Trent

Trent (2014) aimed to examine the implementation of innovations in English language education by three teachers in Hong Kong. The methods used to collect the data were qualitative multiple case study and interviews to gain perceptions of implementations in language teaching and learning. The primary participants were three full-time English language teachers who initiated their career and taught in different schools. There were 4 semi-structureed interviews to collect the participants’ background biographical information, their beliefs about language teaching and learning, and how they planned to introduce innovative teaching and learning activities with their schools. Moreover, there was another group of participants who were three heads of English departments in each of the schools in which the first primary group of participants was teaching.
The findings showed that the participants named their identity positions as an innovative teacher. It referred to different terms which depended on the teachers’ beliefs such as the teacher’s willingness to attempt to do new things, new ways of teaching, and being teacher. For instance, Daniel was interested in using drama-based English language learning strategy while Claire encouraged her students to learn English language outside the classroom. For Andrew, the crucial methods of teaching and learning English was communicative ones, including task-based learning. In addition, the findings of positioning by the others, who were the heads of English department, revealed that identity construction through different language teaching and learning initiatives was relevant a positive evaluation. According to the findings, providing new language teaching and learning activities and practices allows the teachers to be innovative or up-to-date teachers and this way is considered as constructing identity. I think that this finding is relatively useful to English language teachers to be foster ongoing development by implementing this concept of innovation and identity. Moreover, this way will allow the teacher to understand the interplay between their identity and language teaching and learning.
Yeo, Marlina, and Jacobs (2017) studied ‘Challenging Existing Perspectives of “Ideal” characteristics of Teachers of English’. The purposes of the study were to offer a fairly new perspective from the unique experience of three established language teachers and to raise awareness about the need to accept greater diversity among language teaching professionals. A narrative inquiry method was used to collect the data from 3 participants who were language teachers from both the inner, outer and expanding circles. The characteristics of the ‘Ideal’ teachers of English to Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) were compounded of 1) citizenship of an Inner Circle country or, at least, having lived a significant part of one’s life in an Inner Circle county, 2) Caucasian race, 3) middle- and upper-class socioeconomic status and 4) university education. The researchers stated that these factors seemed to associate with the image of the ideal ESOL teachers and also might affect job prospects, salary, and reaction by students and colleagues.
The findings revealed that the first participant from the inner circle was aware relatively early in his occupation of the discrimination that existed in ESOL teachers who lacked some ideal characteristics. He tried to help the colleagues in order to raise their status as ESOL teachers and some advocacy for the paradigm of English as an International Language. The findings of the second teacher who was from the outer circle showed that the perceptions of the ideal ESOL teacher had a significant impact on her personal and professional life. That is, the English teachers from Outer Circle countries who may not fit the image of the ideal language teacher could have an impact on the professional identity and career development, particularly those working in Inner Circle countries. In addition, the last participant who was the English teacher from the Expanding Circle exposed a major part of his struggle to be a legitimate ESOL teacher and also his narrative indicated that the acquisition of the language of power and attainment of various authorized licenses to teach that language of power are not sufficient in order for someone to complete the journey of becoming an English teacher.
Conceptualization of English teachers’ professional identity and comprehension of its dynamics was examined by Han (2017). The purposes of the study were to conceptualize English teachers’ professional identity based on an understanding of identity in a sociopsychological framework and to reveal the attributes and dynamics of professional identity by investigating Korean English teachers’ cognitive, emotional and behavioral responses to their national English curriculum and related policies. The study followed the qualitative research framework with a narrative approach to conduct the research and also the research instruments, including in-depth interviews, and descriptive questionnaires were used to gather the data. The participants of the study were five Korean English teachers working in different state academic high schools.
The findings showed that there were seven identities related to the professional identities, including 1) national identity – Even though the participants led students’ English language learning, they had negative views regarding the national reinforcement and social atmosphere of facilitating English language learning, 2) English teacher identity – it related to all the teacher-participants’ favoring of CLT as a method of education, 3) teacher identity – When talking about their teaching practices for KSAT preparation, the teacher-participants revealed their position as service providers facing consumers, 4) learner identity – When the teachers were sensitive to and active in learning new teaching methods or pedagogies from their surroundings or other colleagues, their identity as learners was clearly revealed, 5) public servant identity – All their positions were subjugated within the top-down managerial system under the control of the state and local education office, 6) gender identity – it seemed to be problems for married women who were socially expected to carry out the roles and responsibilities of their families, and 7) person identity – it related to the levels of dominance, energy and tension when the teachers valued their personal and individual growth through the PD programs. Moreover, the finding suggested that consideration of the teachers’ professional identity and its meaning systems is essential in curriculum design as well as implementation processes for the development of a comprehensive and feasible curriculum.
According to the above studies’ findings, we could broaden our perspectives emerged from EFL university teachers’ beliefs and identities in contexts of the Concentric Circle model. First, identity seems to be a significant factor which impacts on English language learning, a language communication, and language variation. For instance, Hong Kong people spoke with a local English accent to their local people while they communicated with a native-like accent to the foreigners. Or American-Korean people who live in the USA and have a quite high proficiency in English but a low proficiency in Korean are impacted by identity change. These phenomena show that identity is one of the factors which significantly impacts on the language learners’ English competence. Second, the language learners’ self-confidence considered as identity might be related to L2 learning proficiency and their self-confidence could affect learning motivation. That is, the language learners will be more self-confident when their English proficiency is relatively good. Similarly, the language learners will more motivate and participate in English language learning activities when they relatively master in using English. Third, English teachers who are from the Inner, Outer, or even Expanding Circle countries still needs more acceptance from the stakeholders such as students, colleagues, or parents as a qualified English teachers even though they are not fit the mentioned ideal characteristics of English teachers and also allow them to integrate teaching methods they master to promote and develop their students’ English competence better.
To promote English language teaching and World Englishes, we could implement the following practices in the language classroom: 1) constructing identity through a group discussion activity – a teacher and language learners could discuss various topics based on language usages in different countries around the world. This way will make the learners gain the insights of similarities and differences of language usages, drive them to practice their speaking skills as well as construct their positive identity through social activities; 2) integrating identity into teaching techniques and methods – a teacher might integrate what teaching methods he/ she masters and attempts to address the topics related to World Englishes. For instance, the teacher might bring the language learners to a diverse community in order to broaden their perspectives on people who carry out different issues such as language variation in term of morphology, phonology, or syntax and accept those differences; 3) being tolerance for diverse English teachers – English teachers who stay in the Outer, Expanding circle countries or even some of those who are from the Inner ones still need to be more acceptable from their students, peers and so on as English teachers like the native English teachers. I think that this matter will affect those teachers’ positive identity and this identity will significantly foster their effective teaching and learning in the classroom.