Teacher Cognition and Identity



Teacher identity and role are important in effective teaching (Richards, Applied Linguistics, 27, 51–77, 2006) as teachers are the most critical player in deciding what learning is and what resources are brought into learning. For a long time, teachers are assumed with one professional identity, and little has been explored about the different identities they assume in their interactions with learners (Li, Social interaction and teacher cognition. Edinburgh University Press, 2017a; Gray & Morton, Social interaction and teacher identity. Edinburgh University Press, 2018). In this chapter, different identities are explored through teachers’ talk with their intercalants, learners, such as developing practical knowledge, making investment, emotions, agency to exercise powers, imagined and practised identity, and language-related identities.


Language teacher cognition Identities Emotion Investment Practical knowledge Language-related identities Agency Imagined community 


  1. Barkhuizen, G. (2010). An extended positioning analysis of a pre-service teacher’s better life small story. Applied Linguistics, 31(2), 282–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barkhuizen, G. (2016a). Narrative approaches to exploring language, identity and power in language teacher education. RELC Journal, 47(1), 25–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barkhuizen, G. (2016b). A short story approach to analyzing teacher (imagined) identities over time. TESOL Quarterly, 50(3), 655–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beauchamp, C., & Thomas, L. (2011). New teachers’ identity shifts at the boundary of teacher education and initial practice. International Journal of Educational Research, 50(1), 6–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beckett, G., & Stiefvater, A. (2009). Change in ESL graduate students’ perspectives on non-native English-speaker teachers. TESL Canada Journal, 27(1), 27–46. Scholar
  6. Beijaard, D., Meijer, P. C., & Verloop, N. (2004). Reconsidering research on teachers’ professional identity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(2), 107–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Block, D. (2005). Convergence and resistance in the construction of personal and professional identities: Four French modern language teachers in London. In S. A. Canagarajah (Ed.), Reclaiming the local in language policy and practice (pp. 167–196). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  8. Block, D. (2007). Second language identities. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  9. Block, D. (2015). Becoming a language teacher: Constraints and negotiation in the emergence of new identities. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 8(3), 9–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a theory of practice (Vol. 16). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Britzman, D. (1991). Practice makes practice. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  12. Britzman, D. (2003). Practice makes practice: A critical study of learning to teach (Rev. ed.). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  13. Bucholtz, M., & Hall, K. (2005). Identity and interaction: A sociocultural linguistic approach. Discourse Studies, 7(4–5), 585–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bullough, J. R. V., Knowles, J. G., & Grow, N. A. (1992). Emerging as a teacher. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Canagarajah, S. (2007). The ecology of global English. International Multilingual Research Journal, 1(2), 89–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clandinin, D. J., Downey, C. A., & Huber, J. (2009). Attending to changing landscapes: Shaping the interwoven identities of teachers and teacher educators. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 37(2), 141–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Clarke, M. (2008). Language teacher identities: Co-constructing discourse and community. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Clarke, M., & Morgan, B. (2011). Education and social justice in neoliberal times: Historical and pedagogical perspectives from two postcolonial contexts. In M. R. Hawkins (Ed.), Social justice language teacher education (pp. 63–85). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Coté, J. (2006). Identity studies: How close are we to developing a social science of identity?—An appraisal of the field. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 6(1), 3–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dang, T. K. A. (2013). Identity in activity: Examining teacher professional identity formation in the paired-placement of student teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 30, 47–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Darvin, R., & Norton, B. (2015). Identity and a model of investment in applied linguistics. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 35, 36–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. De Costa, P., & Norton, B. (2017). Introduction: Identity, transdisciplinarity, and the good language teacher. The Modern Language Journal, 101, 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. De Mejia, A.-M. (2002). Power, prestige, and bilingualism: International perspectives on elite bilingual education. Buffalo, NY: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Duff, P., & Uchida, Y. (1997). The negotiation of teachers’ sociocultural identities and practices in postsecondary EFL classrooms. TESOL Quarterly, 31(3), 451–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Duff, P. A. (2012). Identity, agency, and second language acquisition. In S. M. Gass & A. Mackey (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 410–426). