Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Gloria Park, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lilia P. Savova, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David I. Hanauer, Ph.D.

Abstract

This qualitative study explores five Russian novice English teachers' perceptions of selves as English teachers in relation to the imagined linguistic communities they were investing into through online linguistic autobiographies and in-depth follow-up interviews. Drawing on Kanno and Norton (2003), Norton (2000, 2001), and Pavlenko (2003), the concept "imagined community" is utilized in this study. The study is grounded in sociocultural theory by Vygotsky (1978), specifically in situated learning theory by Lave and Wenger (1991). The findings of the study demonstrate complexity and richness of the teachers' English learning and teaching experiences in a Russian context. According to the study, the teachers are constructing hybrid linguistic identities of English learners, users, and multicompetent language speakers. However, the study revealed no significant relationship between teachers' imagined linguistic communities and their perceptions of selves as English teachers. Teacher authority, self-confidence, and teaching experience were found crucial prerequisites for teachers' positive professional self-perceptions.

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