Many studies have investigated the sociocultural aspects of professional identities of EFL teachers in different contexts. However, a limited amount of research has been conducted on the negotiation of teachers’ identities particularly in the Arab world and in Egypt. The current study investigates the factors that contribute to forming and negotiating the sociocultural aspects of the professional identity of six experienced and six novice Egyptian teachers of English as a second language (EFL). The study is conducted in two English language programs, one in a private university and the other in a public university context. Interviews and classroom observations were conducted with all twelve teachers. A framework is introduced to conceptualize the negotiation of a professional identity construct that is associated with a number of social and cultural factors, including past teaching and non-teaching professional experiences which influence identity development and shared identity formation. Tajfel’s (1982) theory of social identity was found to reflect a level of the teachers’ professional identities along with the sense of the teachers’ shared identities. Experience, in addition to other external factors such as context, institution and culture, appeared to be one of the variables affecting the negotiation of the sociocultural aspects of teachers’ professional identities both in their self-reported data and classroom practices. The study suggests some pedagogical implications that if emphasized in teacher education programs could assist teachers in negotiating their professional identities in accordance with the surrounding sociocultural factors of different contexts.


Applied Linguistics Department

Degree Name

MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Graduation Date


Submission Date

June 2016

First Advisor

Plumlee, Marilyn

Committee Member 1

Gebril, Atta

Committee Member 2

Bassiouney, Reem


100 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item