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Edwards, E., & Burns, A. (2016). Language teacher-researcher identity negotiation: An ecological perspective. TESOL Quarterly, 50(3), 735–745.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ellis, E. M. (2004). The invisible multilingual teacher. International Journal of Multilingualism, 1(2), 90–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ellis, E. M. (2013). The TESOL teacher as plurilingual: An Australian perspective. TESOL Quarterly, 47(3), 446–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ellis, E. M. (2016). “I may be a native speaker but I’m not monolingual”: Reimagining All teachers’ linguistic identities in TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 50, 597–630. Scholar
  30. Ellis, L. (2002). Teaching from experience: A new perspective on the non-native teacher in adult ESL. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 25(1), 70–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Farrell, T. S. C., & Richards, J. (2007). Teachers’ language proficiency. In T. S. Farrell (Ed.), Reflective language teaching: From research to practice (pp. 55–66). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  32. Firth, A., & Wagner, J. (1997). On discourse, communication, and (some) fundamental concepts in SLA research. Modern Language Journal, 81, 285–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Golombek, P. R., & Doran, M. (2014). Unifying cognition, emotion, and activity in language teacher professional development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 39, 102–111. Scholar
  34. Gray, J., & Morton, T. (2018). Social interaction and teacher identity. Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Hall, S. (1992). The question of cultural identity. In S. Hall, D. Held, & T. McGrew (Eds.), Modernity and its futures (pp. 274–316). Cambridge: Polity Press and Blackwell and The Open University.Google Scholar
  36. Hargreaves, A. (2000). Four ages of professionalism and professional learning. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 6(2), 151–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hargreaves, A. (2005). Educational change takes ages: Life, career and generational factors in teachers’ emotional responses to educational change. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21, 967–983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hu, G. (2005). ‘CLT is best for China’—An untenable absolutist claim. ELT Journal, 59(1), 65–68. Scholar
  39. Johnson, K. (2001). An introduction to foreign language learning and teaching. Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  40. Kamhi-Stein, L. D. (Ed.). (2013). Narrating their lives: Examining English language teachers’ professional identities within the classroom. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  41. Kanno, Y., & Norton, B. (2003). Imagined communities and educational possibilities: Introduction. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 2(4), 241–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kanno, Y., & Stuart, C. (2011). Learning to become a second language teacher: Identities-in-practice. The Modern Language Journal, 95(2), 236–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kubanyiova, M. (2012). Teacher development in action: Understanding language teachers’ conceptual change. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lai, C., Li, Z., & Gong, Y. (2016). Teacher agency and professional learning in cross-cultural teaching contexts: Accounts of Chinese teachers from international schools in Hong Kong. Teaching and Teacher Education, 54, 12–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Leung, C. (2005). Convivial communication: Recontextualizing communicative competence. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 15, 199–144. Scholar
  46. Li, L. (2012). Belief construction and development: Two tales of non-native English speaking student teachers in a TESOL programme. Novitas-ROYAL (Research on Youth and Language), 6(1), 33–58.Google Scholar
  47. Li, L. (2017a). Social interaction and teacher cognition. Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Mayer, D. (1999). Building teaching identities: Implications for pre-service teacher education. Paper presented to the Australian Association for Research in Education.Google Scholar
  49. McAlpine, L., Amundsen, C., & Turner, G. (2014). Identity-trajectory: Reframing early career academic experience. British Educational Research Journal, 40(6), 952–969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Miller, E. R. (2014). The language of adult immigrants: Agency in the making. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Miller, J. (2009). Teacher identity. In A. Burns & J. C. Richards (Eds.), The Cambridge guide to second language teacher education (pp. 172–181). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Morgan, B. (2016). Language teacher identity and the domestication of dissent: An exploratory account. TESOL Quarterly, 50(3), 708–734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Motha, S., Jain, R., & Tecle, T. (2012). Translinguistic identity-as-pedagogy: Implications for language teacher education. International Journal of Innovation in English Language Teaching and Research, 1(1), 13–28.Google Scholar
