Ha Nguyen ’21PHD:’ Education is the key to helping people create better lives for themselves’



As a college-level teacher in Vietnam, Ha Nguyen realized that she could reach more students in more classrooms by improving teacher performance. Now with his doctorate. in teacher training and learning sciences, Nguyen hopes to use the skills she developed at NC State College of Education to improve access and quality of education to disadvantaged students in developing countries.

Learn more about Ha Nguyen

Hometown: Danang city, Vietnam

Field of study: Doctorate in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Literacy and the Arts of the English Language (LELA) Field of study of the education program

Activities: In terms of research, I have had the opportunity to attend and present at conferences and webinars in the US and abroad (eg TESOL Association, LRA and VietTESOL Conferences). I was able to publish two book chapters co-authored with my colleagues and my supervisor.

With a strong focus on education in the industry, I have taken on various leadership roles in a wide variety of organizations nationally and internationally. Since 2017, I have been working alongside the US Embassy in Vietnam and my colleagues to organize the VietTESOL Annual Conferences (the largest international conference for English teachers in Vietnam). In 2017, alongside my colleagues, I participated in the co-founding of the VietTESOL association (the first and only national association of English teachers in Vietnam). I worked as the Vice President of Public Relations for the Capital City Toastmasters Public Speaking Club in downtown Raleigh. I worked as a College of Education Ambassador for the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs at NC State University. I have also been active on the steering committee of the TESOL Intercultural Competence Interest Group and the World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence.

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?

I chose the NC State College of Education for my doctorate. program for several reasons. First of all, the doctorate. NC State College of Education program has a good ranking in the country, which will give me references in my future career, especially in developing countries. Second, the Triangle offers a university hub with three leading universities and an industrial hub with large companies. Third, Raleigh is accessible to mountains and beaches with a great warm weather which I enjoy as a person who grew up in a coastal city in Vietnam.

Why did you choose your field of study?

As a college level lecturer teaching students and teachers for five years in Vietnam, I realized the power of teacher training in improving the quality of education on a large scale. By improving teacher performance, I can reach more classrooms than usual and ensure more students have quality learning experiences. In doing so, I can maximize my contribution and impact in the education and development of the country.

What do you hope to accomplish in your field after graduation?

My passion and long-term goals are to improve access and quality of education for disadvantaged students in developing countries through the training and management of teacher programs in English and intercultural skills. Additionally, as I see a growing need for soft skills for professionals in developing countries, I want to establish an institute where I can use my expertise and connections in the US and Vietnam to provide soft skills training. young professionals and companies in developing countries. . These soft skills include leadership skills, intercultural skills, and public speaking skills. In addition, using the results of my thesis, I want to develop an intercultural competence model and training program tailored to the needs and characteristics of ESL and foreign language teachers in developing countries. Finally, I hope that I will work as a consultant for the United Nations and the World Bank in their global education programs with all my efforts on the ground.

What’s your next step? What did you plan for after graduation?

I am looking for administrative positions in global English language and intercultural skills programs at universities, companies and global non-profit organizations. I am open to administrative opportunities that arise in the future in teacher education and international student programs.

How did the College of Education prepare you for this next step?

First of all, a doctorate. from NC State College of Education gives me the credentials to build my reputation in the field, especially when my future work targets developing countries. Second, the research skills, knowledge and practice that I acquired during my time in the College of Education strengthened my capacities as a researcher, practitioner and leader in education. Third, I have had the opportunity to meet and work alongside many dedicated and inspiring educators who have influenced my outlook on leadership and the field. Finally, studying at NC State and the United States has provided me with many opportunities to broaden my worldview and extend my efforts beyond national levels, which I could not do otherwise.

Do you have a favorite memory of your time at the College of Education?

One of my favorite memories was walking Hillsborough Street on snowy days with my close classmate. We talked and shared a lot of experiences with each other. I will also not forget the days and nights I spent working online with my Zoom study buddies inside and outside the College of Education during the last few months of my thesis. . There were a lot of memories and emotions.

Tell us about an experience you had with the College of Education that had the greatest impact on you or your career.

I am passionate about the fight against poverty and gender inequality. However, because Vietnam is a homogeneous country, I was unaware of the complexity of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DCI) issues until I came to the United States. and proactive on the social causes that fascinate me. Plus, I learned that IED is a long process. Progress may be steady, but it is time.

Why did you choose education?

My passion for education comes from when I was in elementary school. My close classmate had to give up her studies to make ends meet and support her male siblings because her uneducated parents could not pay for her education. Every day after school, I would cook fried rice for her, naively thinking that it might help. However, after a few days, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do this forever. As the saying goes, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.” If you teach a man to fish, you feed him his whole life. I have learned that education is the key to helping people create better lives for themselves.

What are your research interests and what inspired those interests?

My primary research interest concerns the native speaker, discrimination and prejudice against non-native English teachers. This interest stems from my experience and observation as an English teacher in which ESL and foreign language teachers are often viewed as deficient or ineffective despite their academic degrees and teaching experiences. My second research interest is intercultural skills training for English teachers. Due to the recent chaos in the United States and the global socio-political climate, I realize that intercultural competence is vital in bringing people together across cultures and maintaining peace in the world.



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