PRE-SERVICE EFL TEACHERS' POSSIBLE SELVES: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF THE SHIFTING DEVELOPMENT OF PROFESSIONAL IDENTITIES
AdvisorCasanave, Christine Pearson, 1944-
Committee memberBeglar, David J.
Irie, Kay, 1966-
DepartmentTeaching & Learning
English as A Second Language
Japanese Efl Teachers
Longitudinal Case Study
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/3054
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe purpose of this interpretive qualitative case study was to explore how possible selves of four pre-service EFL teachers changed during their last 10 months at university and what factors were involved in developing and changing their possible selves. The concept of possible selves is a future-oriented self-concept that involves one's motivation to move toward one's ideal future selves and move away from one's feared selves. Ought-to selves are also believed to work as motivators. The main data sources included two written possible selves stories from each participant, four sets of semi-structured interviews, short e-mail messages with emoticons, and official practicum reports. Through a narrative analysis of these data, I found that participants' rather general possible teacher selves changed to more realistic, elaborated ones after they had experienced practicums. These revised possible selves were not always in the direction of more positive, more ideal selves, but also toward feared and ought-to teacher selves. The data analysis also revealed that the participants found a large gap between their actual L2 selves and ought-to L2 selves, and consequently they developed feared L2 selves who would likely get embarrassed in front of others because of their poor English speaking ability. However, they took no action to prevent their feared L2 selves because becoming fluent in English was possibly seen as a temporally distant unreachable goal that did not merit an investment of time and energy. The study also found that interpersonal relationships with parents, teachers in the past, cooperating teachers during practicum, students at school, and peers were important factors contributing to participants' developing and changing possible selves. I end with suggestions that policy makers, universities, teacher educators, and supervising teachers of student teachers seriously consider issues that will help improve English education in Japan as well as lead to better teacher education programs to prepare EFL pre-service teachers for the rather harsh conditions in the teaching profession in Japan.
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