Volume 18, Issue 1 April 2022, pp. 54–82 Download PDF

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Challenges and responses: A Complex Dynamic Systems approach to exploring language teacher agency in a blended classroom

Grace Yue Qi https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5757-42031, & Yuping Wang https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1760-95552

1 Massey University, NEW ZEALAND g.qi@massey.ac.nz
2 Griffith University, AUSTRALIA y.wang@griffith.edu.au

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v18n1.569


This is a qualitative examination of how a Chinese language teacher responded to challenges and developed her agency in a unique teaching and learning environment, termed as the blended classroom. The uniqueness of this classroom lies in its attendance by two cohorts of students at the same time – the face-to-face and the online groups. The online group joined the face-to-face group and the teacher via a synchronous online classroom called Blackboard Collaborate. Through analysing data from the teacher’s reflection, face-to-face and email interviews and the recordings of her blended class, this research unfolds a semester-long trajectory of her agency development in the blended classroom. Guided by the Complex Dynamic Systems Theory (CDST), we conclude that teacher agency is a system composed of multi-layers of subsystems and it is a product of the constant interaction amongst these interconnected and interdependent subsystems, with certain subsystems playing a more dominant role than others at a given stage of one’s agency development. This finding led to our proposal of a framework of teacher agency system. This research advances our understanding of teacher agency as a system in the context of online and blended learning.


© Grace Yue Qi, Yuping Wang

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Qi, G.Y., & Wang, Y. (2022). Challenges and responses: A Complex Dynamic Systems approach to exploring language teacher agency in a blended classroom. The JALT CALL Journal, 18(1), 54–82. https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v18n1.569

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