Luận án Nghiên cứu việc duy trì năng lực ngoại ngữ của giáo viên Tiếng Anh cấp trung học phổ thông khu vực Tây Nguyên, Việt Nam

This study investigates the Central Highland EFL teachers’ language proficiency maintenance since they finished the formal training workshops held by authorized universities. EFL teachers’ perceptions of the necessity and effectiveness of the national large-scale English language proficiency training to their teaching was explored. Changes they perceived in teaching practices after participating in the training workshops and strategies implemented to maintain the achieved level of English language proficiency by EFL teachers at upper secondary schools in the Central Highland of Vietnam were also investigated. The study employed a mixed-methods approach with a concurrent research design and content-based data analysis. One hundred and fifty EFL teachers, having participated in the ELP training workshop(s) and achieved the CEFR-C1 level as professional standards by authorized universities, participated in the study. The data collection was based on the questionnaire, reflective report and interview. The analysis of the three different data sources and the triangulation of the data helped create an advanced level of emergent contents. Overall, findings have indicated that the more than 90% of the EFL teachers agreed that their language knowledge and skills were well improved after the training apart from the quantified evaluation-the CEFR-C1 level. English language proficiency training workshops were believed to be necessary and important for teachers’ language proficiency improvement and maintenance. After the training, the EFL teachers perceived changes in teaching practices, and they were aware of the importance of maintaining the achieved level of proficiency. While many EFL teachers acknowledged struggles to improve and maintain the achieved level of proficiency, they made efforts to handle difficulties and challenges to implement different strategies to maintain the achieved level of proficiency. There were six strategies identified as the most commonly implemented by the teachers for their language proficiency maintenance. On the basis of the findings, practical implications have been made to increase the sustainability of professional development for upper secondary school EFL teachers in the Central Highland. The study has proposed a blueprint for future policies on language proficiency training and post- training activities in the Central Highland of Vietnam, and other areas with the same context can perhaps benefit from.

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HUE UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES NGUYỄN THỊ NGỌC UYÊN MAINTAINING ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: THE CASE OF UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN THE CENTRAL HIGHLAND OF VIETNAM DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY THESIS IN THEORY AND METHODOLOGY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING HUE, 2022 HUE UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES NGUYỄN THỊ NGỌC UYÊN MAINTAINING ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: THE CASE OF UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN THE CENTRAL HIGHLAND OF VIETNAM CODE: 9 14 01 11 DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY THESIS IN THEORY AND METHODOLOGY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING Supervisor Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Thi Hong Nhung HUE, 2022 ĐẠI HỌC HUẾ TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC NGOẠI NGỮ NGUYỄN THỊ NGỌC UYÊN NGHIÊN CỨU VIỆC DUY TRÌ NĂNG LỰC NGOẠI NGỮ CỦA GIÁO VIÊN TIẾNG ANH CẤP TRUNG HỌC PHỔ THÔNG KHU VỰC TÂY NGUYÊN, VIỆT NAM MÃ SỐ: 9 14 01 11 LUẬN ÁN TIẾN SĨ LÝ LUẬN VÀ PHƯƠNG PHÁP DẠY HỌC BỘ MÔN TIẾNG ANH NGƯỜI HƯỚNG DẪN KHOA HỌC PGS.TS. PHẠM THỊ HỒNG NHUNG HUE, NĂM 2022 i DECLARATION I certify that the current dissertation entitled: “Maintaining English language proficiency: The case of upper secondary school teachers in the Central Highland of Vietnam” for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in theory and methodology in English language teaching, is the result of my own research, and to the best of my knowledge, contains no material which has been accepted for the award of any other degree in any institute, college, or university, and not previously published or written by another person, except where due reference is made in the text of the dissertation. Signature: ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This PhD dissertation is, for me, a journey of interesting discovery and fruitful collaboration. I would not have been able to complete this work without the guidance, support, and participation of those people whom I thank below. Firstly, I would like to express my profound gratitude to my supervisor, Associate Professor Doctor Pham Thi Hong Nhung, who has been supporting me throughout this research project. Thanks to her critical and dedicated feedback, I have acquired academic skills. I feel proud to write here that she dragged me out of my state of inertia and put me on the right path. Her patience, sympathy, and encouragement were always a source of motivation and guidance, which made this journey a memorable experience for me. Secondly, I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to the teachers, lecturers, and professors of the University of Foreign Languages, Hue University who provided me with invaluable sources of knowledge and skills during my study here, and all the staff members of the Department of Post-Graduate Studies for their help during the course. Their support, encouragement, and willingness to serve as academic committee members were of huge benefit to me. Thirdly, I would like to express my great appreciation to the Board of Directors of Gia Lai Department of Education and Training for their permission and the best conditions they created for me to take this Doctoral program. I am thankful to the Head of Le Loi High school and my colleagues whose sympathy and support were invaluable spiritual strength for me during the process of completing this work. I owe a great debt to many ELF teachers at upper secondary schools in Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces who voluntarily and patiently answered the questionnaire, wrote the reflective report, and took part in the in-depth interviews during the data collection of this study. Without their kind sharing and enthusiastic cooperation, the completion of this thesis would have been unrealistic. Finally, I am grateful to my parents, parents-in-law, younger sister, and younger brother, whose love and best wishes are a source of inspiration, encouragement, and motivation for me to complete this journey. I am particularly thankful to my husband and my beloved sons, who have been always by my side and motivated me at every step of the journey. iii ABSTRACT This study investigates the Central Highland EFL teachers’ language proficiency maintenance since they finished the formal training workshops held by authorized universities. EFL teachers’ perceptions of the necessity and effectiveness of the national large-scale English language proficiency training to their teaching was explored. Changes they perceived in teaching practices after participating in the training workshops and strategies implemented to maintain the achieved level of English language proficiency by EFL teachers at upper secondary schools