Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number 4 December 2022                                         Pp.38-52

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Reasons for Chinese EFL Teacher’s Role Anxiety in Teacher Identity Formation: A
Comparative Analysis of Teacher Metaphors 

Xiao LIU
College of Foreign Languages
Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Nanjing, China


Received:09/09/2022         Accepted:11/20/2022                 Published: 12/15/2022


Along with the development of information technology and its increasing application in foreign language teaching, English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers encounter new challenges from students and society. In the dynamic process of teacher identity formation, EFL teachers are likely to experience anxiety in role shifts. This article studies the interactions between the internal and external perceptions of Chinese English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers’ role through a comparative analysis of teacher metaphors. Metaphors written by EFL teachers represent pro-internal perceptions, and those extracted from research articles stand for pro-external perceptions. Within China’s socio-cultural context, the study aims to demonstrate the consistency and discrepancy between the internal and external perceptions of the EFL teacher’s role. Two groups of metaphors were first compared based on the conceptual themes and then categorized into four types: Learner-oriented, Social Order, Social Reform, and Cultural Transmission according to the metaphor-categorization framework. The consistency and discrepancy in teacher perception revealed by comparing two groups of teacher metaphors shed light on the possible reasons for Chinese EFL teachers’ role anxiety in identity formation.
Keywords: Chinese EFL teachers, comparative analysis, role anxiety, teacher identity, teacher metaphor

Cite as:  LIU, X. (2022). Reasons for Chinese EFL Teacher’s Role Anxiety in Teacher Identity Formation: A Comparative
Analysis of Teacher Metaphors. Arab World English Journal, 13 (4) 38-52.


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Received: 09/09/2022
Accepted: 11/20/2022 
Published: 12/15/2022

Dr. Xiao Liu received her Ph.D. of linguistics at Lomonosov Moscow State University and is currently an associate researcher in Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Her research interests lie in comparative linguistics and English for Academic Purpose. Current research is funded by Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education, Project No.2020SJZDA013.