the policy enactment process. The paper argues that a critical barrier to CEFR enactment lies in the constraints and demotivation within each participant, particularly of those involved at a higher level of decision-making process in the institution. It is important, therefore, to deal with these conflicts at the level of macro policy planning to neutralize the paradox of policy enactment at the local site.
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