Teachers' roles in EFL blended language learning at tertiary level in Vietnam : their views, their practice

  • Giang Hong Nguyen

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    There has been a great deal of research on blended language learning (BLL) from students’ perspectives in general but empirical studies of teachers’ perceptions and practices in a BLL environment are limited. In Vietnam, although recent research has focused on the integration of computer technologies in the teaching of English as a foreign language (EFL),little attention has been paid to the combination of computer-assisted language learning and face to face learning in the EFL context at the tertiary level. This study was conducted in response to the Vietnamese national 2020 project, which calls for innovation in teaching English at the tertiary level in Vietnam by using technology. The aim of the current research was to explore the views of tertiary level Vietnamese teachers teaching EFL in their blended language classes, and discover possible relationships between the teachers’ views on BLL and the teachers’ roles as they implement it. This study adopted a sequential explanatory mixed methods design. In the first phase, an online survey was conducted with 268 Vietnamese EFL teachers at 14 Vietnamese universities. In the second phase, data was gathered from multiple observations and semistructured, open-ended interviews with six participants in two of the Vietnamese universities. The findings revealed that the Vietnamese teachers in this study welcomed BLL. However, their narrow interpretation of BLL and the challenges in their teaching practices hindered them from fully realizing its potential. In addition, the teachers adopted a variety of roles in the blended context. Interestingly, the roles of knowledge provider and personal model were still valued and practised in the blended environment. Furthermore, although the roles of encourager of students’ self-directed learning, and creator and manager of online interaction were valued, they were under-applied. In addition, the teachers also frequently utilized the role of materials designer. However, they were confronted with numerous challenges. The research suggests that besides technology training, teacher autonomy - an important aspect of the principle of learner-centred teaching indicated in this study - should be embedded in pre/in-service teacher education. It also suggests that the future use of technology in university settings should be more widely informed by research-led considerations of teachers’ beliefs and what they actually do in their everyday teaching practice.
    Date of Award2017
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorElke Stracke (Supervisor) & Eleni Petraki (Supervisor)

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