Exploring the identity of pre-service nnests in taiwan: A social relationally approach

Li Yi Wang, Tzu Bin Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Teachers' professional identity influences the way they think and teach. For pre-service non-native English speaking teachers (NNESTs), they are at the crucial stage of constructing self-image and self-perception as English language teaching (ELT) professionals, their beliefs about English teaching and learning and their attitudes towards changing teaching contexts. Applying a closed-ended questionnaire and in-depth interviews, this study investigated the impact of Native English Speaking Teachers (NESTs) on 258 pre-service NNESTs' professional identity in Taiwan through the lens of social relationality. The results show that NESTs as significant "others " to the participants have brought conflicting discourses to the ELT profession (the micro-social context) and the policy discourse and the society (the macro-social context). In the micro-social context, the participants encounter contradictory discourses brought by the presence of NESTs in terms of what the participants can offer as opposed to what ideal English teachers should possess. In the macro-social context, the participants face competing discourses caused by the presence of NESTs, in terms of what constitutes good teaching practice, as opposed to what is valued by the government and the major stakeholders in the society. Arguably, the participants' professional identity is shaped through the process of interpreting and conjoining these contradictory and competing discourses. To help pre-service NNESTs construct a positive professional identity to support their professional lives, reforms in teacher education programs should focus on developing the teachers' "non-native" status into resources for ascertaining the needs of the teaching contexts they are operating within.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-29
Number of pages25
JournalEnglish Teaching
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1


  • Identity
  • NNESTs
  • Pre-service teachers
  • Social relationality
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the identity of pre-service nnests in taiwan: A social relationally approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this