“Minority Students’ Experiences are Part of Our Life of Teaching”: Hierarchical Multiple Regressions of Vietnamese Teacher Autonomous Motivation and Teacher Engagement

Abstract views: 412 / PDF downloads: 209


  • Ngoc Tung Vu VNU University of Languages and International Studies, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Duc An Nguyen Tay Bac University




teacher autonomous motivation, teacher engagement, ethnic minority, Vietnamese education, quantitative research.


This article seeks to understand teacher autonomous motivation and teacher engagement of Vietnamese in-service teachers of English working with Vietnamese ethnic minority students, by presenting their voices and experiences as a hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Relying on the Self-Determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), this quantitative study draws insights into Vietnamese K-12 English teachers of ethnic minority groups, when it comes to intrinsic, external, introjected, and identified motivation in support of their continuation of daily teaching activities and their further teaching professions. These aspects are likely to be translated into their sense of engagement in their professional contexts to different extents. Applying purposeful sampling for quantitative data collection, we primarily focus on drawing from the teachers’ self-rated competence to better explore a wide range of Vietnamese education insights regarding Vietnamese minority groups. Our findings, based on the multiple rounds of hierarchical multiple regression, suggest that teacher autonomous motivation and teacher engagement appear to be closely associated. Some relevant associations are found to occur under the influence of the teachers’ demographic backgrounds, including personal, familial, and educational experiences. Pedagogical implications are also presented at the end of our study, making way for future research to continue this important scholarship.


Download data is not yet available.


Abbas, Y. (2013). Motivasi intrinsik, motivasi ekstrinsik, kompetensi dan kinerja guru [Intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, competence, and teacher performance]. Humanitas: Indonesian Psychological Journal, 10(1), 61–74. http://doi.org/10.26555/humanitas.v10i1.329

Abukari, Z., & Laser, J. A. (2013). Gender differences in academic outcomes among Ghanaian youth: The role of protective and risk factors. Journal of Community Psychology, 41(1), 117–138. http://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.21518

Assor, A., & Oplatka, I. (2003). Towards a conceptual framework for understanding heads’ personal growth and development. Journal of Educational Administration, 41, 471–497. http://doi.org/10.1108/09578230310489335

Assor, A., Roth, G., & Deci, E. L. (2004). The emotional costs of perceived parents’ conditional regard: A self-determination theory analysis. Journal of Personality, 72, 47–89. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00256.x

Bakker, A. B., & Bal, M. P. (2010). Weekly work engagement and performance: A study among starting teachers. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83(1), 189- 206. https://doi.org/10.1348/096317909x402596

Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., & Lieke, L. (2012). Work engagement, performance, and active learning: The role of conscientiousness. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(2), 555-564. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2011.08.008

Baleghizadeh, S., & Gordani, Y. (2012). Motivation and quality of work life among secondary school EFL teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(3), 30–42. http://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2012v37n7.8

Baulch, B., Nguyen, H. T. M., Phuong, P. T. T., & Pham, H. T. (2010). Ethnic minority poverty in Vietnam. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC). https://documents.worldbank.org/en/publication/documents-reports/documentdetail/495591468321292112/ethnic-minority-poverty-in-vietnam

Bermejo-Toro, L., Prieto-Ursúa, M., & Hernández, V. (2015). Towards a model of teacher well- being: personal and job resources involved in teacher burnout and engagement. Educational Psychology, 36(3), 481-501. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2015.1005006

Betts, B. (2010, August). Social is not an option. Learning Solutions Magazine. http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/506/social-is-not-an-option/pageall

Bui, T. K. T. (2014). An investigation into the use of culturally responsive teaching strategies: Teaching English to Muong ethnic minority students at a tertiary institution in Vietnam (Doctoral dissertation, Victoria University of Wellington). https://doi.org/10.26686/wgtn.17006404.v1

Bui, T. N. T. (2018). Engagement in language policies and practices with and for Vietnamese minority student youth. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 17(5), 277-291, https://doi.org/10.1080/15348458.2018.1433538

Bunderson, J. S., & Thompson, J. A. (2009). The call of the wild: Zookeepers, callings, and the double-edged sword of deeply meaningful work. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54(1), 32-57. https://doi.org/10.2189/asqu.2009.54.1.32

