This article explores the experiences of a Chinese language teacher in the United States and how she constructed and negotiated her professional identities during and after her teacher preparation in a U.S.‐based English as a second language (ESL) teacher preparation program. Using narrative inquiry to understand the participant’s experience and perspectives of her professional identities as both an ESL teacher candidate and a Chinese language teacher in the United States, the study identified two key transitional periods: moving from China to the United States and transitioning from a student into a professional career. Findings underscore the dynamic nature of language teacher identities as individuals find themselves in different English language teaching contexts. The study also shows how professional identities are constructed in discourse and shaped by native speaker ideologies in the English language teaching field. In addition, the study reveals the dearth of critical reflection of Asian ethnic English language teachers on raciolinguistic ideologies obscuring their raciolinguistic identities and the crucial role that school climate plays in shaping teacher identities. The study calls for teacher candidates to have opportunities for critical reflection on their language teacher identities and critical analysis of curriculum and experiences in language teacher preparation programs.


Fan, F., & de Jong, E. J. (2019). Exploring professional identities of nonnative‐English‐speaking teachers in the United States: A narrative case study. TESOL Journal, 10(4), e495.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/tesj.495