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What sustains the novice Malaysian teacher of English: a case study

Ida Fatimawati Adi Badiozaman (Faculty of Business, Design and Arts, School of Design and Arts, Swinburne University of Technology , Kuching, Malaysia)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 2 April 2019

Issue publication date: 15 December 2020




The study explores how a novice English teacher’s motivation is sustained as she navigates a range of complex educational contexts in her teaching career. Through the lens of self-concept, the purpose of this paper is to gain an in-depth understanding of the role of this construct when navigating the challenges often faced in the early stages of the teaching profession.


In this case study, data were drawn primarily from a series of interviews with one English teacher over the course of three years. Teaching materials, together with teaching evaluations, were used to compare and validate the information obtained during the interview.


Despite the challenges faced in each new teaching context, the teacher’s motivation and commitment to the profession were driven and sustained by the high integration of personal goals with one’s self, goal fusion. Furthermore, an inherently strong drive to minimise the discrepancy between her current self and her ideal future self, helped the novice teacher navigate each new setting and its respective demands.

Practical implications

English teachers need specific support and professional development that goes beyond pre-service education into in-service training. It is important that continuous professional development be undertaken to allow opportunities for the conception of reflective practice and reflective practitioners.


Self-concept is not only a means of self-evaluation, but also a key driver for goal-relevant cognitions and behaviours effective for teaching practice.



No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.


Adi Badiozaman, I.F. (2020), "What sustains the novice Malaysian teacher of English: a case study", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 585-597.



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