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A Narrative Inquiry Into the English Proficiency Development of Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers in Vietnam

Case
By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

This case is based on research conducted in the context of teacher education and training in Vietnam, which employed narrative inquiry in combination with a self-rated English language proficiency survey and semi-structured interviews to explore the perceptions of Vietnamese primary and secondary English as a foreign language teachers regarding their English proficiency in comparison with the standard mandated by the Ministry of Education and Training, their attitudes toward English proficiency development, and the characteristics of their language practice. The survey collected responses from 298 in-service English as a foreign language teachers participating in professional development courses in four provinces of Northern Vietnam. A total of 42 teachers were then selected for the semi-structured interviews on a voluntary and availability basis. Of these participants, five were chosen and then repeatedly interviewed using narrative inquiry techniques over a 10-week period. The case promotes the use of narrative inquiry, justifies and illustrates the process of incorporating it into the research design, and suggests frameworks for narrative data collection and analysis. Narrative inquiry is a qualitative methodology based on the premise that we make sense of our lives through narratives and uses storytelling to uncover the issues which may not be captured by other methods. This approach emphasizes the collaborative aspect of research between researcher and participants over time in a socio-cultural context and allows for a rich description of these experiences and an exploration of the meanings that participants derive from their experiences.

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