Identity clashes of EFL instructors in Turkey with regard to pronunciation and intonation in English

Identity clashes of EFL instructors in Turkey



Most of the time, foreign language teachers assume a different identity in addition to their native, national, ethnic, and cultural identities, which sometimes paves the way for an identity crisis on the part of these teachers. (Demirezen, 2007). While some researchers maintain that L1 is not necessarily an essential part of identity, some others put forward that L1 is an indispensable determinant of identity in teaching foreign languages for non-native speaking teachers. In this paper, the L1 identity of the non-native teachers of English and the reflections of it on their professional identity was handled concerning pronunciation and intonation. An online survey consisting of demographic information, professional identity questions, and bilingual identity questions were addressed to 60 non-native English instructors at 29 Turkish universities. The results on professional identity revealed that most of them pay attention to pronunciation teaching in their classes. Also, a significant difference between the ones who took phonology classes and who did not was found. As for the bilingual identity, it was illustrated that the academic qualifications of the instructors seem to affect their bilingual identity in a positive way. In addition, the participants would feel appreciated if they were told that they had a native-like accent, adding that it is not a big problem for them to have an accent. This contradict may verify the identity crisis of the non-native instructors, and this might be solved through in-depth training during the pre-service and in-service teacher education process.

Author Biography


Sibel Çağatay earned her undergraduate degree in ELT at Boğaziçi University, Turkey as an “Honor Student” and did her master’s in the department of Teaching English as a Foreign Language at Bilkent University and completed the level as a “High Honored Student”. She also completed Cambridge University ICELT (In-Service Certificate of English Language Teaching) course in 2009. Since 2007, she has been working as an English instructor at tertiary level for English for Academic Purposes (EAP): She worked as a lecturer at Bilkent University from 2007 to 2009 and since 2009, she has been working as a lecturer (Ph.D.) at Middle East Technical University (METU), in Turkey. She has been teaching Language Acquisition Courses and Academic English courses in the ELT departments of METU and Hacettepe University. She is currently working as a researcher for the Research and Development (R & D) unit of School of Foreign Languages of ODTU, Turkey. Her professional interests lie in achievement attributions, alternative assessment, curriculum evaluation and testing, English Medium Instruction (EMI) learner motivation and anxiety.


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