Understanding obstacles to online professional development through the lens of EFL teachers’ attitudes

a qualitative study in Vietnam context

My T. Truong, Jill Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Online language training courses have recently emerged as a promising professional development option for teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) because of their convenience, quality, and potential contribution to teachers’ ability to use technology in their practice. In several contexts including Vietnam, however, virtual learning environments remain an unpopular choice. This qualitative study aims to explain the situation through the lens of teachers’ attitudes – a psychological factor believed to significantly shape teachers’ professional development behaviors. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and thematically analysed to explore nineteen EFL teachers’ views of a particular virtual language training course, and of online teacher professional development (OTPD) more broadly. The results showed predominantly positive viewpoints, confirmed the central place of technology in OTPD, and added well-established social norms as a new barrier besides other commonly recognized ones (course features, teacher’ technology efficacy, and self-regulation ability) that online training courses need overcome to be more widely accepted by EFL teachers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • teacher attitude
  • online teacher professional development
  • obstacle
  • EFL
  • teacher education

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