VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2019

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Empowerment in Teacher Learning: An Analysis from a Sociocultural Perspective
Nhu Quynh Phan

Building: B
Room: B404
Date: 2019-10-11 02:50 PM – 03:20 PM
Last modified: 2019-09-20


Epistemological shifts in teacher learning have put much emphasis on teachers’ active agents in the process of learning and constructing their knowledge. Taken from a sociocultural perspective, the process has been defined as a form of socialization into the professional thinking and practices of a community (Richards, 2008) or as a dynamic social activity, which is emerging out of and through multiple social contexts (Johnson, 2009). Well reflecting this nature of teacher learning, professional learning communities (PLCs) seem to offer optimal opportunities to English language teachers to self-direct their learning process through social interactions. Basing on the outcomes of an empirical study on the professional learning communities (PLCs), which have been put in place for Vietnamese primary school English language teachers (PETs) in one city in Vietnam, this paper discusses the ways in which the PLCs empowered the PETs in their learning process. The findings show that the PETs engaged in the PLCs as empowered learners to construct their knowledge, but the experts’ voices and knowledge were notably valued by the teachers.


teacher learning, professional development, teacher knowledge, professional learning community, community of practice