Carson, R. L., & Chase, M. A. (2009). An examination of physical education teacher motivation from a self-determination theoretical framework. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 14(4), 335–353. http://doi.org/10.1080/17408980802301866

Chen, H. L., Lattuca, L. R., & Hamilton, E. R. (2008). Conceptualizing engagement: Contributions of faculty to student engagement in engineering. Journal of Engineering Education, 97(3), 339-353. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2168-9830.2008.tb00983.x

Christopher, A. (2010). Exploring relationships between EFL teacher motivation, meaningful content, and learner motivation. Journal of the Faculty of Global Communication, 11, 1–10. http://reposit.sun.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/10561/660/1/v11p1_bradley.pdf

Corno, L., & Anderman, E. M. (2015). Handbook of educational psychology (3rd ed.). Taylor & Francis.

Crable, B. (2010). Language. In R. Jackson & M. Hogg (Eds.), Encyclopedia of identity (pp. 417–421). SAGE Publications.

Dang, H.-A., & Glewwe, P. W. (2018). Well begun, but aiming higher: A review of Vietnam’s education trends in the past 20 years and emerging challenges. The Journal of Development Studies, 54(7), 1171–1195. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2017.1380797

Davis, J., & Wilson, S. M. (2000). Principals’ efforts to empower teachers: Effects on teacher motivation and job satisfaction and stress. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 73, 349–353. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ609511

de Jesus, S. N., & Lens, W. (2005). An integrated model for the study of teacher motivation. Applied Psychology, 54, 119– 134. https://doi.org/10.1111/apps.2005.54.issue-1

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self- determination in human behavior. Plenum Press.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self- determination in human behavior. Plenum Press.

Deci, E. L., Spiegel, N. H., Ryan, R. M., Koestner, R., & Kau man, M. (1982). Effects of performance standards on teaching styles: Behavior of controlling teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 852–859. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.74.6.852

DeJaeghere, J., Dao, V., Duong, B., & Luong, P. (2021): Learning inequities in Vietnam: Teachers’ beliefs about and classroom practices for ethnic minorities. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2021.1924621

Doan, D. H. (2004). Centralism: The dilemma of educational reforms in Vietnam. In D. McCargo (Ed.), Rethinking Vietnam (pp. 143–152). Routledge.

Doan, H. D. (2005). Moral education or political education in the Vietnamese educational system? Journal of Moral Education, 34(4), 451–463. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240500414733

Dörnyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2011). Teaching and researching motivation (2nd ed.). Longman.

Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74(1), 59-109. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543074001059

General Statistics Office. (2010). The 2009 Vietnam population and housing census: Completed results. Central Population and Housing Census Steering Committee

Giacchino-Baker, R. (2007). Educating ethnic minorities in Vietnam: Policies and perspectives. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 43(4), 168–173. https://doi.org/10.1080/00228958.2007.10516476

Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1989). Parent styles associated with children’s self-regulation and competence in school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 143–154. https://selfdeterminationtheory.org/SDT/documents/1989_GrolnickRyan.pdf

Guthrie, J. T., Wigfield, A., & You, W. (2012). Instructional contexts for engagement and achievement in reading. In S. L. Christenson, A. L. Reschly, & C. Wylie (Eds.), Handbook of research on student engagement (pp. 601-634). Springer.

Hassaskhah, J. (2016). Reanálisis de la gestión motivacional del profesor de lengua extranjera desde una perspectiva dinámica [Re-examination of second language teacher motivation management from a dynamic perspective]. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 39, 858–891. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02103702.2016.1215084

Hornberger, N. H. (2005). Opening and filling up implementational and ideological spaces in heritage language education. The Modern Language Journal, 89, 605–609. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2005.00331.x

Hunt, J. M. V. (1965). Intrinsic motivation and its role in psychological development. In D. Levine (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation (Vol. 13, pp. 189–282). University of Nebraska Press.

