Legitimate Peripheral Participation and Teacher Identity Formation Among Preservice Teachers in TESOL Practicums

Cheng-hua Hsiao


Teacher identity has been an important issue in teacher education because teacher identity influences teachers’
professional development. However, little has been explored in preservice teachers’ identity formation within the
EFL context of language teaching. In this study, the early influence on EFL student teachers’ identity formation in
practicums was studied from the perspective of legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991). Ten
participants enrolled in the practicum courses of the four educational institutions, organized by the English
department of a national university in northern Taiwan. The frameworks of the practicums at each school were
analyzed and the results for each case study revealed contextual factors that support and weaken teachers’
professional identities. Three features were identified in the student teachers’ identity formation: (1) a hybrid space
between formal teachers and student teachers, (2) adhering to the institutions’ demands-progressing from the
periphery to the center, and (3) struggling teacher identity. Based on the findings, relevant pedagogical implications
are discussed to help L2 preservice teachers achieve success in practicums.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v7n1p64


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