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Bottom-up Enactments of Overseas Professional Learning and Development by Thai University English Teachers
journal contributionposted on 2021-07-01, 00:00 authored by Indika LiyanageIndika Liyanage, P Phantharakphong, P Sudathip, O A Namwong
English language education policy is deployed strategically as an instrument to address wider national policy objectives in most emerging nations. In universities, policy enactment at institutional and classroom levels hinges on the development of a qualified and skilled English teaching workforce. The continued dominance of linear discourses of the relation of learning and practice and reliance on individual teacher agency to achieve policy objectives, however, risk policy failure. This paper reports the ‘bottom-up’ enactments of teacher professional learning and development (PLD) policy using reflections of three Thai university English teachers who individually completed PLD in overseas English-dominant settings. We found their connection of learning and practice complicated by institutional factors and conditions and by discourses that underpin language and PLD policy and that privilege imported pedagogies. We suggest that without institutional disengagement with linear models of teacher learning and development, and appropriate institutional support and structural accommodation to negotiate the connection between learning and practice, achievement of policy goals of quality and excellence in English teaching and learning through overseas PLD will remain challenging.