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Title: The impact of the assessment process and the international MA-TESOL course on the professional identity of Vietnamese student teachers : an ecological perspective
Author: Nhan, Tran Thanh
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 2801
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2015
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In the context of globalisation, English language teaching is a billions-of-pounds-worth business, yet the teacher of English still remains “an almost invisible figure” (Garton and Richards, 2008, p. 4). In Vietnam, thousands of TESOL teachers have been sponsored to enhance their professionalism in Anglophone institutions, yet the results of their sojourn study still remain almost intangible. These vague self-concepts of the TESOL teacher in both global and local contexts have motivated the researcher to conduct this study on the impact of the international MA-TESOL course on the professional identity of Vietnamese student teachers with the assessment process being the main focus owing to its substantial influence on the learner’s identity (Ecclestone and Pryor, 2003; Pryor and Crossouard, 2008). This “divergent multiple case study” is grounded in the school of social constructivism with new developments of cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) and theories of expansive learning (Engeström, 2001; Engeström and Sannino, 2010). It adopts an ecological view to analyse the assessment process and the international MA-TESOL course by using an “ecological activity system”, a combination of Engeström (1987)’s activity system, Pryor and Crossouard (2008)’s socio-cultural theorisation of formative assessment, and Hodgson and Spours (2013)’s high opportunity progression eco-system (HOPE) as the major conceptual framework. The assessment process, the object of the system, is perceived as encompassing both summative assessment tasks and formative feedback. Meanwhile, the professional identity, the outcome with cognitive, affective, behavioural, and socio-cultural aspects, is regarded as a case of multiplicity in unity and discontinuity in continuity (Akkerman and Meijer, 2011), and is to be depicted in two different dimensions: retrospection vs. prospection and projection vs. introjection (Bernstein, 2000). This research follows narrative inquiry and employs intensive, active, semi-structured interview as the primary data collection method and the documentary analysis of the MA-TESOL syllabi as the supplementary one. It called for the voluntary participation of fourteen Vietnamese student teachers studying in four Anglophone countries: Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States and collated four sets of the course syllabi. The thematic data analysis has yielded insights into (1) the positive impact of the assessment process on four major aspects of the professional identity; (2) the salient impacts of other factors of the international MA-TESOL course: the subject, the mediating artefacts, the rules, the community, and the power relations; and (3) the long-term impact on their continued career paths. The research findings may facilitate cross-institutional understanding of the assessment policies and the international MA-TESOL curricula and serve as a reference to design more beneficial TESOL training programmes for the future student teachers worldwide.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) ; Vietnam International Education Development Department (VIED) ; University of Foreign Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi (ULIS-VNU)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available