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Teacher Identity Development: A Collective Case Study of English as a Foreign Language Pre-Service Teachers Learning to Teach in an Indonesian University Teacher Education Program

Dwi Riyanti, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study is to examine how English as a foreign language pre-service teachers develop their identities through the process of learning to teach in a university microteaching class and a student teaching practicum within a multilingual Indonesian context. A sociocultural theoretical lens incorporating activity theory as well as a positioning theory lens emphasizing discursive positionality were used as frameworks for this study. A key factor in examining pre-service teachers’ experiences in both university and school contexts is understanding how these settings contribute to their identity development as English teachers.^ Utilizing a qualitative multi-case study methodology, data were obtained from several sources, including classroom observations of both practica; individual in-depth interviews with six focal participants, six cooperating teachers, and three university instructors; a focus group discussion with four focal participants; and an analysis of classroom artifacts and pedagogical documents, such as participants’ lesson plans, English curriculum, and student teaching reports. All data were first analyzed based on an activity theory framework in order to identify interrelating components and tensions in each teaching context. In the second round of analysis, data were compared and contrasted to locate emerging themes in participants’ identity development. In order to obtain vivid depictions of identity enactment, data from classroom observations were analyzed based on Gee’s (2014b) discourse analysis tools.^ Study findings indicate mismatches between university and school expectations in regard to English language teaching and learning. An examination of data across all six cases reveals that EFL pre-service teachers’ identities evolved from regimented to more flexible as they completed practica in two settings. Participants’ identity enactments were manifested through several elements, including their use of multiple languages and methods for coping with students.^ Based on these findings, the study recommends that Indonesian policymakers narrow the gap between university and school teaching practica through consistency of communication. Suggestions for further research include additional examinations of pre-service teachers’ identities through acquiring university instructors’ and cooperating teachers’ perspectives in Indonesia; longitudinal studies exploring identity throughout the duration of teachers’ education programs; and, intervention efforts aimed at nurturing pre-service teachers’ identities. ^

Subject Area

Foreign language education|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Riyanti, Dwi, "Teacher Identity Development: A Collective Case Study of English as a Foreign Language Pre-Service Teachers Learning to Teach in an Indonesian University Teacher Education Program" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10272258.