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Synchronous online English language teaching for young learners: insights from public primary school teachers in an EFL context

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This study explored teachers’ perceived benefits, issues and their responses to the issues when conducting synchronous online English language teaching (SOELT) for young learners via the lens of the capital framework. A mixed-methods design using in-depth interviews and a Likert-scale survey was adopted to investigate the perceptions of 124 Vietnamese EFL teachers in different public primary schools in Vietnam. Quantitative analyses revealed teachers’ little access to economic capital as compared to social and cultural capital when conducing SOELT. Content-based analyses of interview data show that conducting SOELT for young learners increased teachers’ access to social and cultural capital in the form of 1) enhanced online pedagogical skills, 2) greater awareness of the potential of technologies for online teaching and professional development, and 3) increased collaboration among colleagues and students’ parents. However, the lack of economic capital created issues for implementing SOELT. Notably, teachers’ perceptions appeared to be contradictory because they reported good access to social and cultural capital, but they stated multiple issues related to the access to these two types of capital. The interviews also revealed teachers’ adoption of two strategies to resolve emergent SOELT issues: approach coping and avoidant coping strategies. Besides, the results show that teachers’ degrees of access to capital were not associated with their background characteristics. The results overall indicate benefits and issues of SOELT that are both common to online education and specific to the characteristics of young learners.



Synchronous online ELT, young learners, teacher perceptions, public primary schools, capital

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Computer Assisted Language Learning

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Informa UK Limited
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