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  • 1.
    Bindler, Annika
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Umeå universitetsbibliotek (UB).
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Umeå universitetsbibliotek (UB).
    Olsson, Magnus
    Umeå universitet, Umeå universitetsbibliotek (UB).
    Academic literacies and PhD education?: Aspirations, implementation, and implications from a doctoral workshop series2017Ingår i: Universitetspedagogiska konferensen 2017: undervisning i praktiken – föreläsning, flexibelt eller mitt emellan?, Umeå: Universitetspedagogik och lärandestöd (UPL), Umeå universitet , 2017, s. 54-55Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This presentation reports on the process of developing and implementing a workshop series for PhD students at the Academic Resource Centre, Umeå University, launched for the first time during the spring term 2017. Adopting an academic literacies model (Lea & Street, 1998, 2006) as the framework for the course's underlying principles, its design and instruction, we propose that literacy in a university setting and especially at doctoral level can be understood not only as the individual, transferable cognitive skills of writing and reading. Rather, it is an interrelated, dynamic, and situated set of knowledge, skills, and personal attributes that support PhD students to acculturate themselves into their disciplinary discourses, as well as the academic community and wider social contexts.

    Lea and Street's (2006) academic literacies model draws from both the surface features of language form (the study skills model) and students' acculturation into a disciplinary and subject area community (the academic socialisation model). However, the academic literacies model moves beyond the academic socialisation model by considering social processes (such as power, identity, and authority). This model has been used in different higher education contexts, enabling the conceptualising and reconceptualising of the knowledge students should learn and do with regards to academic writing and reading (e.g. Wingate, 2012; Castanheira, Street, & Carvalho, 2015; Guzmán-Simón, García-Jiménez, & López-Cobo, 2017).

    In the particular setting of Umeå University, the Academic Resource Centre, University Library is the unit who provides academic support to students at all levels, including PhD students. From our experience as academic tutors, academic librarians and researchers working with the University's doctoral students, we were able to identify their need for support not only with thesis texts written in English but also a range of capabilities such as article reading, research communicating, information searching, and publishing. These needs have also been expressed by PhD students themselves. As a result, the workshop series "Write here, Write now" was developed and implemented by the Academic Resource Centre during March – May 2017. Informed by the academic literacies model, a number of factors were considered as we approached writing. Besides the focus of helping students to improve their academic English, we wished to highlight that writing is a process which involves a myriad of competence, and it is a social practice rather than merely an individual cognitive skill. Above all, we aspired to develop a course that aligns with the national goals for Swedish PhD education which are set beyond the final thesis; the aim is to educate a critical, autonomous, creative, and responsible PhD researcher (Swedish Higher Education Ordinance, Annex 2, Qualifications Ordinance). The course should also be designed following the fundamental principles of teaching and learning in higher education that promote critical thinking, active learning, learner autonomy, and collaborative learning.

    In our presentation, we will show how these aspirations have helped us with our attempts at defining "literacy" in PhD education at Umeå University as lying at the intersection of English language, research competence, and Information literacy. Examples of how we incorporated the intended contents and guiding principles in our pedagogical practices will be provided. Reflections on our roles as instructors and further implications regarding policy on PhD education in the Swedish context will also be discussed.

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  • 2.
    Deutschmann, Mats
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Computer assisted language learning in language education: an overview of theories, methods, and current practices2015Ingår i: Språkdidaktik: researching language teaching and learning / [ed] Eva Lindgren & Janet Enever, Umeå: Department of Language Studies, Umeå University , 2015, 1, s. 43-60Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Refereegranskat)
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  • 3.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier. Vietnam National University, Hanoi.
    Assessment for motivation: incentives for teacher professional development2011Ingår i: New Directions: assessment and evaluation: a collection of papers / [ed] P. Powell-Davies, London: British Council, 2011, , s. 121-128s. 121-128Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    That recent research increasingly recognises the role of teachers as the most important factor in student achievement further emphasises the need for teachers to develop their professional learning as a lifelong skill, and for administrators to include this in teacher evaluation as a quality assurance tool. However as professional development (PD) involves independent learning, which is highly dependent on teacher motivations, assessing this seemingly non-assessable work could have a counter effect if set on a rigidly compulsory and judgmental basis. The paper introduces the role of assessment, in the light of motivation, in supporting teacher PD and is demonstrated with findings from a framework recently conducted in a university in Vietnam. It explains why this ‘assessment for motivation’ was able to boost teacher motivation in their learning and promote sustainable PD. It is hoped to offer some helpful insights into assessment and its link with educational improvement that can be used in similar pedagogical situations.

