Developing a Model of Teachers’ Possible Selves for the Iranian Context

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Department of English, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj, Iran

Abstract

This study reports on the development and validation of a questionnaire for exploring the different types of EFL teachers’ possible selves. First, a theoretical framework behind possible selves theory and its types was cultivated through an extensive review of the related literature and content analysis of 24 transcribed semi-structured interviews with ELT experts. Second, the questionnaire was developed and validated through collecting three types of evidence: content, reliability and construct. Content validity was insured by submitting the questionnaire to expert judgment, and Cronbach’s alpha was checked to measure the internal consistency reliability of the scale and its subscales. Finally, confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses as well as SEM were used to estimate the construct validity of the instrument administered to 380 EFL teachers. The results indicated that the questionnaire was both a valid and reliable measure of EFL teachers’ possible selves and the resultant model hypothesized based on the data collected from the questionnaire enjoyed acceptable fitness indices. The model of EFL teachers’ possible selves (L2 selves) consists of four types including ideal, ought-to, actual and feared selves. The paper is concluded by presenting the different senses of selves within each type which together constitute the whole model of L2 self-development and how the model can be used in future studies.

Keywords


Acheson, K., Taylor, J., & Luna, K. (2016). The burnout spiral: The emotion labor of five rural U.S. foreign language teachers. Modern Language Journal, 100, 522–537.
Antonek, J., McCormick, D., & Donato, R. (1997). The student teacher portfolio as autobiography: Developing a professional identity. Modern Language Journal, 81(1), 15-27.
Beijaard, D., Verloop, N., & Vermunt, J. (2000). Teachers’ perceptions of professional identity. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 1, 281-294.
Benesch, S. (2017). Emotions in English language teaching: Exploring teachers’ emotion labor. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
Bernat, E (2008): Beyond beliefs: Psycho-cognitive, sociocultural and emergent ecological approaches to learner perceptions in foreign language acquisition. The Asian EFL Journal, 10(3), 7–27. 
Berzonsky, M. (1989). Identity style: Conceptualization and measurement. Journal of Adolescent Research, 4, 268-282.
Canagarajah, S. (2016). TESOL as a professional community: A half-century of pedagogy, research, and theory. TESOL Quarterly, 50, 7–41.
Cross, R. (2010). Language teaching as sociocultural activity: Rethinking language teacher practice. Modern Language Journal, 94, 434–452.
Dastgoshadeh, A., & Ghafar Samar, R. (2013). Possible selves theory: A new framework for language teacher self and identity research. IJLLALW, 5(1), 144-155.
Day, C., Kington, A., Stobart, G. & Sammons, P. (2005). The personal and professional selves of teachers: Stable and unstable identities. British Educational Research Journal, 32(4), 601-616.
Day, C. &Leithwood, K. (2007). Successful principal leadership in times of change: An international perspective. Dordrecht, UK: Springer.
De Bot, K. (2012) Timescales in second language development. Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics 1, 143–149.
Dornyei, Z. & Taguchi, T. (2010). Questionnaires in Second Language Research: Construction, Administration, and Processing. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers.
Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The Psychology of the language learner. Individual differences in second language acquisition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Dörnyei, Z.  (2009). The L2 Motivational Self System. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity, and the L2 self. (pp.9-42). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Dörnyei, Z.  (2010). Researching motivation: From integrativeness to the ideal L2 self. In S. Hunston & D. Oakey (Eds.), Introducing applied linguistics: Concepts and skills. (pp. 74-83).  London: Routledge.
Dornyei, Z. & Chan, L. (2013) Motivation and vision: An analysis of future L2 self-images, sensory styles, and imagery capacity across two target languages. Language Learning 63, 437–462.
Dörnyei, Z. & Ushioda, E. (Eds.) (2009). Motivation, language identity, and the L2 self. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Dörnyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2011). Teaching and researching: Motivation (Second ed.). Harlow: Longman Pearson.
Dunkel, C. (2000). Possible selves as a mechanism for identity exploration. Journal of Adolescence, 23, 519-529.
Goodson, I., & Cole, A. (1994). Exploring the teacher’s professional knowledge: Constructing identity and community. Teacher Education Quarterly, 21(1), 85-105.
Grotevant, H. D. (1987). Toward a process model of identity formation. Journal of Adolescent Research, 2, 203–222.
Higgins, E.T. (1987). Self-discrepancy: A theory relating self and affect. Psychological Review, 94, 319-340.
Johnston, B. (2008). Values in English language teaching. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Kumazawa, M. (2013). Gaps too large: Four novice EFL teachers' self-concept and motivation. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 33, 44-55.
Larsen-Freeman, D. & Cameron, L. (2008) Complex Systems and Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Leary, M. R. (2007). Motivational and emotional aspects of the self. Annual review of Psychology, 58, 317-344.
Kubanyiova, P. (2009). Possible selves of language teachers and teacher development. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity, and the L2 self (pp.314-332). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Markus, H., & Nurius, P. (1986). Possible selves. American Psychologist, 41, 954-969.
Markus, H., & Nurius, P. (1987). Possible selves: The interface between motivation and the self-concept. In K. Yardley & T. Honess (Eds.), Self and identity: Psychosocial perspectives (pp. 157-172). Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.
Markus, H., &Ruvolo, A. (1989). Possible selves: Personalized representations of goals. In L. A. Pervin (Ed.), Goal concepts in personality and social psychology. (pp. 211-241). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Leary, M. R. (2007). Motivational and emotional aspects of the self. Annual review of Psychology, 58, 317-344.
Oppenheim, A. N. (1992). Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. London: Continuum.
Reis, D. S. (2015). Making sense of emotions in NNESTs’ professional identities and agency. In Y. L. Cheung, S. B. Said, & K. Park (Eds.), Advances and current trends in language teacher identity research (pp. 31–43). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
Tajeddin, Z., & Teimournezhad, S. (2014). Exploring the hidden agenda in the representation of culture in international & localized ELT textbooks. The language Learning Journal, 42(1), 1-14.
Warren, C. A. B. (2002). Qualitative Interviewing. In J. F. Gubrium, & J. A. Holstein. (Eds.), Handbook of Interview Research: Context and Method (pp. 83-101). California: Sage Publication, Inc.