Changing identities: an exploration of ESL trainee teacher discourse in microteaching

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This article explores the issue of identity as revealed by the discourse of twotrainee teachers’ microteaching classes which formed part of their vocationalMasters programme in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at theUniversity of Ulster in Northern Ireland. Transcripts are used to explore possible10 modifications in ESL trainees’ microteaching talk in comparison with their talkin a ‘real’ teaching practice classroom in Hungary to establish possible changingidentities. The study uses two approaches to focus, up close, on the lessonextracts; first, an applied institutional conversation analysis approach, specificallyusing Walsh’s Self Evaluation of Teacher Talk framework and second,15 Zimmerman’s identity categories. Furthermore, the two trainees are interviewedabout their perception of their possible different identities in both teaching contexts.The data indicate that microteaching teacher talk breaks away from the situatedidentity position of teacher-learner more often than the trainees’ talk inthe real classroom and that a reversal of situated identity or transportable iden-20 tity can occur instead. I argue that by encouraging trainees to use a wider rangeof identities in the teaching practice classroom, they will allow their learnersmore interactional space and more meaningful communication will take place.This study has relevance to the body of literature on the concept of teacheridentity, to research on classroom interaction and teacher development and the25 relatively under-researched area of the microteaching classroom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-64
JournalClassroom Discourse
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - May 2012


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