English language teacher immunity: the METU case

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Education, Department of Foreign Language Education, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019

Student: Deni Saydam



This study aims to investigate how language teacher immunity develops and functions, to reveal the motivational implications and consequences of this new construct, and to explore the ways of rebooting maladaptive teacher immunity. To achieve the aims of the study, multiple data collection methods were used. First, individual or pair interviews were conducted to reveal teacher characteristics under each immunity type in Turkish context. In the quantitative part of the study, the English Language Teacher Immunity Questionnaire devised in this study was administered to 187 instructors working at the School of Foreign Languages of a public university to explore the distribution of the teachers across language teacher immunity types. The survey was followed by in-depth interviews to explore the personal development of L2 teacher immunity. The findings revealed that the main teacher immunity types are productively immunized and maladaptively immunized teacher categories, and the majority of the 187 teachers had high immunity levels. Furthermore, the effect of the demographic characteristics on teachers’ immunity levels was explored and it was seen that demographic characteristics do not have a major impact on immunity levels. They only had an impact varying from major to minor on some dimensions of immunity. The results of the in-depth individual interviews revealed that productively immunized and maladaptively immunized teachers follow different paths of development through the self-organization process and various factors affect their immunity levels. Finally, the study explored ways of transforming maladaptive teacher immunity into productive form of immunity.