Irnidayanti, Y., Maulana, R., Helms-Lorenz, M., & Fadhilah, N. (2020) Relationship between teaching motivation and teaching behaviour of secondary education teachers in Indonesia. Journal for the Study of Education and Development, 43(2), 271-308. https://doi.org/10.1080/02103702.2020.1722413

Johnson, S. P. (2008). The status of male teachers in public education today. Education Policy Brief, 6(4), 1–11. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED500605

Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work. Academy of Management Journal, 33(4), 692-724. http://doi.org/10.2307/256287

Karavas, E. (2010). How satisfied are Greek EFL teachers with their work? Investigating the motivation and job satisfaction levels of Greek EFL teachers. Porta Linguarum, 14, 59–78. http://doi.org/10.30827/Digibug.31944

Kim, E., & Corcoran, R. P. (2018). Factors that influence pre-service teachers’ persistence. Teaching and Teacher Education, 70, 204–214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.11.015

Klassen, R. M., Yerdelen, S., & Durksen, T. L. (2013). Measuring teacher engagement: Development of the Engaged Teachers Scale (ETS). Frontline Learning Research, 1(2), 33-52. https://doi.org/10.14786/flr.v1i2.44

Lam, S. F., Cheng, R. W. Y., & Ma, W. Y. (2009). Teacher and student intrinsic motivation in project-based learning. Instructional Science, 37, 565. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23372502

Linnenbrink, E. A., & Pintrich, P. R. (2003). The role of self-efficacy beliefs in student engagement and learning in the classroom. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 19(2), 119. http://doi.org/10.1080/10573560308223

Lucius, C. (2009). Vietnam’s political process: How education shapes political decision making. Routledge. http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203876169

Martin, D., & Stuart-Smith, J. (1998). Exploring bilingual children’s perceptions of being bilingual and biliterate: Implications for educational provision. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 19, 237–254. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142569980190206

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370–496. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0054346

May, D. R., Gilson, R. L., & Harter, L. M. (2004). The psychological conditions of meaningfulness, safety and availability and the engagement of the human spirit at work. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 77(1), 11-37. https://doi.org/10.1348/096317904322915892

McCarty, T. L., & Wyman, L. T. (2009). Indigenous youth and bilingualism: Theory, research, praxis. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 8, 279–290. https://doi.org/10.1080/15348450903305031

McElwee, P. (2008). ‘Blood Relatives’ or Uneasy Neighbors? Kinh Migrant and Ethnic Minority Interactions in the Trường Sơn Mountains. Journal of Vietnamese Studies 3(3), 81–116. https://doi.org/10.1525/vs.2008.3.3.81

Michaelowa, K. (2002). Teacher job satisfaction, student achievement, and the cost of primary education in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa (No. 188). HWWA Discussion Paper. Hamburg Institute of International Economics.

Nguyen, T. M. H., & Bui, T. N. T. (2016). Teachers’ agency and the enactment of educational reform in Vietnam. Current Issues in Language Planning, 17, 88–105. https://doi.org/10.1080/14664208.2016.1125664

Nguyen, T. T. T. & Hamid, M. O. (2017). Subtractive schooling and identity: A case study of ethnic minority students in Vietnam. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 16(3), 142-156. https://doi.org/10.1080/15348458.2017.1286990

Nieto, S. (2006). Solidarity, courage and heart: What teacher educators can learn from a new generation of teachers. Intercultural Education, 17, 457–473. http://doi.org/10.1080/14675980601060443

Norton, B. (2008). Identity, language learning, and critical pedagogies. In N. Hornberger (Ed.), Encyclopedia of language and education (pp. 1811–1823). Springer.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2016). PISA 2015 results: Excellence and equity in education. Vol. 1. OECD Publishing.

