A narrative inquiry into the professional identity formation of second career EFL teachers

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Foreign Language Education, Turkey

Approval Date: 2016




This study aims to have a clearer understanding of the motivations of second career teachers for pursuing teaching as a career, the role of attributes they bring from their previous careers in their teaching practices and the challenges they face after their transition to teaching. Another aim of this study is to investigate the perceptions of second career EFL teachers coming from diverse disciplinary backgrounds in relation to their professional identity and the factors shaping their perceptions about their professional identities. As a narrative inquiry, the data were collected via personal data questionnaire, interviews, in-class observations and outsider comments (students or colleagues). The results of this study revealed that the motivations of participants to choose teaching as a new career path were dissatisfaction with their previous job, life-changing events, personal influence and pragmatic and altruistic reasons. Another result was that the challenges of second career teachers after their transition to teaching were primarily related to teaching materials, time and classroom management, and insufficient knowledge about English language learning and teaching. The results also indicated that participants could establish connections between their background and teaching. Besides, the study found that all of the participants spoke about the changes in their perceptions about teaching as they learned to be a teacher. Finally, the study showed that there are contextual and personal factors playing a pivotal role in shaping participants’ perceptions about teaching.