With the rapid increase in the number of students learning Chinese as a second or foreign language (CSL/CFL), there is a great demand for Chinese language teachers. Although many teacher preparation programmes have been established, only a few graduates from these programmes enter the profession of Chinese language teaching. This has caused instability of the teaching team and has threatened the sustainability of Chinese language education. To explore the reasons why graduates leave this area and the role of professional identity construction in preservice Chinese teachers’ job motivation, this longitudinal qualitative study investigates the job motivation of three student-teachers as a goal of sustainability in teaching force retention. This study was conducted during the participating teachers’ teaching practicum as part of a master’s degree programme in China. By interviewing the three participants and analysing their self-reflective journals, we found that their job motivations changed considerably during the course of their training. Indeed, their professional identity construction did not determine their career choice. Extrinsic factors, such as income and permanent residence, seemed to significantly affect their motivation of entering the profession. Such findings are important, as they help us gain a better understanding of why preservice CSL/CFL teachers choose other careers upon completing teacher education. These results are especially pertinent to those working in Chinese contexts.
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Keywords:
teacher identity; job motivation; Chinese as a second/foreign language; teaching practicum
teacher identity; job motivation; Chinese as a second/foreign language; teaching practicum