Understanding the Professional Agency of Female Language Teachers in a Chinese University : Rhetoric and Reality book cover
1st Edition

Understanding the Professional Agency of Female Language Teachers in a Chinese University
Rhetoric and Reality

ISBN 9781032136394
Published December 31, 2021 by Routledge
254 Pages 64 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Centering on a qualitative study of three female English teachers in Shanghai, China, the book explores female language teachers' perceived discrepancies and agency exercised in their teaching, research and teacher learning practices.

By adopting multiple research methods, such as narrative questionnaire, metaphor, timeline, interview and classroom observation, this study reveals that female language teachers’ agency is a dynamic entity manifested in the ongoing negotiation of agency belief, agency practice, and agency inclination, as well as the interaction of individual and the environment. Though there are certain limitations concerning representativeness and generalizability, the author provides a thick description of how female language teachers in China are exercising agency to fulfill their career development, which offers insightful suggestions to language education in both China and broader areas globally.

The book will appeal to researchers studying teacher education and foreign (English) language teaching, university teachers, especially female foreign language teachers, PhD students and graduate students, as well as career women.

Table of Contents

1: Introduction  2: Literature Review  3: Research Methodology  4: The Spinning Top: Zoey’s Aspirations to Reach New Heights in Career  5: The Rainbow: Wendy’s Delicate Emotions to Mediate between her Professional Beliefs and Practices  6: The Sunshine: Linda’s Unremitting Efforts to Boost her Professional Achievement  7: Discussion  8: Conclusion

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Xiaolei Ruan is an associate professor at the School of Foreign Studies, Anhui University (China). Her PhD study explored female EFL teachers’ beliefs and practices in the enactment of professional agency to actualize their career development. Her current research interests are in the areas of foreign language teacher agency, foreign language teachers’ development, and their academic writing practice, especially in the context of teacher learning communities. Her recent publications appear in various peer-reviewed journals domestically and overseas, such as Teaching and Teacher Education and Learning, Culture and social Interaction.