Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

McIntyre, Christina

Second Advisor

Bancroft, Senetta


This study is a qualitative examination of the construction of identities of three novice English teachers at one university-level institute in Saudi Arabia. The study uses multiple theoretical frameworks to build a narrative describing construction of these identities: Goffman’s (1959; 1963; 1974) performing, frame analysis, and spoiled identity concepts, Anderson’s (1991) imagined community, Canagarajah’s (1996) “from bottom up” narrative style, Wenger’s (1998) three modes as a framework of the identity construction, and Pinar and Grumet’s (1976) currere. The purpose of this study is twofold: (a) to offer a rich description of how novice, nonnative English speakers (NNES), especially teachers, constructed their identities and their positions, both inside and outside the classroom, and how they negotiated their access to power and were perceived as legitimate bilingual English teachers, as it pertains to the NNES label, and (b) theoretical multiplicity establishes a novel methodological approach to use narrative as a research tool that can fully capture the complexity of novice teachers’ identities. These purposes are embedded in an action and movement to remove stigmas that NNES English Language teachers experience because of the NNES label given to them and their learners (Kamhi-Stein, 2016). This study adopted the interview autobiographical narrative approach, reflections, and observations inside and outside the classroom because of the many life stories that were shared as a window or frame into understanding the participants’ experiences as English Language teachers. The findings suggest that the dichotomy of the native and nonnative English speaker is power-driven and political, rather than linguistic power (Canagarajah, 1999; Phillipson, 1992). This study’s participants were able to strategically position themselves as legitimate speakers where they were able to show a part of their identity that was worthy of investment. Their investment did not fit the community of practice (CoP) expectations. They were able to build relationships with the CoP and they felt satisfied in their job positions.




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