“A Little Bit out of Control”: Doing Identity-Work by Chinese University Teachers in Online Teachings

Wang Xueyu, Chen Ming


Online classrooms have offered “unique and irreplaceable” sites for teachers to do
identity work. In this article, we aim to explore what and how different types of teacher identities are
constructed and negotiated in online teachings. We draw on 6h of video-recorded online instructions
delivered by four teachers from the Department of Foreign Studies in China’s local university. Data
analysis finds Chinese university teachers in online lessons mainly construct three types of identities:
professional identity, affective identity, and technical identity. Professional identity is related to
teachers’ epistemic and deontic authority. Affective identity is reflected in the way teachers negotiate
interpersonal relationships with students. Technical identity is made salient when teachers mention the
technological environment or (in)ability. These identities are constructed through different discursive
practices, such as person-referencing practices and speech acts. This study also yields interesting
findings on the interlinks and struggles of teacher identities in an online pedagogical environment. We
hope that it could provide some insights for the current teacher training and education in China.


Identity work; teacher identity; discursive practices; online teaching

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18002/sin.v10i1.6317


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Sinología hispánica. Revisión de estudios de China

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