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Home Journal Index 2022-3

Changing Technologies or Changing Identities? The Effects of Online Teaching on Educator Identity in Vietnam During COVID-19

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Stewart Utley
British University Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam


Jasper Roe
James Cook University, Singapore


Abstract
The purpose of this research was to understand the current effects on professional identity during the move to online learning from traditional class-based learning among higher education English lecturers in Hanoi, Vietnam, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst multiple studies have focused on the storied experiences of teachers in multiple contexts during this period, few have utilized the lens of teacher professional identity as a tool to understanding reported successes and challenges at the classroom and institution level. Semi-structured interviews took place with six higher education lecturers of English across two universities in Hanoi, Vietnam. Data was analyzed in NVivo using deductive thematic analysis, based on a conceptual framework of identity congruence and incongruence. The study found that sites of identity congruence during the move to online learning in this context included values of efficacy, professionalism, and innovation, while sites of incongruence included student motivation, social connection, and control. The study highlights the potential of using the lens of professional identity as a tool for greater insight into rationale and potential remedying of challenges within educational settings, particularly when observing the notion of change in teaching delivery.


Keywords
Professional identity, online teaching, identity work, TESOL, Vietnam