Becoming an English language teacher:linguistic knowledge, anxieties and the shifting sense of identity


English Language is a fast growing and popular subject at A level but the majority of qualified secondary teachers in the UK have subject expertise and backgrounds in literature. This paper reports on interviews with seven secondary English teachers who discuss the strategies they used when taking on the responsibility of A level English Language teaching for the first time. It highlights the shifting sense of identity that these teachers felt they went through, and as such, explores some emerging issues related to identity from a narrative/personal history perspective. The study reveals that despite feelings of anxiety and low self-confidence, teachers felt that the experience had been a positive one in terms of their own developing identity as an English teacher and had impacted on other aspects of their teaching. The paper raises questions about the value of language-based work for English teachers and has implications for UK initial and continuing teacher education in English.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Language and Education on 15/4/15, available online:
Publication ISSN: 1747-7581
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 07:11
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2017 08:55
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2015
Published Online Date: 2015-04-15
Accepted Date: 2015-03-16
Submitted Date: 2015-02-03
Authors: Giovanelli, Marcello (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8470-3800)



Version: Accepted Version

| Preview

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record