Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

First Advisor

Dr Jeremy Pagram

Second Advisor

Dr Maggie McAlinden

Field of Research Code

130207, 130306, 160506

Abstract

Due to the increasing pace of advances in technology and attempts to integrate Information and Communications Technology (ICT) into education in Vietnam, teachers are now expected to make routine use of ICT in their teaching. The Vietnamese government has promulgated ambitious policies aimed at engaging in an increasingly globalised world and promoting the country’s economic development. These policies focus on education, and in particular, the development of ICT and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) competencies, seen as key requirements for greater international participation. The competencies of teachers are a major factor in the successful implementation of these educational changes.

Given the key role played by ICT and EFL knowledge and skills in the educational reforms under way in Vietnam, this study investigated the process of implementing ICT into a pre-service EFL teacher education program. It was aimed at exploring and understanding lecturers’ and pre-service EFL teachers' perceptions, knowledge and skills in the use of ICT in their teaching and learning practice, particularly as they related to pedagogical reforms in EFL that were occurring at the same time.

The theoretical framework for this study, derived from Fullan’s (2007) Educational Change and the TPACK framework (Mishra & Koehler, 2006), was used to determine the factors that affected the implementation of new policies and reforms in the use of ICT in EFL teacher education in Vietnam. The study applied a mixed method design involving a quantitative data collection phase followed by a qualitative data collection phase (Creswell & Clark, 2018) through an analysis of national ICT policy, institutional translation and classroom implementation. At each level the analysis provided useful insights into the factors that impeded and supported the implementation progress. The quantitative data were derived from a questionnaire, and the qualitative data, from document analysis, focus groups and face-to-face interviews. Additional data were provided from analyses of policies, teacher education and course documents, lecturers’ teaching outlines and pre-service teachers’ lesson plans. The participants included faculty managers, EFL lecturers and pre-service teachers.

The key findings of the study were that, despite the noble goals of national ICT policies, conducive conditions at the university and the positive perceptions of lecturers and pre-service teachers, ICT was not fully integrated into the teacher training program. Evidence of a gap emerged between ICT-related policies and classroom practice, mainly due to barriers at every level of the educational system. The absence of clear ICT policies and guidelines at both national and institutional levels was a major cause of ineffective leadership, inappropriate allocation of ICT resources, and a lack of professional development, maintenance and support.

Based on the findings, a number of recommendations have been provided to address the development, translation and embeddedness of ICT policies and assist all stakeholders to solve the relevant issues. In addition, a model has been presented to address the interrelationships between the relevant factors and effectively guide lecturers and pre-service teachers to integrate ICT and enhance their EFL teaching and learning practice.

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