While it has been well noted that novice EFL teachers are subject to identity change when transitioning from pre-service to novice stage, the nuanced process of such change remains underexplored. Based on data gathered from four novice EFL teachers in Macau, this paper examines such process using the constructs of imagined identities and the social representation theory. Findings from a qualitative interpretive analysis revealed four distinctive trajectories of identity shifts, i.e., renegotiation, evolution, establishment, and sustainment. These findings suggest that novice EFL teachers' identity shift is not a linear transformation from imagined identities formed in the pre-service stage to practiced identities in the novice stage, but a dynamic process mediated by personal beliefs, prior learning experiences, teaching practice, and the institutional exam-oriented culture. These findings call for attention to the resilient power of imagined identities and the role of affiliating with imagined communities in novice teachers' construction of practiced identities and to how novice EFL teachers' identity transition can be better scaffolded. Copyright © 2020 De La Salle University.
CitationJiang, L., Yuan, K., & Yu, S. (2021). Transitioning from pre-service to novice: A study on Macau EFL teachers' identity change. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 30(1), 11–21. doi: 10.1007/s40299-020-00510-4
- Teacher identity
- Teacher education
- EFL context
- Imagined identity