The identity construction experiences of early career English language teachers in Hong Kong: Great expectations and practical realities

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Abstract

This article reports the results of a multiple qualitative case study which investigated the challenges that seven early career English language teachers in Hong Kong confronted as they constructed their professional and personal identities. A series of in-depth interviews with participants during the entire first year of their full-time teaching experience provided a longitudinal perspective on the teachers’ experiences of becoming teachers. A contribution of this study is to examine such experiences using the analytical lens of teacher identity. The case studies illustrate that these teachers faced considerable challenges in constructing teacher identities as they negotiated the dominant discourses of teaching and learning within individual Hong Kong schools. It is argued that school-based support for early career teachers should include the problematisation of the identity positions available to all teachers within the profession as a whole in order to support the construction of the professional and personal identities that these teachers place a premium upon. Implications for teacher education and future research are also discussed. Copyright © 2015 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-336
JournalResearch Papers in Education
Volume31
Issue number3
Early online dateMay 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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English language
Hong Kong
career
teacher
experience
Teaching
premium
school
profession
discourse
interview
learning

Citation

Trent, J. (2016). The identity construction experiences of early career English language teachers in Hong Kong: Great expectations and practical realities. Research Papers in Education, 31(3), 316-336.

Keywords

  • Early career teachers
  • Teacher identity
  • Teacher education