Crossing boundaries and constructing identities: The experiences of early career mainland Chinese English language teachers in Hong Kong

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Abstract

This article reports on a qualitative study that investigated the experiences of one group of English language teachers from the Chinese mainland who completed their teacher training in Hong Kong and have taken up full-time teaching positions in secondary schools within Hong Kong. Using the concept of teacher identity construction, and drawing upon the work of Wenger (1998) and Fairclough (2003), the study traced the trajectory of the participants' identity formation from their experiences as students in mainland China and as preservice teachers in a teacher education program in Hong Kong, to their employment as English language teachers in local secondary schools. The study examines the participants' discursive and participative practices to illustrate how their experiences, both as students in the Chinese mainland and as preservice teachers in Hong Kong, shaped their construction of teacher identities, as well as to show that their employment in Hong Kong schools represented a challenge to this identity formation process. Implications for attracting and retaining teachers for the Chinese mainland in Hong Kong are considered and implications for future research outlined. Copyright © 2011 Australian Teacher Education Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-78
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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Citation

Trent, J., & DeCoursey, M. (2011). Crossing boundaries and constructing identities: The experiences of early career mainland Chinese English language teachers in Hong Kong. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 39(1), 65-78.

Keywords

  • Discourse analysis
  • Teacher education
  • Teacher identity