Crossing Boundaries and Constructing Identities: The Experiences of Early Career Mainland Chinese English Language Teachers in Hong Kong

Jan. 10, 2011

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 39, Issue 1, 2011, pages 65-78.

The current paper reports on a qualitative study that investigated the experiences of a group of English language teachers from the Chinese mainland. The teachers completed their teacher training in Hong Kong and have taken up full-time teaching positions in secondary schools within Hong Kong.

Using the concept of teacher identity construction, and drawing upon the work of Wenger (1998) and Fairclough (2003), the study traced the trajectory of the participants' identity formation from their experiences as students in mainland China and as preservice teachers in a teacher education program in Hong Kong, to their employment as English language teachers in local secondary schools.

The study examines the participants' discursive and participative practices to illustrate how their experiences, both as students in the Chinese mainland and as preservice teachers in Hong Kong, shaped their construction of teacher identities, as well as to show that their employment in Hong Kong schools represented a challenge to this identity formation process.

Updated: Sep. 14, 2011