  • 4.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Between Two Worlds?: Research Engagement Dilemmas of University English Language Teachers in Vietnam2021Ingår i: RELC Journal A Journal of Language Teaching and Research in Southeast Asia, ISSN 0033-6882, E-ISSN 1745-526X, Vol. 52, nr 3, s. 574-587Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    If enhancing the connection between teaching and research has been highlighted in the general English language teaching profession, does English teaching at university – the ivory tower characterized by research – face the same issue? And how might this affect how the profession is perceived? This study provides an in-depth examination of how university English language teaching (ELT) teachers conceptualize research and their doing research, and discusses the issue in connection with the notion of profession. The study uses teacher cognition semi-structured interviewing with faculty members teaching English at a university in Vietnam. The results show ELT faculty construct different versions of research to rationalize their attitudes, self-awareness, and practices: research as irrelevant impositions, research as desirable but unfeasible goals, and research as practical, inner calls. Revealing this group's dilemmas between two worlds – practitioners and academics, external pressures and internal values, visions and realities, – the study argues that to increase research engagement, practical support is needed, but a reconceptualization of research is also an important factor. Also, understanding and realizing the teaching-research nexus in ELT hold implications for the profession's status and the professional’s identity and autonomy.

  • 5.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Logics and politics of professionalism: the case of university English language teachers in Vietnam2017Doktorsavhandling, monografi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Set against a changing backdrop of reforms in higher education and English language teaching (ELT), the thesis explores the notion of professionalism for university English teachers in Vietnam: What is defined as professionalism in this particular period of time? How is professionalism constructed in this context?

    The research approaches professionalism as a critical concept: A list of aspired traits and features are always value-laden and concern the question of power. From this premise, the thesis discusses a “kaleidoscope” relationship between different actors in the making of professionalism. Using Freidson’s (2001) ideas on the contingencies of professionalism, the study views the notion as a process rather than a product. Professionalism has its own logic that needs to be respected, but this logic is also incidental to other logics for its establishment and development.

    The study uses embedded case study to address its research questions. Defining the case as professionalism for university ELT teachers in contemporary Vietnam higher education, the thesis studies the notion as articulated at national, institutional, and individual levels. The primary data sources include five national policies, institutional policies and management practices at a university and its foreign languages department, and interviews with six academic managers and eleven ELT lecturers. The data were analysed using thematic analysis approach within constructivist, interpretive traditions.

    The results show that professionalism for ELT lecturers in Vietnam can largely be characterised as a professionalism of entrepreneurship, measurability and functionality. ELT is largely considered as a tool for international integration. Each type of professionalism project involves several actors (the state, expert groups, the institution, and ELT academics) with their own logic, but they interrelate in responding to the imperatives of the knowledge-based economy and globalisation. How the meaning of professionalism is established and argued for by the different actors in this study reveals that it is not easy to conceptualise the notion in a binary system of “from above” professionalism versus “from within” professionalism; and “organisational” professionalism versus “occupational” professionalism. The complexities of the logics of professionalism – with an ”s”, affect whether a professionalisation project can be perceived as being positive or negative – Is it professionalisation or is it deprofessionalisation? The relativity of “from above” and “from within” reflects the contingencies of professionalism, and also suggests authority power is plural, shifting, and fluid, rather than single, normative, and static. Meanwhile, it means human’s individual power is not of an ultimate freedom but dependent on external conditions. With these considerations, the study proposes interpreting professionalism as a ”social contract”. This helps not only recognise a mutual relationship between the state, the institution, and academics, but also illuminate how each party enables, maintains, and contributes to this relationship.

