Professional Identity Conflict and (Re)Construction among English Teachers in Iran

Samaneh Eslamdoost, Kendall A. King, Zia Tajeddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


This paper examines how English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers in Iran manage the identity conflicts that arise within their language teaching contexts. The position of English in Iran is manifestly, ideologically, and politically shaped, yet little is known about the process of EFL teacher identity construction and management in this context. To address this gap, two EFL teachers’ narrative reflections on identity were elicited via online social media groups. Data were analyzed using a three-level positioning approach. Findings illustrate how EFL teachers’ self-images are derived from dynamic interactions within both the immediate and broader contexts of language education policies in Iran, and how these identities are subject to change. Analysis indicates that EFL teachers confront conflicts across their personal beliefs and external expectations. Implications for practice and research are discussed in light of the need for ongoing professional development in politically charged contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-341
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Language, Identity and Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020


  • EFL teacher
  • identity
  • identity conflict
  • narrative
  • teacher development


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