Exploring Iranian Pre-Service English Language Teachers’ Professional Identity through Sociocultural Lens

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English Language, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Foreign Language Studies, Faculty of English Language Literature, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

3 South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


This study was an attempt to explore the process of professional identity construction of 49 male and female pre-service English language teachers of Isfahan Farhangian university Through a Vygotskian sociocultural lens. Since the construction of identity can be considered both personally and socially (Beachup & Thomas, 2009; Beijaard et al., 2004), this study took a social constructivism and Vygotskian sociocultural approach as its theoretical basis. This mixed method study was conducted through reflective journals, semi-structured interviews, and a five items Likert-type questionnaire. The data were analyzed using SPSS ver.19 and ANOVA for comparing the means of the quantitative data. Thematic analysis was used for analyzing the qualitative data. The results showed that the construction of student-teachers’ professional identity is a dynamic and unstable process which is affected by different factors such as personal and sociocultural factors, self-image, learning environment, and practicum experiences and mentor teachers. The results of the current study can be used by educational policy makers, teacher educators, and evaluators for making better decisions about teachers to make educational progress.


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