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Volume 17 Number 2, Summer 2020, Pages 319-757   


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Professional Identity Tensions in Korean EFL Student Teachers: A Reflective Journal Analysis

    Meerbek Kudaibergenov & Kilryoung Lee


The present study was carried out in response to the lack of investigation into professional identity tensions of EFL student teachers. The study capitalizes on a corpus of 139 reflective journal entries written by 20 Korean EFL student teachers and analyzes the corpus with a specialist analytics program, Leximancer 4.5. It reveals five professional identity tensions that seem to revolve around maintaining a dual identity (e.g., student vs. professional, L2 learner vs. L2 teacher, etc.), thereby underscoring the complex and conflicting nature of EFL teacher candidates' identities. The findings go some way towards contributing to the existing knowledge of tensions experienced by Korean EFL student teachers in their professional identity development and help us better understand what support should be provided to them by teacher education programs.

Keywords: Korean EFL student teachers, professional identity, professional identity tensions, reflective journals