in the Central Highland of Vietnam were also investigated. The study employed a mixed-methods approach with a concurrent research design and content-based data analysis. One hundred and fifty EFL teachers, having participated in the ELP training workshop(s) and achieved the CEFR-C1 level as professional standards by authorized universities, participated in the study. The data collection was based on the questionnaire, reflective report and interview. The analysis of the three different data sources and the triangulation of the data helped create an advanced level of emergent contents. Overall, findings have indicated that the more than 90% of the EFL teachers agreed that their language knowledge and skills were well improved after the training apart from the quantified evaluation-the CEFR-C1 level. English language proficiency training workshops were believed to be necessary and important for teachers’ language proficiency improvement and maintenance. After the training, the EFL teachers perceived changes in teaching practices, and they were aware of the importance of maintaining the achieved level of proficiency. While many EFL teachers acknowledged struggles to improve and maintain the achieved level of proficiency, they made efforts to handle difficulties and challenges to implement different strategies to maintain the achieved level of proficiency. There were six strategies identified as the most commonly implemented by the teachers for their language proficiency maintenance. On the basis of the findings, practical implications have been made to increase the sustainability of professional development for upper secondary school EFL teachers in the Central Highland. The study has proposed a blueprint for future policies on language proficiency training and post- training activities in the Central Highland of Vietnam, and other areas with the same context can perhaps benefit from. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS DECLARATION ........................................................................................................ i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ...................................................................................... ii ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS ......................................................................................... iv LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS............................................................................... viii CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................ 1 1.1. The setting of the study .............................................................................................. 1 1.2. Statement of the problem ........................................................................................... 3 1.3. Aims and Objectives .................................................................................................. 4 1.4. Scope of the study ...................................................................................................... 5 1.5. Significance of the study ............................................................................................ 6 1.6. Organization of the thesis........................................................................................... 8 CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................ 9 2.1. Definitions of the key terms ....................................................................................... 9 2.1.1. Professional development ................................................................................... 9 2.1.2. Teacher professional development ..................................................................... 9 2.2. English language proficiency ................................................................................... 11 2.2.1 EFL teachers’ language proficiency .................................................................. 12 2.2.2. English language proficiency maintenance ...................................................... 13 2.2.3. EFL teachers’ language proficiency maintenance ............................................ 14 2.3. The role of EFL teacher classroom language ........................................................... 15 2.3.1. Language as a means of communication .......................................................... 15 2.3.2. Functions of EFL teachers’ language ............................................................... 16 2.4. The role of EFL teachers’ language proficiency ...................................................... 18 2.4.1. Teachers’ English language as a valuable source of foreign language input ... 18 2.4.2. Teachers’ English language as scaffolding language development ................. 19 2.5. EFL teachers’ language proficiency and professional standard and development .. 20 2.5.1. EFL teachers’ language proficiency and teachers’ professional standards ...... 20 2.5.2. English language teachers’ professional development ..................................... 23 2.6. In-service teachers’ professional development in Vietnam ..................................... 23 2.6.1. The National Foreign Languages Project ......................................................... 23 v 2.6.2. English teachers’ professional standards and in-service teachers’ English proficiency .................................................................................................................. 24 2.6.3. In-service teachers’ English proficiency training ............................................. 25 2.7. Upper secondary school EFL teachers in the Central Highland .............................. 26 2.7.1. Teachers’ general English proficiency ............................................................. 26 2.7.2. Teachers’ English language proficiency training ............................................. 27 2.8. Review of previous studies ...................................................................................... 28 2.9. Summary .................................................................................................................. 31 CHAPTER 3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY .................................................. 32 3.1. Mixed-methods approach ......................................................................................... 32 3.2. Participants ............................................................................................................... 35 3.3. Data collection methods ........................................................................................... 37 3.3.1. Data collection instruments .............................................................................. 37 3.3.2. Data collection procedures ............................................................................... 44 3.4. Data analysis ............................................................................................................ 47 3.4.1. Pilot study ......................................................................................................... 48 3.4.2. The main study ................................................................................................. 53 3.5. Validity and Reliability ............................................................................................ 57 3.6. Ethical considerations .............................................................................................. 