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Teaching Vietnamese as a second language to Indigenous preschool children in Lai Chau Province, Vietnam

Vu, Thao Thi (2020) Teaching Vietnamese as a second language to Indigenous preschool children in Lai Chau Province, Vietnam. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The long-term aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of the factors that influence the capacity of preschool teachers in teaching Vietnamese as second language (L2) to Indigenous children in Lai Chau province in Vietnam. The aim of the research is firstly to record and analyse preschool teachers’ beliefs about teaching L2, and secondly to analyse existing pedagogical practice in preschool classrooms where Vietnamese is taught to Indigenous children in Lai Chau. To achieve this, explanatory sequential mixed methods are employed to develop an in-depth understanding of the practice of teaching an L2 to Indigenous preschool children. The methods include surveys (n=286), interviews (n=6), and observations (n=6) of teaching Vietnamese language in preschools in Lai Chau Province. The findings from the study highlight the profound influence of cultural knowledge, teacher background and teacher experience. These three factors may cause both convergence and divergence between teachers’ beliefs and their practice. The study confirms that culture has a great influence on teachers’ beliefs and their teaching of Indigenous children. The cultural mismatch between teachers and students and their families leads teachers to blame the difficulties in teaching an L2 on children and their parents without considering their own teaching limitations. Based on the findings about teachers’ beliefs and their practice in the class, this research attests that espoused theories and practice do not always align. There is not a strict correlation between espoused theories and practice. The evidence demonstrated that in some cases, whilst teachers demonstrated good intuition, they were not sufficiently skilled in teaching an L2 to young children. Almost none of them had received formal training in pre-service education, although some had attended in-service training in L2 teaching.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: Education
Supervisor(s): Hammond, Libby-Lee and McConney, Andrew
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