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  • 6.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Problematising ‘professionalism’ in contemporary higher education policies in Vietnam: The case of university English language teaching2016Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The global discourse of quality management has affected teacher professional work, skills, identities and autonomy (Hargreaves & Goodson, 1996; Mårtensson, Roxå, & Stensaker, 2014; Field, 2015). In Vietnam, the government has placed teacher quality high on the agenda, reflected in a number of newly introduced policies stipulating professional knowledge and skills standards. Focusing on university English language teachers, this study investigates the notion of ‘professionalism’ as it is presented in contemporary higher education policies in Vietnam. Viewing policy as discourse (Ball, 1993; Bacchi, 2000), the paper deconstructs ‘professionalism’ and reveals the politics behind its articulation in five major national-level policies that currently apply to English language academics. The findings indicate that a new kind of professionalism is being constructed – one that puts increasing demand upon teachers to take on new responsibilities not only within the classroom but also ! as responsive members of society. At the same time, there is a more pronounced presence of professional ELT groups in the development of these policies, calling English teachers to act with adaptive expertise and take charge of their work. The study thus suggests ‘professionalism’ is not constructed by one single group that holds power (i.e. government); rather, it results from an interaction between economic, political, cultural, and occupational discourses. This interaction of internal and external pressures, in the context of globalisation, forms an ecology system (Weaver-Hightower, 2008) and illustrates the relationship between the logics of bureaucracy, the market, and professionalism (Freidson, 2001). As such, the study provides another empirical insight into how different stakeholders engage in teacher quality policy discourse in an Asian nation, adding to prior discussions set in, for example, the US and European contexts (West, 2015; Spratt & Moscardini, 2015). Its findings also have implications for the design and development of teacher policies at both national and institutional levels.

  • 7.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Faculty of English Teacher Education, University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi.
    Some thoughts on being trained as a trainer of primary teachers2012Ingår i: The Teacher Trainer Journal, ISSN 0951-7626, Vol. 26, nr 2, s. 7-8Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This is a reflective text on my experiences being trained as a trainer of primary English teachers. The text is an entry to ‘My journey as a primary trainer of teachers’, about how participants developed professionally as a trainer and how they have applied the skills learned on a training-of-trainer course. The course was part of British Council's Access English project  that supported the development of national English Language Teaching at both primary and secondary levels in East Asian countries.

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  • 8.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Sustainability and Primary Teacher Education in a Swedish Context: From Concept Mapping to Experience Designing2024Ingår i: International Perspectives on Critical English Language Teacher Education: Theory and Practice / [ed] Ali Fuad Selvi and Ceren Kocaman, London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2024Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Refereegranskat)
  • 9.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    The Kaleidoscope Of English Language Teacher Professionalism: A Review Analysis Of Traits, Values, And Political Dimensions2016Ingår i: Critical inquiry In Language Studies, ISSN 1542-7587, E-ISSN 1542-7595, Vol. 13, nr 2, s. 132-156Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    “Professionalism” is a contested notion. The general literature on this term has pointed out its complexities as both an occupational set of virtues and a political concept subject to social and power relations. In English language teaching (ELT), the term professionalism has also been viewed as being elusive and controversial. This article attempts to visualise this elusiveness by providing a review on how this notion has been approached in recent ELT research. The analysis, using a critical lens, suggests that similar to what is found in the general literature, in the ELT field professionalism also needs to be perceived and discussed beyond a trait-based conceptualisation. The construction of professionalism can be regarded as resulting from a “kaleidoscope” which creates different representations of the concept with particular values and political dimensions. Drawing on these findings, the article proposes that professionalism in ELT has a dynamic nature as being socially co-constructed by different parties and factors.

  • 10.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    The "practising adaptive expert": professionalism as constructed in Vietnam English language teacher policy2018Ingår i: English language teacher preparation in Asia: policy, research and practice / [ed] Subhan Zein and Richmond Stroupe, London: Routledge, 2018, s. 261-277Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Refereegranskat)
  • 11.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    "The Social Contract": On University English Teacher Professionalism, Structure and Agency2015Ingår i: Transitions in Teacher Education and Professional Identities, Brussels, Belgium: ATEE - Association for Teacher Education in Europe, 2015, s. 483-492Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Professionalism perceived more conventionally is an occupational set of virtues or “essence”, while a critical conceptualisation of the notion is related to political dimension that makes it subject to social and power relations. Recent discussions on “professionalism” in literature while revealing the complexity of “professionalism” seem to highlight the political aspect of the concept and emphasise the determining role of external power discourses. Seeing “professionalism” as being socially constructed but with a more visible focus on the role of teachers, this paper explores the concept in the contemporary higher education context using the interaction between “agency” and “structure” as an analytical lens. In doing so, the paper argues for a potential of understanding “professionalism” as a “social contract”: it is based on a more reciprocal relationship between university teacher agency and their social discourse.