58 3.7. Summary .................................................................................................................. 59 CHAPTER 4. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION ................................................... 60 4.1. Teachers’ perceptions of English language proficiency training ............................. 60 4.1.1. EFL Teachers’ perceptions of the necessity of English language proficiency . 60 4.1.2. Teachers’ perceptions of the necessity of EFF teachers’ classroom language use ............................................................................................................................... 63 4.1.3. Teachers’ perceptions of their possibilities of developing English language proficiency to the required level CEFR-C1 ................................................................ 68 4.1.4. Teachers’ perceptions of their possibilities of maintaining the achieved level of English language proficiency ..................................................................................... 73 4.2. Teachers’ perceptions of changes in teaching practices as a result of their participation in LP training ............................................................................................. 78 4.2.1. Teachers’ self-evaluation of their LP after finishing the formal training ......... 79 vi 4.2.2. Teachers’ perceptions of changes in their teaching practices as a result of participation in the LP training ................................................................................... 86 4.2.3. Teachers’ perceptions of changes in students’ language development as a result of teachers’ LP improvement ........................................................................... 97 4.2.4. Teachers’ perceptions of the significance of maintaining the achieved level of proficiency .................................................................................................................. 99 4.3. Strategies to maintain the achieved level of English proficiency: Teachers’ perceptions and implementations .................................................................................. 100 4.3.1. The helpfulness of language proficiency maintenance strategies to an EFL teacher ...................................................................................................................... 101 4.3.2. Factors affecting EFL teachers’ language proficiency maintenance .............. 106 4.3.3. Strategies and activities teachers implemented to maintain the achieved level of proficiency ........................................................................................................... 123 4.4. Summary ................................................................................................................ 130 CHAPTER 5. CONCLUSION ............................................................................. 132 5.1. Summary of the key findings ................................................................................. 132 5.2. Implications ............................................................................................................ 134 5.2.1. Implications for the educational policy makers and institutions .................... 136 5.2.2. Implications for EFL teachers ........................................................................ 137 5.3. Research contributions ........................................................................................... 139 5.4. Limitations of the study and suggestions for further research ............................... 140 5.5. Conclusion ............................................................................................................. 141 A LIST OF THE RESEARCHER’S WORK ..................................................... 141 REFERENCES ...................................................................................................... 142 APPENDICES ....................................................................................................... 152 Appendix A ............................................................................................................ 152 Table 3.8. Examples of analysis of participant’ interview excerpts ............................. 152 Appendix A1 ................................................................................................................. 153 Questionnaire (Piloting) ................................................................................................ 153 Appendix A2 ................................................................................................................. 160 Post-pilot Questionnaire ................................................................................................ 160 Appendix B1 ................................................................................................................. 167 Pilot Template for EFL Teacher’s Reflective Report ................................................... 167 vii Appendix B2 ................................................................................................................. 169 Post-pilot Template for EFL Teacher’s Reflective Report ........................................... 169 Appendix C1 ................................................................................................................. 171 Pilot Interview Questions .............................................................................................. 171 Appendix C2 ................................................................................................................. 172 Post-pilot Interview Questions ...................................................................................... 172 Appendix D. .................................................................................................................. 172 Appendix E. Information of twenty-two teachers interviewed ..................................... 174 Appendix F. Coding for teachers’ interviews ............................................................... 174 Appendix G. Raw output of the SPSS data ................................................................... 175 LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Figure 1. The diagram of the concurrent triangulation strategy ............................... 33 Figure 2. Research design overview ......................................................................... 33 Table 2.1. Functional areas, sample classroom routines, and language exemplars .. 21 Table 3.1. Demographic data of the participants ...................................................... 36 Table 3.2. Research questions and data collection methods ..................................... 37 Table 3.3. Question items in the interview ............................................................... 44 Table 3.4. Numbers of participants for each tool ...................................................... 47 Table 3.5. Data types and analyses ........................................................................... 48 Table 3.6. Reliability of the pilot questionnaire ........................................................ 51 Table 3.7. Reliability of the main questionnaire ....................................................... 54 Table 3.8. Examples of analysis of participant’ interview excerpts ....................... 152 Table 3.9. Information of fi

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