EFL teacher professional change in India

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Abstract

This article examines teacher professional change and compares two 10th standard English as a Foreign Language teachers employed in a Marathi-medium secondary school in Pune (India) at different stages in their careers. Wenger’s (1998) three interconnected Community of Practice dimensions (i.e. mutual engagement, joint enterprise and shared repertoire) highlight pertinent facets of the teachers’ professional lives as viewed from the sociocultural perspective (Vygotsky, 1978). Case study methodology was utilized within a qualitative, ethnographic research paradigm. The aim is to uncover how the two EFL teachers engage in their professional community of practice and their career trajectories. Firstly, the data analysis indicates that periphery member status is established through active engagement in the professional community which creates trajectories along which novices may travel. Secondly, the accessing and sharing of information, ideas and experiences is beneficial for all members as it strengthens professional relationships and reconfirms already existing members’ central position. Lastly, active engagement in a professional community of practice offers a means of potential growth for novice teachers and central members. Access to communal resources such as new knowledge, stories and artifacts is acquired and aids in establishing novices’ competency.

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