As proficient speakers of less-commonly-taught languages seek to meet the demand for qualified instructors, they face a range of personal and professional challenges. In an effort to understand the perspectives of these instructors and their particular educational experiences and needs, we conducted a phenomenological case study of two aspiring Arabic teachers. Specifically, we sought insights into their lived experiences, their motivations for pursuing a graduate degree, their attempts to connect coursework with pedagogical practices, and their needs in terms of professional development. Our findings illuminate the intersecting objectives these instructors must achieve. They need to position themselves as qualified candidates for the available positions as instructors, but they also need to reconcile a number of different roles as they develop their teacher identities and connect their backgrounds to ambitions for students’ growth. As teacher educators, we find that we need to facilitate career placement as well as the negotiation of these roles.


Case Study, LCTL, Arabic, Teacher Identity, Transcendental Phenomenology

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Dustin De Felice is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA) and the Director of the English Language Center at Michigan State University. Dustin teaches courses on language structures, functions, acquisition, and methods. He also teaches courses on program development and administration and he was recently recognized for his excellence in teaching for his course on language teaching and technology. He is quickly closing in on two decades of experience in the areas of language teacher development, applied linguistics, and language teaching and learning. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: defelic5@msu.edu.

Dr. Amanda Lanier is an applied linguist and teacher educator specializing in social and cultural aspects of language learning, teaching, and use. She is an assistant professor at Michigan State University, where she is contributing to the development and operation of a fully-online master's program in foreign language teaching (MAFLT) as the director. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: defelic5@msu.edu.

Dr. Paula Winke is an Associate Professor ’s primary research is on foreign and second language testing. She investigates the content and construct validity of high-stakes, standardized tests that English language learners and foreign language students take. She researches language-test reliability and methods for creating (and managing) placement and proficiency tests. Paula also researches language teaching methods, with a particular focus on task-based language assessment and task-based materials design. With Aline Godfroid and Susan Gass, Paula co-directs the Second Language Acquisition Program’s Eye-tracking Labs. She is on the editorial boards of Language Testing, Language Assessment Quarterly, TESOL Quarterly, and Chinese Language Studies. From 1998 to 2000, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in China. In 2008, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Hungary. In 2008, she received the CALICO Article of the Year Award with Senta Goertler, and in 2012 she received the TESOL International Award for Distinguished Research. Paula is the immediate past president of the Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT). She currently serves as a member of the Committee of Examiners at Educational Testing Service (ETS), a standing committee that reviews ETS-funded TOEFL research and changes related to TOEFL assessments. With Susan Gass, Paula is the PI on a $800,000 grant from the National Security Education Program; the funding supports a Proficiency Flagship at Michigan State University whose goal is to aid in the development of sustainable proficiency initiatives across the language programs at Michigan State.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.