Vietnamese teacher educators’ perceptions of silence during online English as a Foreign Language classes

(1) * Hoang Huy Huynh Mail (Monash University, Australia)
(2) Megan Adams Mail (Monash University, Australia)
*corresponding author


Teacher educators in university English as foreign language (EFL) classrooms often emphasise verbal communication alongside teacher-student relationships, students’ emotions, and the classroom climate. These factors all contribute to either encourage or discourage students’ willingness to communicate verbally (Butler, 2011). Yet, an area with limited research is understanding the teachers' perspectives of students' silence during online learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilising Redmond et al.’s (2018) conceptual model of cognitive, behavioural, and emotional engagement in online learning, we examine how three undergraduate EFL teacher educators in Vietnam interpret students’ silence while teaching EFL through online Zoom classes. Drawing on three in-depth semi-structured interviews (n=3 hours), findings indicated that silence was experienced by the teacher educators in different ways; as a thinking/learning opportunity, an indication of teachers' uncertainty, and as conscious disengagement.


silence; English as a foreign language (EFL); COVID-19; online learning



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