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  • 12.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    ‘University of the world’ or the globalised, entrepreneurial logic of professionalism management in the Vietnam context2019Ingår i: Quality in Higher Education, ISSN 1353-8322, E-ISSN 1470-1081, Vol. 25, nr 3, s. 324-339Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This case study of a university in Vietnam examines how professionalism is established and managed in the university context as manifested in institutional quality assurance policies and practices towards academic staff development. By looking at both ‘regulations and instrumentalities’, the research showcases the different political forces involving in the making of professionalism. The findings suggest that the professionalism emerging from the case study is informed by a managerialist ethos. This striving university with its globalised logic can, in turn, be interpreted against a backdrop of larger socio-cultural contexts. In constructing the contemporary professionalism, there exist several forces and together they form an ecology system that includes both internal and external pressures under the overarching globalisation. A better understanding of these forces raises other questions about how they might change the traditional relationship between university and academic staff members, the impact of globalisation and the nature of teacher work and autonomy in higher education.

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  • 13.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    “University of the World” or the Globalised Logic of Organisational Professionalism: A Case Study from Vietnam2016Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper focuses on the notion ‘organisational professionalism’ as it is constructed by contemporary discourses of higher education management. It investigates how professionalism is established and operationalised in a specific local site, which is a university in Vietnam, and studies the orientation of its institutional policies and management practices towards faculty development. In this way, by looking at both ‘regulations and instrumentalities’ (Freidson, 2001, p.136), the study provides an empirical analysis that showcases the different political forces involving in the making of professionalism.

  • 14.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Umeå universitetsbibliotek (UB).
    Olsson, Magnus
    Umeå universitet, Umeå universitetsbibliotek (UB).
    Co-redefining and co-creating Academic literacies in PhD education: Insights from a project at Umeå University Library, Sweden2019Ingår i: Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education, E-ISSN 1890-5900, Vol. 11, nr 1Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Our presentation discusses the practices and findings from a PhD workshop series at the Academic Resource Centre, Umeå University Library, Sweden. The partnership between librarians, writing tutors/researchers in supporting PhD research has recently become a new reality with Information Literacy courses offered as tools for resources and searching (Hassani, 2015; Paasio & Hintikka, 2015; Garson,2016). The insights from our course contribute to this literature by re-conceptualizing “academic literacy”, including Information Literacy, in doctoral education.

    Adopting Academic Literacies (Lea & Street, 1998, 2006) as our workshops’ underlying framework, we propose literacy beyond individual, transferable cognitive skills of writing and reading. Rather, it is an interrelated, dynamic, and situated set of knowledge, skills, and personal attributes that help PhD students acculturate into disciplinary discourses, the academic community, and wider social contexts.

    Our course approaches literacy holistically as comprising Research competence, Information literacy, and Academic English, with consideration to social processes (power, identity, and authority). The workshops cover critical reading, the literature review, writing abstract, communicating research and writing papers, but the PhD students are also encouraged to make sense of their writing by having critical, inquiry-based reflections about themselves, academia, and social discourses.

    The results from the first three workshop seasons emphasize knowledge co-creation – between academic librarians and researchers, and between workshop instructors and PhD students, as one key principle in developing academic literacies. The findings indicate that Information Literacy can be seen beyond tools and resources but rather a springboard that stimulates PhD students’ critical thinking in their becoming researchers. The positive feedback from the participants also gives the rationale for the expanding roles of the library (Delaney and Bates, 2018). These workshops have strengthened our belief that collaboration is one important strategy for librarians and writing tutors/researchers to acquire the skills of the future.

