The role of technology and technology training in language teachers' professional development in the private sector
Although technology integration and its importance to teachers’ professional development in CALL have been studied in recent years, studies focusing on institutions in the private sector are still scarce. With the Vietnamese government advocating for the use of technology in language classrooms, especially in the private sector, it is necessary to study teachers’ perspectives toward technology integration and how technology training at the workplace contributes to their professional development in private institutions. Therefore, a case study was conducted in one private institution in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam using a mixed-methods approach to provide more insightful literature into this field. Data collected from four hours of classroom observations and two forty-five-minute sessions of semi-structured interviews of two teachers were coded and analyzed thematically. A questionnaire was later administered to 27 language teachers in the same institution to ascertain the final findings. Results indicate that even though the language teachers found the provided technologies challenging sometimes, they were optimistic and enthusiastic toward learning how to use them. Language teachers in this study also perceived their institution not only as a workplace but also as a community of practice where they learn about technology integration from their colleagues to advance their teaching profession. Data analysis has also uncovered the connection between CALL training/education and professional development on three levels, namely individual, peer, and institutional levels. Based on each level, the study provides suggestions for both public and private language institutions on improving technology training and enhancing the community of practice at the workplace. In particular, when it comes to technology education at the workplace, it is recommended that instead of introducing new technologies, institutions focus on the currently used ones to guarantee the success of technology integration and teachers’ professional development.
Bao is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Waseda University, Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies. His research field is applied linguistics, especially in CALL and TESOL. His current study is on language teachers' well-being in Vietnam and Japan and the importance of CALL in language teachers' professional development in the two countries.