From Lao Cai, on the northern border with China, to Bac Lieu in the Mekong Delta, Vietnamese universities are teaming with the US Embassy in Hanoi, Consulate in HCMC, the English Language Fellow Program, and Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training to host “From Action to ASEAN: Action Research as Professional Development,” an innovative professional development program for English educators, ranging from primary through university. In each location, English Language Fellows and their counterparts are implementing this four stage program designed to support and empower teachers to improve their teaching practice through action research.
The goals align with and support those of the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training’s National Foreign Language Project 2020’s mission to renovate English learning and teaching across the nation in order to prepare today’s graduates for ASEAN integration. Over the four weeks in March and April, three universities and one teacher training college hosted colloquia to introduce the concept of action research, provide real examples of research done in Vietnam, and offer workshops in getting started on a research project. Feedback from participants has been amazingly positive, including double the number of participants expected at at least one location. The next three stages will include conducting the research with mentor support, professional skills workshops and a final colloquium at which participants will present their research projects.