  • 15.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    O'Rourke, John
    British Council Vietnam.
    Vietnam English Teacher Competency Framework: Implementation considerations2013Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The passage of a new policy is not purely the ‘win’ point of the culmination of potentially years of advocacy and communications, but it is also the starting point of the equally important phase of work to translate that policy into meaningful changes. One of the significant challenges to policy implementation is that it involves multiple players and systems. How can they best approach implementation? What needs to be considered? After discussing the dimensions and elements of policy implementation process, this paper looks at the newly adopted Vietnam English Teacher Competency Framework and proposes some considerations, drawing on international experiences, for different stakeholders engaged in implementing the policy.

  • 16.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Pham, Thi Thanh Thuy
    Vietnam National University, ULIS.
    Gender bias in English textbooks in Vietnam: Textbook representations, teacher perspectives, and classroom practices2020Rapport (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    How stereotyped gender-specific expectations and norms are depicted in teaching materials may negatively influence students’ development and even contribute to social inequalities. In Vietnam, an inclusive growth that ensures girls’ and women’s rights to equal access to resources and services remains a challenge for the country – a Confucian-heritage society that values patriarchal traditions. 

    This project critically investigates if and how gender bias is presented in English textbooks in Vietnam, and how it is interpreted and practised by teachers in the classroom. How is gender represented in the English textbooks? How do teachers interpret gender-sensitive content as presented in the textbooks and how do they respond to it in their teaching practices? 

    Holding gender to be a social construct, which means women’s and men’s behaviour is influenced by social-cultural environment with its ideologies, perceptions and power hierarchy and distribution, the research uses critical discourse analysis to create a “productive suspicion” of text interpretation, asking questions about our notions of gender to examine how or when the feminine or masculine is constructed as powerful, to explore genderedness. A multimodal critical qualitative analysis, combined with analyses of quantitative traditions, was employed. The textbooks analysed are a newly published English textbook series for lower secondary education English 6English 7English 8, and English 9 currently in use in junior secondary schools in Vietnam. This series of English textbooks is part of Vietnam’s ongoing National Foreign Languages Project (NFL Project), Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training. The project also studies the interaction between textbooks and teaching by conducting classroom research. Teaching observation and teacher interview were selected as the methods to investigate classroom interpretation of textbook gender-related content. 

    The results suggest that the depiction of gender in the textbooks, though starting to provide girls with more life opportunities, is still affected by gender norms and bias. Males not only inhabit bigger verbal space, they are also depicted as having more social properties than females: They have better knowledge, are more socially influential, enjoy higher status in both occupational roles and domestic roles, receive more opportunities, and aim for more ambitious goals. In contrast, although girls are seen as participating on more or less equal terms in some specific areas, they are portrayed as less independent; their choices are more limited, and they seem to receive less development resources than boys. The interview with the textbook authors shows although some efforts were made to ensure an equal presence of female and male characters, gender was not a priority during the textbook writing. Field observations of school English lessons reveal that teachers are not quite sensitive to possible gender issues in the textbooks and in the classroom. Gender content is largely absent from classroom discourse, as teachers prioritise covering and “transferring” textbook contents – mostly in terms of linguistic knowledge. In many cases, teachers’ teaching design and interaction are found to be affected by their own gender bias – both conscious and unconscious. However, textbook authors and teachers all agreed that gender equality is important in society and education, though breaking traditional norms can be difficult. 

    The study raises questions on the possibility of challenging social norms and stereotypes against women, and, at the same time, creating a new culture narrative in which women’s agency is better recognised and enacted. The research helps increase the awareness of gender equality among societal community and professional groups (textbook writers, teachers, students, etc.) and enable them to recognise gender bias to respond to its challenge. Basing on the results, three main areas to respond to gender inequality are suggested: awareness raising, capacity building, and behaviour change. The current efforts towards gender equality are acknowledged, but better progress needs to be made so that girls’ and women’s empowerment is realised now and in the future.