  54. Moussu, L., & Llurda, E. (2008). Non-native English-speaking English language teachers: History and research. Language Teaching, 41(3), 315–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Murdoch, G. (1994). Language development provision in teacher training curricula. ELT Journal, 48, 253–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Nagatomo, D. (2012). Exploring Japanese University English teachers’ professional identity. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Norton, B. (2000). Identity and language learning: Extending the conversation. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  58. Norton, B. (2013). Identity and language learning: Extending the conversation (2nd ed.). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Norton Pierce, B. (1995). Social identity, investment, and language learning. TESOL Quarterly, 29(1), 9–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Olsen, B. (2011). ‘I am large, I contain multitudes’: Teacher identity as a useful frame for research, practice, and diversity in teacher education. In A. Ball & C. Tyson (Eds.), Studying diversity in teacher education (pp. 267–273). Washington, DC: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  61. Ortega, L. (2014). Ways forward for a bi/multilingual turn in SLA. In S. May (Ed.), The multilingual turn: Implications for SLA, TESOL and bilingual education (pp. 32–53). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  62. Park, G. (2012). ‘I am never afraid of being recognized as an NNES’: One teacher’s journey in claiming and embracing her nonnative-speaker identity. TESOL Quarterly, 46(1), 127–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Pavlenko, A. (2003). ‘I never knew I was a bilingual’: Reimagining teacher identities in TESOL. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 2(4), 251–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pennington, M., & Richards, J. C. (2016). Teacher identity in language teaching: Integrating personal, contextual, and professional factors. RELC Journal, 47(1), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Reagan, T. (2004). Objectification, positivism and language studies: A reconsideration. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 1(1), 41–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Reis, D. S. (2011). Non-native English-speaking teachers (NNESTs) and professional legitimacy: A sociocultural theoretical perspective on identity transformation. International Journal of Sociology of Language, 208, 139–160.Google Scholar
  67. Richards, K. (2006). ‘Being the teacher’: Identity and classroom conversation. Applied Linguistics, 27, 51–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Shin, S. J. (2008). Preparing non-native English-speaking ESL teachers. Teacher Development, 12(1), 57–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Singh, G., & Richards, J. C. (2006). Teaching and learning in the language teacher education course room: A critical sociocultural perspective. RELC Journal, 37(2), 149–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sun, D. (2012). “Everything goes smoothly”: A case study of an immigrant Chinese language teacher’s personal practical knowledge. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(5), 760–767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (2005). The evolving sociopolitical context of immersion education in Canada: Some implications for program development. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 15(2), 169–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Terasaki, A. (2005). Pre-announcement sequences in conversation. In G. Lerner (Ed.), Conversation analysis: Studies from the first generation (pp. 171–224). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Toom, A., Pyhältö, K., & Rust, F. O. C. (2015). Teachers’ professional agency in contradictory times. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 21(6), 615–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Tsui, A. A. M. (2003). Understanding expertise in teaching. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Tsui, A. B. M. (2007). Complexities of identity formation: A narrative inquiry of an EFL teacher. TESOL Quarterly, 41, 657–680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Vähäsantanen, K. (2015). Professional agency in the stream of change: Understanding educational change and teachers’ professional identities. Teaching and Teacher Education, 47, 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. van Lier, L. (2004). The ecology and semiotics of language learning: A sociocultural perspective. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Varghese, M., Morgan, B., Johnson, B., & Johnson, K. A. (2005). Theorizing language teacher identity: Three perspectives and beyond. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 4(1), 21–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Varghese, M. M., Motha, S., Park, G., Reeves, J., & Trent, J. (2016). In this issue. TESOL Quarterly, 50(3), 545–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Warford, M. K., & Reeves, J. (2003). Falling into it: Novice TESOL teacher thinking. Teachers and Teaching, 9(1), 47–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Zembylas, M. (2003). Interrogating “teacher identity”: Emotion, resistance and self-formation. Educational Theory, 53, 107–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Zembylas, M. (2005). Beyond teacher cognition and teacher beliefs: The value of the ethnography of emotions in teaching. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 18(4), 465–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Zembylas, M. (2007). Emotional ecology: The intersection of emotional knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23(4), 355–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

Personalised recommendations