VISUALS SPEAK: Using drawings to unravel the perceptions of the language teaching profession


  • Sezen Arslan Van Yuzuncu Yil University


Agency and professional development are highly linked to the teachers’ professional identity (Beauchamp & Thomas, 2009). Apart from that, teaching beliefs and assumptions might have an immense impact on one’s perceptions of the teaching profession, thereby influencing practices and behaviors. For this reason, uncovering how teacher identity is formed could be helpful to highlight views and concerns regarding professional development of pre-service and in-service teachers. With this mind, in this present study, the drawings and memos obtained from the in-service and senior pre-service EFL teachers were investigated and the visual content analysis was adopted to gain an insight into their understanding of the teaching profession. Consequently, the findings illustrated that perceptions of pre-service and in-service EFL teachers are mainly centered around teachers’ attitudes towards learners and teacher roles.

Author Biography

Sezen Arslan, Van Yuzuncu Yil University



Arslan, S. (2018). Designing an in-service teacher training program for English teachers in non-formal education [Doctoral dissertation]. Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.

Asmalı, M., & Çelik, H. (2017). EFL teachers’ conceptualization of their roles through metaphor analysis. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 13(2), 01-13.

Beauchamp, C., & Thomas, L. (2009). Understanding teacher identity: An overview of issues in the literature and implications for teacher education. Cambridge Journal of Education, 39(2), 175-189.

Beijaard, D., Verloop, N., & Vermunt, J. D. (2000). Teachers’ perceptions of professional identity: An exploratory study from a personal knowledge perspective. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16, 749-764.

Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (1990). Grounded theory research: Procedures, canons, and evaluative criteria. Qualitative Sociology, 13(1), 3-21.

Gabry’s-Barker, D. (2010). On teacher beliefs, self-identity and the stages of professional development. Lingvarm Arena, 1(1), 25-42.

Göksel, Ş., & Söylemez-Rakıcıoğlu, A. (2018). Becoming a professional: Exploring EFL pre-service teachers’ conceptions of an effective foreign language teacher. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 14(4), 111-135.

Kavanoz, S. (2016). Unveiling pre-service language teachers’ conceptualizations of teachers of English through metaphors. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 4(10), 17-32.

Küçükali, E. (2017). Teacher identity and transnational experience: A case of an EFL teacher from Georgia teaching in Turkey. International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET), 4(4), 458-473.

Longman Exam Dictionary (2006). Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

Mair, M. ,& Kierans, C. (2007). Descriptions as data: Developing techniques to elicit descriptive materials in social research. Visual Studies, 22(2), 120-136.

Mitchell, C., Theron, L., Stuart, J., Smith, A., & Campbell, Z. (2011). In L. Theron, C. Mitchell, A. Smith, & J. Stuart (Eds), Picturing research: Drawing as visual methodology (19-36). AW Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Olsen, B. (2008). Introducing teacher identity and this volume. Teacher Education Quarterly, 35(3), 3-6.

Oyserman, D., Elmore, K., & Smith, G. (2012). Self, self-concept, and identity. In M. R. Leary & J. P. Tangney (Eds), Handbook of self and identity (69-104). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Pennington, M. C. (2015). Teacher identity in TESOL: A frames perspective. In Y. L. Cheung, S. B. Said, & K. Park (Eds), Advances and current trends in language teacher identity research (16-30). New York, NY: Routledge.

Pennington, M. C., & Richards, J. C. (2016). Teacher identity in language teaching: Integrating personal, contextual, and professional factors. RELC Journal, 47(1), 5-23.

Reeves, J. (2018). Teacher identity: Framing the issue. In J. I. Liontas (Ed), The TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching (1-7). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing.

Richards, J. C. (2008). Second language teacher education today. RELC Journal, 39(2), 158-177.

Salinas, D. (2017). EFL teacher identity: Impact of macro and micro contextual factors in education reform frame in Chile. World Journal Education, 7(6), 1-11.

Smith, J. A., & Osborn, M. (2003). Interpretative phenomenological analysis. In J. A. Smith (Ed), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods (51-80). Thousand Oaks, CA: US: Sage Publications.

Varghese, M., Morgan, B., Johnston, B., & Johnson, K. A. (2005). Theorizing language teacher identity: Three perspectives and beyond. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 4(1), 21-44.