SCIENCE TEACHERS’ ESOL PROFESSIONAL LEARNING AND NEW HYBRID IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT

Shim Lew

Abstract


This multiple case study investigates four science teachers’ experiences of boundary crossing through participation in an ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) professional development program and the extension of their identity as ESOL/language teachers. The study examines how science teachers transform into science and language teachers by exploring teachers’ disciplinary identity, their adoption of a new extended professional identity, and the mismatch between their new identity and its enactment in science classrooms. Through classroom observations, interviews, and document analysis, this study finds that the secondary science educators had a flexible disciplinary identity, and thus, adopted a new professional identity as ESOL/language teacher without strong resistance. However, their extended identity was not enacted in their classrooms. For successful transformation of science teachers into science and ESOL teachers, contextual adjustment and a continuous support system is required.  The paper concludes with implications for further research on teacher education for content area educators teaching English learners.


Keywords


science teachers, ESOL, boundary crossing, professional identity, transformation

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