Between expert and novice: Identity transition from teacher to student as sustainable agentic construction

Xing XU, Helena SIT, Hui LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Education for sustainable development in foreign language teaching and learning impacts students’ lives in their current or future endeavours. Despite a wide body of literature elucidating identity navigation of EFL teachers and international doctoral students, a relative scarcity of scholarship casts light on the in-between cohort, namely those who transit from the former to the latter. Via a holistic lens, utilising a qualitative case study based on an Australian university, this research scrutinised how a group of 10 international doctoral students who served as EFL teachers in their home countries enacted agency to navigate the identity transition. The study discusses what generally constitutes sustainable, successful language learning and teaching practices in different social, cultural, and educational contexts. The findings reveal that torn between teaching English as an expert and learning research as a novice, they negotiated the identity transition as a “doing” process subject to different positionings and structural contexts and mediated by various dynamics across a past–present–future trajectory. This study contributes to pertinent literature by shedding nuanced and holistic light on the under-researched topic of teacher-to-student identity transition. It ends with implications for attending to EFL teachers’ complex lived experiences to promote sustainable development in EFL teaching and learning. Copyright © 2022 by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10085
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Citation

Xu, X., Sit, H., & Li, H. (2022). Between expert and novice: Identity transition from teacher to student as sustainable agentic construction. Sustainability, 14(16), Article 10085. https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610085

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
  • Language teacher education
  • Language and identity

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