TEACHERS’ ICT LITERACY AND TIME CONSTRAINING ICT TRAINING AND USE Authors

Group discussion Nguyen Van Loi Pham Thi To Nhu Le Phuong Anh Ho Quang Ha

Goals The major goal of Project 2020 is upgrading the Vietnamese students’ level of English proficiency, and to achieve this, one of the ways is to integrate ICT use in teaching English (Hung, 2011). In this context, the task we will do upon return to Vietnam aims 1. to train school teachers in using ICT in teaching English to young learners, and in that way we attempt 2. to promote their ICT use in school English programs. In order to attain such goals, a number of issues need to be addressed. One of the issues involves the constraints on training. Teachers’ ICT literacy as a major constraint Of many constraints considered, we decided to focus on the ICT literacy of the school teachers as the main constraint itself. Integrating ICT into education has become a worldwide issue of concern, but the teacher‘s lack of knowledge and skills in ICT has been considered a significant barrier to the process of integration (Honan, 2008; Kushairi, 2008; Law, 2010; Peeraer & Van Petegem, 2012). Therefore, the question “How can ICT be integrated into teaching English at primary and secondary schools in Vietnam?” is significant in the context. Research in the context of Vietnam has shown that teachers’ lack of confidence in ICT skills correlates with their limited ICT use in language teaching (Dang, 2012; Peeraer & Van Petegem, 2012); rather than focussing on providing access to ICT alone, educating ICT skills

is greatly suggested if the gap between rhetoric and practice is to be bridged (Peeraer & Van Petegem, 2012; Rahimi & Yadollahi, 2011). We are further challenged by the limited time given in the training program. For primary teacher training, the ICT module is approximately 12 hours in class, and for the secondary teachers, the time allotted to ICT training is only 4 hours. It has also been pointed out that teachers’ workloads shared their time spent on using ICT in English teaching (Dang, 2012). Such restrictions definitely have an impact on any decision to design and provide ICT training for the teachers. We will take a bottom up approach in dealing with such a situation. This approach is based on the curriculum design model proposed by Nation and Macalister (2010). Suggested solutions To improve the teachers’ ICT literacy and encourage ICT applications in limited conditions, it is important that teachers be able to identify opportunities and barriers and know how to overcome constraints (Levy & Stockwell, 2006, cited in Dang, 2011). We propose taking the following ways in dealing with the constraints. 1. Knowing the teachers’ needs: Given the restricted time frame, we will need to know what the teachers know, lack and need to learn so that we can have a time-saving focus. To do this, Google Docs is a good choice to make a questionnaire survey. Based on the survey results and the criteria, we will design a training course for the teachers. 2. Establishing criteria for choosing technologies to train the school teachers: These criteria could be effectiveness on learning, user-friendliness, costs, and availability, as well as language competence (Levy & Stockwell, 2006, cited in Dang, 2011). Targeting some skills that are lacking in the school context can be demanding. 3. Training how to learn: information research skills will help them easily have access to online resources for professional development including developing their ICT skills. 4. Awareness: Raising their awareness of how technology can enhance language ability is also part of the program design. This refers to the model of Nation and Marcalister (2010). 5. Providing resources: Introducing online resources for teaching and learning English is important to sustain self learning, and will possibly enable them to use ICT in teaching English. Building a resource with demos could be considered a measure to provide self-access. 6. Presentation: Hands-on workshops accompanied with ready-made rubrics can be used depending on how much time we have. Supports The good news is that the Project 2020 provides finance for training. The Internet Broadband access and computers (e.g. the 1 million PC program) have also been supplied free by Intel under the 2-year agreement with the Ministry of Education (Hung, 2011). We also have a wide range of resources available online for learning and teaching ICT. Computer labs connected with Broadband are available at our institutions as well as in provincial centres. References

Dang,T. N. (2011). Exploring CALL options for teaching EFL in Vietnam. Master Thesis. Minnesota State University. Dang, X.T. (2012). Factors influencing teachers’ use of ICT in language teaching: a case study of Hanoi University, Vietnam. A paper submitted to International Conference on ICT for language learning. Honan, E. (2008). Barriers to teachers using digital texts in literacy classrooms. Literacy, 42(1), 36-43. Hung, N. N. (2011). National Foreign Languages 2020 Project: Challenges, opportunities and solutions. Paper presented at the Australia- Vietnam Future Education Forum. Kushairi, A. (2008, Jul 21, 2008). ICT in the classroom begins with teachers. New Straits Times. Law, N. (2010). Teacher Skills and Knowledge for Technology Integration. In P. Editors-inChief: Penelope, B. Eva, E. B. Barry McGawA2 - Editors-in-Chief: Penelope Peterson & M. Barry (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education (Third Edition) (pp. 211-216). Oxford: Elsevier. Peeraer, J., & Van Petegem, P. (2012). Information and communication technology in teacher education in Vietnam: from policy to practice. Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 11(2), 89-103. Rahimi, M., & Yadollahi, S. (2011). ICT Use in EFL classes: a focus on EFL teachers' characteristics. [Report]. World Journal of English Language, 1(2), 17+. Nation, I.S.P. and Macalister, J.(2010). Language curriculum design. New York: Routledge

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