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  • 17.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Pham, Thi Thanh Thuy
    Vietnam National University, ULIS, Vietnam.
    Gender, critical pedagogy, and textbooks: Understanding teachers’ (lack of) mediation of the hidden curriculum in the EFL classroom2022Ingår i: Language Teaching Research, ISSN 1362-1688, E-ISSN 1477-0954Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Gender contents, textual or visual, in instructional materials can be considered as a hidden curriculum, and may either hinder or advance equality. How teachers interpret and respond to this hidden curriculum in their classroom discourse, however, can play a crucial role in creating positive change. This research seeks to understand how teachers work with gender-sensitive contents in a newly-published English textbooks series for lower secondary education in Vietnam. To what extent are teachers aware of genderedness in textbooks, and how do they respond to it? Approaching gender as a social construct, using multi-dimensional methods, the study critically explores teachers’ experiences with the textbooks – their classroom practices and underlying perceptions – through 18 classroom observations and 12 follow-up interviews with 12 teachers in four lower secondary schools. Results indicate that neither the hidden curriculum of gender was recognized nor a critical mediation of it was practised. Gender content, whether ‘traditional’ or ‘progressive’, was largely absent from classroom discourse, as teachers prioritized transferring linguistic knowledge. Little space was allocated for promoting students’ critical thinking and self-reflections, including those about gender-related content. Teachers did not often pay full attention to different nuances and dimensions of gender issues, while sometimes their teaching design and interaction were found to be affected by their own bias – consciously and unconsciously. The study reveals that although teachers were later willing to reconstruct their perceptions and future practices, and were able to concretize their pedagogical intentions, enacting teacher agency in relation to critical pedagogy and gender equality in the contemporary English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom in Vietnam might remain a challenge. Based on the study’s findings, pedagogical implications that may enable teachers to be potential agents of change were suggested.

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  • 18.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Pham, Thi Thanh Thuy
    ULIS, Vietnam National University, Hanoi.
    Still in the shadow of Confucianism? Gender bias in contemporary English textbooks in Vietnam2023Ingår i: Pedagogy, Culture & Society, ISSN 1468-1366, E-ISSN 1747-5104, Vol. 31, nr 3, s. 477-497Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Gender bias in teaching materials may influence students’ development and contribute to social inequalities. This study investigates possible gender bias in a newly published English textbook series in Vietnam. Holding gender as a social construct, the research uses a multimodal critical approach to examine language and ideological systems. The results show despite some effort for gender equity, the making of textbooks in today's Vietnam is still affected by patriarchal Confucian values. Males inhabit bigger verbal space and have more social properties. Females are portrayed as less independent; their choices are more limited, and with less resources. Textbook author interviews show the writing was influenced by conscious and unconscious bias, but they agreed gender equality is important, although male domination beliefs still seem to be deeply ingrained in the society. The study raises questions on challenging the status quo and creating a new cultural narrative for women’s rights recognition and enactment.

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  • 19.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Pham, Thi Thanh Thuy
    Vietnam National University, ULIS.
    Training of Trainers for Primary English Teachers in Viet Nam: Stakeholder Evaluation2014Ingår i: The Journal of Asia TEFL, ISSN 1738-3102, Vol. 11, nr 4, s. 89-108Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently Viet Nam National Foreign Language 2020 Project was launched as a government initiative to improve the foreign language learning and teaching system nationally. One task of the project is to introduce English at grade 3, which requires significant re-training for the country’s large number of primary English teachers in both English proficiency and methodology. Training-of-trainers (ToT), a cascade model of trainer training, has therefore been adopted as an option. Drawing from two recent ToT programmes in Viet Nam for primary teachers, the paper discusses the needs of the participants and analyses how the programmes have and have not responded to these needs. Adopting the stakeholder approach in evaluation, the study provides an initial formative evaluation based on insider self-assessment. One of the key findings is that, despite significant efforts, the programmes still need a shaper focus on course design and delivery knowledge and a better connection with participants’ target training contexts.

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  • 20.
    Vu, Mai Trang
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Sandström, Karyn
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    From a Swedish perspective: Theory + Research + Policy + Practical wisdom + Teacher education = ?2019Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Contribution: While the role of theory and research is perceived as essential in preparing future teachers for the complexity of teaching, realising the theory-research-practice nexus in teacher education has been identified as one “perennial” dilemma (Darling-Hammond, 2006). Current studies from different countries, while acknowledging the shift from a craft-oriented tradition towards a more academic, research-based approach in teacher education, have indicated challenges faced by teacher educators, especially regarding curriculum and the links between university and school (e.g. Marcondes, Finholdt Angelo Leite, & Karl Ramos, 2017; Sancho-Gil, Sánchez-Valero, & Domingo-Coscollola, 2017; Valeeva & Gafurov, 2017).

