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Challenging ESP teacher beliefs about active learning in a Vietnamese university

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This article provides insights into how participating in an action research study challenged traditional beliefs about teaching practices and led to more active learning strategies being included in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Science classes at a Vietnamese university. Recent reforms in higher education teaching and learning by the Vietnamese government have placed increased demands on universities to employ more active learning approaches to meet future global needs. In Vietnam, university teaching has generally been based upon traditional lecturing, whereas active learning requires a more student-centred approach whereby students engage cognitively in learning through increased participation and take greater responsibility for inquiring into new knowledge in meaningful and critical ways. Using a participatory action research approach, interviews, observations and planning meetings were undertaken with eight Science lecturers who were currently teaching ESP. The findings revealed how the lecturers underwent positive pedagogical shifts from traditional lecturing to more constructivist approaches to teaching and learning over the time of the study.
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Keywords: Action research; ESP; active learning; teacher beliefs; teacher change

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Foreign Languages, Can Tho University, Can Tho, Vietnam 2: Institute of Education, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Publication date: May 27, 2019

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