Exploring the Impacts of Doing Action Research on EFL Teachers’ Professional Identities from an Ecological Perspective


  • Nhat-Anh Khuong Nguyen Gia Viet English Language Center
  • Khoa Dang Truong Gia Viet English Language Center


action research (AR), AR, professional identities, teacher identity, researcher identity


Having been introduced to Vietnamese EFL teachers since 2008 in the milieu of the National Foreign Languages Project 2020, action research (AR) is still a novel area of inquiry in English language teacher education in Vietnam. This study explored how doing AR affected four EFL teachers' construction and reconstruction of their professional identities to contribute to this area. Data were collected from semi-structured, in-depth interviews with the teachers to unveil their teaching and AR experiences. Drawing on Weaver-Hightower’s (2008) ecological framework, the data were analyzed against four factors: actors, relationships, environments and structures, and processes woven into the three stages of AR (pre-research, while post-research). The results showed the influences of the complex nexus of these factors, with relationships and environments and structures standing out, on reconstructing the teachers’ teacher identity and constructing their researcher identity. The study provides implications for how to use AR as a way to promote the professional development of teaching staff.

Author Biographies

Nhat-Anh Khuong Nguyen, Gia Viet English Language Center

Nhat-Anh Khuong Nguyen is currently coordinator of the biannual Mekong TESOL International Conference and the TESOL Certificate Program at Gia Viet English Language Center, Can Tho City Department of Education and Training, where she also teaches academic English. She is interested in exploring topics in the area of EFL teacher education and teacher professional development. Email: nkna05@gmail.com

Khoa Dang Truong, Gia Viet English Language Center

Khoa Dang Truong is an academic manager and TESOL trainer at Gia Viet English Language Center and also adjunct lecturer at Can Tho University, Vietnam. His research interests include second language writing, writing pedagogy, writing teacher cognition and practice, and teacher professional development. Email: khoafulbrighter@gmail.com


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How to Cite

Nguyen, K. N. A. ., & Truong, D. K. (2021). Exploring the Impacts of Doing Action Research on EFL Teachers’ Professional Identities from an Ecological Perspective. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 1(3), 65–87. Retrieved from http://i-jte.org/index.php/journal/article/view/87