    This paper discusses the development of teacher education courses within a revised primary (English) language teacher education programme at Umeå University, Sweden. It focuses on how teacher knowledge is conceptualised and realised. In line with contemporary research on teacher education, the study argues that an integration between theory, research, and practical training can help student teachers form a sound knowledge and skill springboard. Such an integration enhances their creativity, autonomy, and identity, which is particularly relevant to the Swedish context, and potentially relevant to other European settings in general.

    The key mission of the Swedish school, as stated in the Swedish National curriculum, is to “encourage all pupils to discover their own uniqueness as individuals and thereby be able to participate in the life of society by giving of their best in responsible freedom” (Skolverket - The Swedish National Agency for Education, 2018, p.5). Swedish learners are encouraged to become autonomous yet responsible through realising their potentials and developing their identity as individuals and being part of the society. Those fundamental tasks and values promoted in the Swedish education have implications for teacher education. In the Swedish context, if the school is to educate children to become independent and responsible, teachers must embrace and embody these qualities, since teacher beliefs influence their practice and agency (e.g. Biesta, Priestley, & Robinson, 2015; Brookfield, 2017).

    The study’s theoretical framework is based on the view that teacher education involves relationships with factors beyond classroom confines, such as authoritative policies, practical wisdom, and teaching professionalism. Our courses’ development is thus informed by contemporary research on teacher knowledge in general and English language teacher knowledge in particular. We adopted the perspective that teaching is not only an apprenticeship of observation (Lortie, 1975); rather, it is an “interplay” (Boyd et al., 2015) between policy, theory, research, and practical wisdom. Education is liberating: it helps students be able to manage daily classroom practices but it also enables life-long learning and empowers themselves as teachers. With this positioning, we build on the framework of teacher knowledge commonly used (e.g. Roters, 2017) that comprises content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, knowledge of context and curriculum, and general pedagogical knowledge. We expand the model with a greater attention to research, theory, and reflection, while promoting the development of a growth mindset. Teachers’ abilities to understand and review theories of learning and teaching is now seen as necessary for professional growth (Richards & Farrell, 2005; Boyd et al., 2015; Farrell, 2016) and this should be the overall goal in teacher education (Ellis, 2012).

    We thus acknowledge the complexity of teacher educators’ work (Boyd & White, 2017). Teacher educators should adopt a “researcherly disposition” (Tack & Vanderlinde, 2016) and the development of teacher education content should be grounded in not only practical experience, mandated by policy, but also theory and research. Teacher educators’ engagement with research helps better their practices and also creates new knowledge on teacher education.

    Method: The courses in focus are one Theory class, one Methodology class, and one class on Being a language teacher, taught to primary student teachers at Umeå University during a recent academic year. The paper presents how the development of the courses (objectives, rationale, content, delivery, and assessment) is connected to contemporary teacher education theories and research. The designing and development of the courses, based on the objectives and requirements specified in the curriculum, followed Backward design approach (Wiggins, Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). The way we aligned our conceptualisation of teacher knowledge with Swedish national policies, as well as our students’ needs, is also discussed. To gain information on the effectiveness of the approach, we considered end-of-course stakeholder evaluation (Kiely, 2012), in this case students’ feedback and instructors’ reflective insights. Expert peer feedback from our colleagues was also sought. General evidence of learning and change of attitude was reviewed through a portion of students’ submitted assignments. Initial input from students’ reflections from their first teaching practicum is regarded as a gateway to understanding their teacher cognition (Borg, 2015). Ongoing dialogues between students and instructors during the courses are also discussed as a method of course evaluation (Freeman & Dobbins, 2013). 

