This case study, framed in the Socio-critical paradigm and following a narrative approach, describes the role psychosocial factors play in shaping the professional identity crisis in a group of prospective teachers in the Language Teaching Program of a private university in Medellín, Colombia. We developed three data collection techniques to conduct this study. First, participants in the stage of professional practicum were to write a narrative about their first experiences as prospective language teachers. Our objective was to describe the psychosocial factors shaping the identity crisis. Then, we conducted semi-structured interviews with the intention of defining the role these factors play in shaping the crisis; and finally, a focus group with the objective of relating these psychosocial factors with the identity crisis. Findings revealed that prospective teachers perceive themselves very vulnerable to fail, they tend to avoid frustration and their lack of self-confidence inhibits their class performance. We also found that the lack of career guidance during high school years, the social status of the teaching profession, and the idealization of the teaching profession as well as the social conditions of school contexts, played an important role in shaping the identity crisis in our prospective teachers. We find it advisable for Language Teaching Programs to develop psychosocial support strategies that bring prospective teachers’ voices to be heard in favor of constructing strong and resilient identities able to respond to current school demands.
language teacher’s professional identity crisis, teacher’s identity, prospective teachers, psychosocial factors, socio-critical paradigm, narrative approach
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Recommended APA Citation
Vanegas, M., Lopera, L. J., & Mesa, H. F. (2021). Psychosocial Factors that Shape the Professional Identity Crisis in Prospective Language Teachers. The Qualitative Report, 26(9), 2818-2835. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4536