The Impact of Reflective Practices of English Language Teachers on the Development of A Sense of Agency

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Tütüniş, Birsen
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Language teaching has undergone many changes for several decades and is still changing within this complex dynamic system. Teaching is recognized as both individually practised and socially shaped phenomenon with lots of constraints imposed by the society. The concept of agency has been theorized from an interdisciplinary approach incorporating academic disciplines of sociology, philosophy, anthropology, management, economics and the related fields. The aim of this paper is to address this gap in the literature by examining the experiences of language teachers working with young learners. There is limited research literature that specifically addresses the practices of teacher agencies in language teaching. However, Johnson (2009) for example, based on Vygotsky's (1958) sociocultural theory, suggests to take a sociocultural approach in teacher education to acknowledge both social forces and the individual experiences that shape language teaching. A qualitative pilot study was conducted with 30 language teachers working in disadvantaged neighborhoods in İstanbul, Turkey with the purpose of finding out their reflective practices on the development of a sense of agency. The data was analyzed and interpreted from the basis of “professionalism and teacher identity” and provisional insights are provided for policy makers, teachers, administrators and leaders at various levels in schools and faculties of education that we believe will contribute to the literature on teacher agencies and professionalization in the field of second/foreign language teaching.
teaching english to young learners, english as a foreign/second language, teacher agency, reflective practices