    Expected Outcomes:  Our research-based approach yielded courses following the “interplay” between policy, theory, research, and practice. Of particular importance were a background of theory and research of second language acquisition for young learners, inquiry-based teacher education, teacher identities and agency, and reflective practice. Results from the student data indicate theory and research still intimidate them. Student teachers tend to imagine teacher knowledge as practical knowledge and skills, such as teaching “tips” and concrete classroom techniques. From our own reflections as course developers, we identified two significant concerns. First, reconciling the paradox between theoretical advocacy and practical guidance needs an explicit and coherent connection between curriculum design, coursework, and field experiences (Darling-Hammond, 2017; Flores, 2017). Second, the programme needs to better prepare students to activate their autonomy. Some dilemmas between design and meeting goals include knowledge interpretations (instrumental vs. liberal), knowledge presentability, materials, teachers and learners’ roles, and the transition from university learning to school professional practices, considering the ‘academic-vocational divide’. However, we also noted changes in our students’ self-awareness, knowledge development, teaching beliefs, and their attitude towards theory and practice.

    The study has provided more understandings of the design and implementation of teacher education. During this process, teacher educators are both consumers and producers of knowledge. Seeing course development as an iterative cycle (Forsyth, Jolliffe, & Stevens, 1999/2017), our process needs ongoing review and discussions. Overall the courses showed initial positive results in encouraging student teachers to be more aware of the theory underlying their practice and beliefs, while seeing practice as possibilities for transformation (Flores, 2018). We believe this autonomy will help student teachers establish their own professional stance, especially in response to different demands and uncertainties in their teaching career.

    References: Biesta, G., Priestley, M. & Robinson, S. (2015). The role of beliefs in teacher agency. Teachers and Teaching, 21(6), 624-640.

    Borg, S. (2015). Teacher cognition and language education: Research and practice. Bloomsbury Publishing.

    Boyd, P. and White, E. (2017). Teacher educator professional inquiry in an age of accountability. In Boyd, P. & Szplit, A. (eds.) Teacher and teacher educator inquiry: International perspectives. Attyka.

    Boyd, P., Hymer, B., & Lockney, K. (2015). Learning Teaching: becoming an inspirational teacher. Critical Publishing.

    Brookfield, S. D. (2017). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. John Wiley & Sons.

    Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Constructing 21st-century teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(3), 300–314.

    Darling-Hammond, L. (2017). Teacher education around the world: What can we learn from international practice? European Journal of Teacher Education, 40(3), 291–309.

    Ellis, R. (2012). Language teaching research and language pedagogy. Wiley Blackwell.

    Farrell, T. S. C. (2016). From trainee to teacher: Reflective practice for novice teachers. Equinox Pub. Limited.

    Forsyth, I., Jolliffe, A., & Stevens, D. (1999/2017). Evaluating a course. Routledge.

    Freeman, R., & Dobbins, K. (2013). Are we serious about enhancing courses? Using the principles of assessment for learning to enhance course evaluation. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(2), 142-151.

    Flores, M. A. (2018). Linking teaching and research in initial teacher education: knowledge mobilisation and research-informed practice. Journal of Education for Teaching, 44(5), 621-636.

    Kiely, R. (2012). Designing evaluation into change management process. In C. Tribble (Ed.) Managing Change in English Language Teaching: Lessons from Experience, (pp. 75-90). London: British Council.

    Lortie, D. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological analysis. Chicago: University of Chicago.

    Marcondes, M. I., Finholdt Angelo Leite, V., & Karl Ramos, R. (2017). Theory, practice and research in initial teacher education in Brazil: challenges and alternatives. European Journal of Teacher Education, 40(3), 326-341.

    Richards, J. C., & Farrell, T. S. C. (2005). Professional development for language teachers: Strategies for teacher learning. Ernst Klett Sprachen.

    Sancho-Gil, J. M., Sánchez-Valero, J. A., & Domingo-Coscollola, M. (2017). based insights on initial teacher education in Spain. European Journal of Teacher Education, 40(3), 310-325.

    Tack, H., & Vanderlinde, R. (2016). Measuring teacher educators’ researcherly disposition: Item development and scale construction. Vocations and Learning, 9(1), 43-62.

    Valeeva, R. A., & Gafurov, I. R. (2017). Initial teacher education in Russia: connecting theory, practice and research. European Journal of Teacher Education, 40(3), 342-360.

    Wiggins, G., Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Ascd.

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