Exploring Researcher Identity Construction of University EFL Teachers in China

Long Nana, Jing HUANG

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Based on the narratives of four Chinese university EFL teachers' research experiences, this study reports on the dynamic construction of their researcher identities and the crucial socio-institutional and individual factors that have afforded and constrained researcher identity construction. The results presented different trajectories of researcher identity construction through the EFL teachers' three stages of research experiences (beginning, stagnation/development, and struggle stages) in their professional lives. Academic learning contexts such as Master's and PhD programs were shown to be replete with factors that contributed to the development of researcher identity, while the institutional context and the broad social context in China were exposed to be greatly constraining. Motivation, publications, academic qualifications, and networking with researchers were four important individual factors that impacted the EFL teachers' researcher identity construction. The findings suggest that Chinese EFL teachers raise awareness of their researcher identities, make continuous critical reflections, and exercise agency to seek opportunities for development while governments and institutions should reform the current educational and promotion systems to support EFL teachers' research engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-391
Number of pages21
JournalChinese Journal of Applied Linguistics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • narratives
  • researcher identity
  • socio-institutional context
  • teacher identity
  • university EFL teachers


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