Identity positionings of EFL teachers and their beliefs and negotiations about language learning and teaching in online discussion forums
This study investigated the ways EFL teachers enrolled in a masters‘ program negotiated language teacher identities (LTI) in terms of their beliefs about language learning and teaching through their positionings in an online discussion forum. The aim of the study was to elaborate on how EFL teachers discuss their beliefs about language learning and teaching in an online forum and while doing this, how their comments revealed clues for positionings of their language teacher identities. To this end, the position papers of teachers who were students in a master's program in teaching English as a foreign language at a foundation university in Turkey were explored. The archival data of the study was collected through the position papers and discussions. All data were analyzed according to Boyatzis' (1998) thematic analysis. The themes emerged from the analysis of the papers were categorized under two main sections as positioning of teachers as language learners and positioning of teachers as language teachers. The findings of the study revealed that participants engaged in positionings not only as learners but also as teachers. Teachers shared their teaching and learning experiences and commented on each other‘s papers via the position papers uploaded to an online forum. Through this negotiation, some comments revealed how teachers explicitly or implicitly position their identities as learners and teachers. Considering the findings of the present study, it can be concluded that online platforms can serve as an effective tool in providing teachers a way to negotiate their beliefs and identities.