Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number1  March 2021                                              Pp. 421-442

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Uncovering New Paths to Adaptation: A Case Study of Malaysian English as a Second
Language Pre-service Teachers

Taghreed El Masry
 English and Literature Department, Al Israa’ University
Gaza, Palestine
Corrsondent Author: 

Eman I Alzaanin
Faculty of Languages and Translation
King Khalid University
Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Received :   12/23/2020          Accepted: 3/4/2021                Published: 3/24/2021


This study aims to explore how English as a Second Language ESL Pre-Service Teachers (PSTs) employ adaptation strategies in response to the surrounding constraining context to develop their professional identities. The research question is “How do pre-service teachers (PSTs) employ adaptation strategies to develop their professional identity (PI) during their simulated teaching class and practicum?”. Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews and classroom observation from PSTs in a Malaysian university and public secondary schools in Kuala Lumpur. Findings showed that the positive notions of belonging to a Community of Practice (CoP) proved to be applicable in the simulated teaching class context, so PSTs used their adaptation process of observation-experimentation and evaluation to attempt different teaching practices. Nonetheless, the positive notions of the CoP were inapplicable in the teaching practicum context. Hence, PSTs struggled to construct their Professional Identity (PI) and had to alter their adaptation strategies to negotiate PI construction. The study concludes with some recommendations for further use. Program designers need to consider social interaction and integration within the professional context. That could enable adaptation processes to enhance PSTs’ PI development.
Keywords: Adaptation strategies, English as a second language, pre-service teachers, possible selves, professional identity

Cite as: El Masry, T., &  Alzaanin, E. I (2021). Uncovering New Paths to Adaptation: A Case Study of Malaysian English as a Second Language Pre-service Teachers. Arab World English Journal, 12 (1) 421-442.


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Received: 12/23/2020
Accepted: 3/4/2021 
Published: 3/24/2021 

Taghreed El Masry is an assistant professor of Applied Linguistics at the English and Literature Department at Al Isra’ University. Her areas of interest are teacher education, teaching English as a second language, teacher identity, curriculum design and assessment.

Eman Alzaanin is an assistant professor of Applied Linguistics in the English language program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation – King Khalid University. Her areas of interests include language pedagogy and teacher education, teacher emotion, curriculum design, and program evaluation. ORCID