Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

ISLS Proceedings


International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)



The study of teacher identity has gained prominence in English as a foreign language (EFL) teaching. However, the construction of EFL teacher identity is underresearched, particularly how teachers navigate dominant discourses around native non-native speakers. This paper presents a qualitative study examining four pre-service teachers in an EFL education program. Grounded in the community of practice identity negotiation framework, results suggest that EFL pre-service teachers’ processes of identity negotiation mainly resided somewhere between adoption and rejection of legitimate practices in the EFL teacher community, in what we call a zone of tension. The findings of this research indicate that pre-service teachers’ identity negotiation processes centered on three main notions: (1) the native speaker as a standard, (2) reflections on accents, and (3) reflections on language practices. These findings contribute to the extant conversation challenging the NS-NNS dichotomy and understanding identity as a dynamic social construct in teacher learning.

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