Professional identity and Iranian EFL instructors’ perceptions

Mahdieh Shafipoor, Iran, ID CLEaR2016-352;        The last few years have seen the manifestation of an important field of applied linguistics research devoted to the topic of language teacher identity (e.g., Duff &Uchida, 1997; Morgan, 2004). Meanwhile, researchers began to discover the sociocultural and sociopolitical dimensions of teaching (Norton, 1997). In this regard, the present study explored Iranian university instructors’ perceptions toward their professional identity. To do so, 90 EFL university instructors in Tehran were selected and three main constructs of identity, namely a degree of difficulty in classroom situations, daily teaching work, and teaching profession were adopted from Hasegawa and Kudomi’s (2006) Teacher Professional Identity Questionnaire. Based on these three constructs a questionnaire was developed and validated. The results depicted that in terms of instructors’ teaching daily work and their teaching profession, they had positive perceptions about their professional identity while in terms of the difficult classroom situations, instructors’ positive perceptions decreased as learners were not enthusiastic enough to do their assignment and as a result they faced poor academic achievement. This factor besides instructors’ poor economic conditions could be demotivating and somehow threatening their professional identity.

Key words: instructors' perceptions, professional identity