Pelletier, G. L., Seguin-Levesque, C., & Legault, L. (2002). Pressure from above and pressure from below as determinants of teachers’ motivation and teaching behaviors. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 186–196. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ644675

Reeve, J., & Jang, H. (2006). What teachers say and do to support students’ autonomy during a learning activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(1), 209-218. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.98.1.209

Roth, G., Assor, A., Kanat-Maymon, Y., & Kaplan, H. (2007). Autonomous motivation for teaching: How self- determined teaching may lead to self-determined learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, 761–744. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.99.4.761

Rutter, R. A., & Jacobson, J. D. (1986). Facilitating teacher engagement. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED303438.pdf

Ryan, R. M., & Connell, J. P. (1989). Perceived locus of causality and internalization: Examining reasons for acting in two domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 749–761. http://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.57.5.749

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68–78. http://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066x.55.1.68

Ryan, R. M., Rigby, S., & King, K. (1993). Two types of religious internalization and their relations to religious orientations and mental health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 586–596. http://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.65.3.586

Salomon, M., & Vu, D. K. (2007). Đổi Mới, education and identity formation in contemporary Vietnam. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 37(3), 345–363. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057920701330222

Sugino, T. (2010). Teacher demotivational factors in the Japanese language teaching context. Procedia -social and behavioral sciences, 3, 216–226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.07.036

Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed). Harper & Row.

Talmor, R., Reiter, S., & Feigin, N. (2005). Factors relating to regular education teacher burnout in inclusive education. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 20, 215–229. http://doi.org/10.1080/08856250500298012

Tran, L. T., & Walter, P. G. (2010). National unity and ethnic identity in a Vietnamese University. Comparative Education Review, 54(4), 483–511. https://doi.org/10.1086/654831

Trieu, Q., & Jayakody, R. (2019). Ethnic minority educational success: Understanding accomplishments in challenging settings. Social Indicator Research, 145, 663-701. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-018-1900-9

UNESCO. (2017). A Guide for Ensuring Inclusion and Equity in Education. UNESCO.

Vansteenkiste, M., Simons, J., Lens, W., Sheldon, K. M., & Deci, E. L. (2004). Motivating learning, performance, and persistence: The synergistic effects of intrinsic goal contents and autonomy-supportive contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 246–260. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.87.2.246

Vietnamese Government. (1992). 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. https://publicofficialsfinancialdisclosure.worldbank.org/sites/fdl/files/assets/law-library-files/Vietnam_Constitution_1992_amended%202001_EN.pdf

Vu, N. T. (2020). Examining teacher agency among teacher educators: An action research in Vietnam. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 45(7), 94-113. http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2020v45n7.6

Vu, N. T. (2021). Analyzing capital to be developed in language learning among graduates: A case study to employ Bourdieusian stances. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 8(4), 36-54. http://dx.doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/780

Vu, N. T., & Do, H. (2021). Developing capital in language learning: A mixed-method study on Vietnamese English learners. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 8(3), 17-39. http://dx.doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/779

Vu, N. T., & Nguyen, T. (2022). A qualitative study of CLIL employment with a focus on civic engagement in Vietnamese higher education. TESOL Journal, 13(1), 1-5. http://doi.org/10.1002/tesj.614

Vu, N. T., Hoang, H., & Nguyen, T. (2022b). Vietnamese EFL teacher candidates’ perceived development of employability capital in synchronous learning amidst the pandemic. In J. Chen (Ed.), Emergency remote teaching and beyond: Voices from world language teachers and researchers (pp. 133-150). Springer, Cham. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84067-9_7

Vu, N. T., Nguyen, T., & Hoang, H. (2022a). English-majoring student teachers’ response to employability in light of a transition to online learning. Journal of Teacher Education and Professional Development. IGI Global. http://doi.org/10.4018/ijtepd.2022010105

Weaver-Hightower, M. B. (2011). Male pre-service teachers and discouragement from teaching. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 19(2), 97–115. http://doi.org/10.3149/jms.1902.97

World Bank. (2019). Drivers of Socio-Economic Development among Ethnic Minority Groups in Vietnam. Research Report. World Bank. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/168971565786956800/pdf/Drivers-of-Socio-Economic-Development-Among-Ethnic-Minority-Groups-in-Vietnam.pdf



2022-04-06 — Updated on 2022-05-21


How to Cite

Vu, N. T., & Nguyen, D. A. (2022). “Minority Students’ Experiences are Part of Our Life of Teaching”: Hierarchical Multiple Regressions of Vietnamese Teacher Autonomous Motivation and Teacher Engagement. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 9(2), 20–48. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/949 (Original work published April 6, 2022)



Original Manuscript
Received 2021-09-07
Accepted 2022-03-18
Published 2022-05-21